Price Transparency: Event Planners

Preston Bailey Wedding Planner Kelly Irwin

Vendors, if you think you have a hard time charging for your flowers or your cakes or your lighting, just be glad you’re not a wedding planner! I think planners have the hardest time charging what they’re really worth.

And, naturally, I have great admiration for the time and energy that goes into planning an event. Unfortunately, most clients don’t have a clue how hard planners must work.

Over the years, I’ve worked with lots of planners. And, now, my company offers in-house planning services. (In fact, that’s my talented in-house event planner, Kelly Irwin, above!)

So, I’ve got a pretty good idea of what it means to be a planner. This week I’d like to discuss price transparency in the planning industry. Please keep in mind that my only goal is to help our clients better understand why we charge what we do.

The way I see it, there are a few ways to charge for planning services:

1. Charge a flat fee for all client planning needs. In this case, you’re estimating the time and effort necessary to create a successful event.

2. Charge an hourly fee. You maintain an hourly rate, and charge clients accordingly.

3. Charge a percentage of the event. Here, your planning fee is a percentage of what your clients are spending on the entire event.

4. Day-of Services. Instead of providing full-planning services, you charge a fee for managing the event day-of.

5. Charge a low planning fee, and collect commissions from vendors (without your client’s knowledge).

In the coming days, I’ll review in depth the pros and cons of using each of these five charging methods. I’ll also give you an idea of what planners actually charge.

But, for today, which of these charging methods do you think is best? Why?

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