Business, General Tips, Your Event Career
Raising Your Professional Event Planning Prices
If you research the going rate in your area, you’ll see that there’s an average price that event and wedding planners charge for basic services. You’ll also find, however, that there are some planners with more experience and a wider array of services who charge a little more.
Many professional event planners worry about making a smooth transition into higher prices so that their clients aren’t discouraged from booking them. Raising your prices as your experience increases shouldn’t be a reason to lose clientele!
How can you tell when you’re ready to raise your prices?
You might consider raising your prices if:
- You’ve recently mastered a new skill or obtained an additional certification.
- You’ve gained a few years of experience and the going rate in your area has risen, but your prices are the same as when you first started working.
- You’ve worked several prestigious contracts and your client base has expanded significantly.
- You’re so busy you’re having to turn clients away, yet you’re turning a very small profit (or none at all!).
The key to raising your prices is to do so gradually and when it’s justified.
If you’ve only been working for a few months and you realize planners around you are suddenly charging more, evaluate why that could be:
- Do they have more years of experience?
- Did they recently graduate from another training program?
You want to take steps towards increased prices that benefit both you and your clientele. Offering something new makes clients feel like it’s worth it to pay a little extra!
Here are five tactics for increasing your event planning prices in ways that offer your clients more for their money while also benefitting you. If you’re succeeding at your current level of professionalism and feel confident in the idea of moving forward, consider taking one of these steps.
1. Creating service packages
Consider creating fun pricing packages for clients who want more than one service at once. You’ll be able to charge more because more services are being rendered, and the clients will be willing to pay more because they’re getting more for their money.
Some popular event planning packages are:
- Planning services and also complete décor services.
- Going above and beyond coordinating the event and also organizing travel and accommodations for guests.
- Packages that offer planning services for the initial event, but then also for one or more additional party (ex. some wedding planners offer packages that include coordination of bridal showers and stag and doe parties).
2. Completing additional training
Learn a new skill
Expanding your services and improving your techniques is one of the best reasons to raise your prices. When you learn new techniques or trends, clients will see that your skills are fresh and that you’re being proactive about bettering yourself as a professional.
They’ll also be excited about the idea of new services, new techniques, and new combination packages. The more you can offer clients, the more they’ll be willing to pay. For example, it’s more convenient for clients if you can offer planning AND décor services, rather than planning alone.
Improve your existing skills
Training to enhance your current skillset is also hugely beneficial. If you can further your skills by learning from some industry experts, you’ll be regarded as a more qualified professional and an increase in your base prices will be completely justified. Clients won’t mind paying a little more if they know just how qualified you are!
3. Using higher quality products and vendors
Investing in better quality service is worth it for both you and the people you’re planning for. More reputable vendors provide better quality service and products, making them worth the money. The same goes for higher quality décor. Using finer china, spending more on centerpieces, etc. usually adds an elegance to an event that clients are more than willing to pay for (if they have the budget).
Make sure that you invest in products and services based on quality and not price alone. Just because a vendor is the most expensive doesn’t mean they offer the best quality on the market. Do some research and get to know your brands and businesses. Choose products and services that give clients their money’s worth and charge accordingly.
4. Offer workshops
Event planners can do more for their clients than just coordinate parties! Along with your planning packages, offer to actually teach your clients and advise them about products, vendors, and planning tactics.
The more they learn from you during your session together, the better they’ll feel about hosting events. You’re helping them build confidence, learn new techniques, and improve their organizational skills. What’s better than creating a fellow event enthusiast? They’ll be willing to pay increased prices for the chance to throw an event that compares to one of yours.
5. On a case-by-case basis
If you’re not quite ready to raise your overall rates, you can still evaluate your prices according to the individual contract. Don’t hesitate to charge a little extra if clients need an extra commitment from you.
For example, contracts that require you to travel or clients who want to rent furniture or decor from your stock directly will understand that these details are above and beyond your regular packages.
Charge what you’re worth
Pricing your services well is always worth it. Your clients will value getting professional planning for a fair price. Once you’ve built a client base and gained some industry experience, your clients will also understand when you raise your prices based on your ability to offer them better services than ever.
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