The Event Planner’s Salary: What to Expect in 2020
2020 will be the year of the professional event planner!
Okay, maybe not. But it’s going to be a great year for planners in most parts of the world! You can expect your wages to increase, and if you’re running your own event planning business, you can expect a steady growth in clients (if you can handle them!). Here’s a quick breakdown.
The BLS (US Bureau of Labor Statistics) doesn’t yet have numbers for 2019/2020. However, the outlook for a 7%+ growth rate over the next 10 years is still looking good. In other words, the demand for event planners is on the rise – and rising faster than expected. This means higher wages for professional event planners, and especially for very experienced ones!
According to our research of job postings, a professional event planner in a large US city (with at least 1 year of job experience) can expect a median salary of $58,000 USD in 2020. On the high end of the range, this same event planner can have a salary up to $127,000 USD! Keep in mind, of course, that this will vary based on your location.
Increasing your rates
Whether you’re already a professional event planner or just breaking into the field, it’s good to know that there are many ways you can increase your rates. This means you can charge more for individual jobs, or earn a higher hourly salary.
- Experience is still the number one determining factor when it comes to your salary (with the possible exception of location). Not all experience is created equal, either. If you’re just launching your career, take special care to select the jobs that will be the most beneficial to your portfolio later on!
- Your job title is also a big one when it comes to the rates you can charge for your services. If you’re looking at job listings, job titles such as “event manager” or “director of events” will have a much higher salary than jobs listed as “event planner”. Of course, these usually call for more specialized education/experience.
- Your education is quite important, especially in your first few years when you don’t have tons of experience to fall back on. Both clients and employers are much more likely to hire an event planner at market rates if they have a guarantee that the planner’s been properly trained.
Millennials are getting married, having kids, and buying houses. These days, they’re among the group that’s most likely to hire professional event planners for their special occasions. Not to mention, all the baby boomers who are retiring from their jobs (hello, retirement party central!). Bottom line: it’s a great time to be an event and wedding planner.
There is plenty of work to go around, so you don’t have to fight other planners for contracts or clients. This also means you can set fair prices for you work, and have more freedom to choose the clients and jobs that will contribute the most to your portfolio.
You can best prepare yourself and your planning business by taking the following into consideration:
- Your client consultations will be more important than ever. Be sure you’re prepared with questions for potential clients, so that you can both be assured you’ll have a good working relationship.
- Be sure your event planner contract templates are in good shape, and are ready to be shared with (and scrutinized by!) potential clients.
- Take a few minutes to go over your website and social media feeds. Be sure there are no broken links, outdated images, outdated content, and/or other concerns that need to be addressed.
- Consider whether your business is ready to hire on another planner. Maybe even take on an intern. More hands on deck mean you should be able to take on more clients!
2020 will be a great year to expand your business and network for more jobs. Even if you’re just starting out, pay close attention to the event planning landscape in your area. Odds are, there’s a section of the industry that’s being under-served.
- If you’re in a middle-class area with a booming real-estate market, expect to see an influx of newlyweds in 2020. You can probably make a killing expanding into weddings and/or children’s parties.
- If you’re in an area with an aging population, you can probably offer specialized retirement party services for a fair chunk of change.
- Event planners in or near a downtown core should gear up for a year filled with corporate events. This is especially true if you’re in a metropolitan area that’s frequently the host of conventions and conferences.
- If you find yourself in a hip/trendy area with a younger demographic, consider adding “a la carte” or “day of” planning services. Young people don’t have tons of disposable income, so they likely won’t be able to hire you to plan a full But they would probably be very tempted to hire you for the parts of the event that they don’t want to deal with themselves.
- Event decorators will be in especially high demand this year! If you haven’t yet expanded into that area of the industry, now is the time!
All in all, 2020 will be an exciting and busy year for event and wedding planners. Play your cards right, and there are countless opportunities for you to expand your business and increase your salary.
Are you ready?