Today I’m fired up because of a conversation that happened earlier this week about ‘giving away your event planning services for free’.

Warning: the tone of this post is different than our other posts (and adult language is used)!

Why do event planners think it’s OK (or necessary) to give away their event planning services for free?

If you want to plan a free event, volunteer for a non-profit organization. At least then you’ll learn from other professionals, improve your skills and help your community.

This is my biggest pet peeve in the event industry and I’m obviously passionate (and opinionated) about it!

It drives me f**king crazy when planners – mostly women – immediately jump to “I’ll do it for free” in order to get experience or get hired by a client. Whether you’re just starting in the event industry or you’re a pro who has fallen on hard times, you cannot survive if you give away your event planning services for free.

When planning and organizing come so naturally to us we often get stuck in the money-game because it’s hard to imagine someone actually paying us to do what we love.

When you think about getting your event services out there, do you find that little voice in your head saying…?

“Just because I love planning events doesn’t mean anyone will hire me.”


“I love planning events and I think I’m pretty good at it, but I don’t know who will hire me to plan their events.”

Unless you’re planning an event for your family (yes, your friends should pay and be treated like a client), for the love of all that is holy, stop giving away your expertise and start placing a dollar value on what you do.

Giving Away Your Event Planning Services Isn’t Helping

Here are 3 reasons why…
  1. Event clients need to be invested so they’re motivated to get the most out of the experience.
  2. Giving away your services for free doesn’t help you invest in the event. By charging for your event services, you’ll put your best foot forward and you’ll want to learn, grow and improve.
  3. Free doesn’t = income. It’s difficult to pay your bills when you’re not making money. Seems obvious, right?

Money is a hot topic with varying opinions and attitudes, and we all deal with it differently.

If you’re stuck in the ‘free game’ and struggling to charge for your event planning services or if money beliefs are limiting your success, today’s episode of EventPlanning BlueprintTV is for you.

In today’s video interview with Denise Duffield-Thomas from Get Rich, Lucky Bitch, you’ll learn how to shift your mindset so you place value on yourself and your event planning services.

I want to hear from you…

First, let me know if you ever feel uncomfortable charging for your event planning services?

Then, share 3 ways you show your clients value. Do you provide superb customer service, have a loyalty program or do you send surprise gifts to show your appreciation for their business and referrals?

Share your comments below.

Remember, links to outside posts and videos are seen as SPAM and are deleted ?

Thanks for watching, sharing and being part of our (fast growing!) international community of event planners.


  1. Alina at7:22 am

    Hi Melannie!
    Very well explained! Thanks
    Got a question
    How to charge for quotation of event planning services? Sometimes it takes around 2 days and in the end the client hosting the event by themselves or gets another company with cheapest rates across the market by having the list of the event services prepared by us.

  2. Marcia at10:36 pm

    Hi Melanie, I watched your video, “how to plan an event” and I am totally impressed with your presentation. My take away from the video is to inquire what is included in the package and to request a copy of their other services in order to see what’s needed and what’s optional. Also to do an outdoor inspection, check on parking and ask about emergency exits. Well done!



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