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CostHelper > Small Business  > Event Planner

Event Planner Cost


How Much Does an Event Planner Cost?

 
low costHourly Consultations: $40-$250 Per Houraverage costFull-Service Event Planner: 15%-20% of Event Budget
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Not to be confused with a wedding planner, an event planner may work independently or on behalf of a company to organize and implement events such as parties, conferences, meetings and trade shows.

Typical costs:

  • Hourly consultations with an event planner typically cost $40-$250 per hour. For $100 per hour, Laura Jennifer Events[1] in North Carolina offers advice on etiquette, customs, design ideas and budget management.
  • Hiring a full-service event planner, meaning someone hired to manage an entire event, typically cost 15%-20% of the total event budget. Often, this is called an event planning package. Smith's Event Planning in Alabama charges 15% of the total event budget for their services, which includes securing a venue choosing decorations and suggesting vendors, with half of the fee due upon signing the contract. For a $10,000 event, the host would budget an additional $1,500 to $2,000 to pay the event planner. Other examples include a $3,000 bar mitzvah (add $450 to 600 for event planning) or a $1.2 million conference (add $180,000 to $240,000 for event planning.)
  • High-end event planning costs vary, especially in metropolitan areas like New York City. Event-planning consultations with Save the Date[2] can cost $2,500 and total event coordination costs up to $35,000. Corporate events planned by New York's David Tutera can cost $250,000 for an event with 175 guests. Event planners who charge the highest fees generally have more than a decade of experience and have been featured in the press.
Related articles: Public Address System, Wedding Planner

What should be included:
  • Event planning packages should include several consultations as well as day-of event coordination.
  • A full-service event planner should work with the host to research and refer vendors to provide the venue, decor, menu and entertainment. Additional services may vary between vendors. For instance, Austin-based company The Simplifiers[3] says its corporate event planning services include risk management, working with keynote speakers, coordinating registration, negotiating group hotel rates and creating a day-of timeline, among other tasks. When working with hourly event planners, it's important to communicate expectations so both parties know what tasks will be completed.
  • Following the host's budget, the planner should negotiate vendor fees and contracts, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics[4] . Event planners that charge a percentage of the budget do not have an incentive to negotiate lower rates with vendors. If budget is a concern, this should be communicated up front.
Additional costs:
  • Because the event planner's fee is determined up front, tipping is not required. However, a thank-you card or gift card are welcome if the event coordinator did an outstanding job.
Discounts:
  • One advantage to hiring an event planner is the potential of saving money on vendors with whom the planner has a good, working relationship. Ask if the event planner can get discounts on printing, catering or entertainment and have them work those figures into the overall budget.
Shopping for an event planner:
  • 365 Event Planner[5] lists seven tips for hiring an event planner, such as negotiating a payment schedule so the final payment is not due until after a successful event.
  • A trade group for event planners, Meeting Professionals International[6] lists individual chapters by region. Contact the chapter representative, who can recommend a local and reputable event planner.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.laurajenniferevents.com/packages.htm
  2.  www.savethedate.com/services.html
  3.  thesimplifiers.com/event-planning/corporate-planning/
  4.  www.bls.gov/ooh/Business-and-Financial/Meeting-convention-and-event-planners.htm
  5.  www.365eventplanner.com/hiring-an-event-planner.html
  6.  www.mpiweb.org/Community/Chapters
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