Price Transparency: Event Planners Part III

preston bailey event planner kelly irwin

Yesterday, I wrote about event planners who use the flat fee method of charging. Today I want to discuss planners who charge an hourly fee.

Many years ago when I was planning my first event, I quickly realized how incredibly time-consuming planning is. I remember I was trying to arrange a meeting with my vendors and my client, and it took more than four hours to set up that one seemingly simple meeting.

This all leads me to my least favorite way of charging clients for planning services: By the hour!

How can you possibly determine precisely how many hours you spend planning an event? Do you charge clients for the many hours you spend thinking up creative ways to make their event extra exciting? Does the clock start ticking every time you answer an email or take a call? Personally, I think this method of charging is best left for lawyers.

Dear Readers, what is your opinion? For those of you who are planners and charge hourly, how did you determine what you’re worth by the hour? Please share it with us.

I also posed a question yesterday about how much you thought a NYC event planner would charge for the wedding I described. Most of you were right; the correct answer was D – none of the above. The going rate here in New York City for high-end events and weddings is complex. Typically, though, the cost is 20% of the total budget. So in the example I gave, the planning fee would be $50,000.

Next week I’ll continue my price transparency posts by writing about planners who charge a minimal fee and collect vendor commissions under the table.

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