The Price Is Right – Learn Top Event Planner Pricing Strategies

As an event planner, creating a viable pricing strategy is essential. Whether it’s a corporate or social event, you will want to create a fair pricing structure that includes your operating expenses, salaries, and profit.

Up ahead, you’ll not only learn how to calculate your rate, but also the multiple ways you can price yourself from hourly or flat rate to percentage plus hourly or commissions.

Calculating Your Rate

When calculating your rate, first determine how many hours you need for planning. Remember that a one-day event occurring in several months time requires sourcing. Calculate your expenses including overhead and other exigencies. Adding 10 to 20% to your price will help to offset any overages. Understanding your market allows you to charge the appropriate percentage, as generally a corporate event will warrant a higher rate than a social one. Always ask for a 50% deposit upfront and the remaining amount within two weeks of the event.

Pricing Options:

Hourly Rate

Your worth is based on your level of experience, so if you’re just starting out you may have a lower rate than later on in your career. Include a percentage of your expenditures, marking up your operating fees to cover possible overages. Define your parameters according to the services you are providing and present all expenses so that you maintain a reputation for transparency.

Flat Fee

Clients love flat fees because there are no surprises. This option works for packaged events like sports marketing. Figure in your expenses, including vendor’s fees, logistics, venue, and lodging expenses; determine your price based on whether it’s a corporate or social event; and provide a breakdown for each item such as transport, guides, admission, etc. Calculate the costs of each service and include your time and overhead, remembering you must pay for everything within the confines of the negotiated fee.

Percentage plus Hourly

Here your client may request a rate according to the percentage of expenses. This may not cover your time and services, so you need to calculate the number of preparation hours the event will require and then figure out your profit margin by estimating your flat fee plus 15 to18%.

Commissionable Rates

This method works with venues such as hotels, travel agencies, and other commissionable vendors. Transparency with your client is essential, proving that you are making choices that are not based on a high commission for your own profit.

Overseeing an Event

Perhaps your client has chosen the vendors and would like you to come in on the event day to make sure all runs smoothly. This is most common for weddings. Here you can charge by the hour or provide a flat fee for 8 to 10 hours. To determine the amount, include your preparatory work, which may start one month ahead.

Remember that pricing for events is not set in stone. Along the way, you will undoubtedly make many adjustments, determining what works for you based on your experience and level of service and details required.

Do you have a preferred method for charging for your events?  Share in the comments below!