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How Much Should You Charge for Event Planning Services in New York?

By Susan Douglin



Knowing what to charge for your event planning services in New York is a scuffle that many NYC Event Planners experience at one point in their career or another because there are many components that can affect your fees.

Designing a solid pay scale for event planning services in New York from the very beginning is one of the most vital decisions you’ll make when you launch your events business. You don’t want to charge too little and lose money and you surely don’t want to set your rates extremely high and price yourself out of getting hired for the event planning jobs. So, while you’re creating your business plan you should decide if you’ll be charging a flat fee or an hourly rate.

How Much Should I Charge for Event Planning Services in New York?

Most NYC event planners start their careers with charging a nominal hourly rate ($100/hr is quite a common number when you’re just starting up, and don’t have an office) and they’ll often take a retainer that is used against the time spent on the event. A good minimum retainer (or deposit) to charge your client is $2500 (approximately 30hr of work). You should also make sure that your invoice to the client is fully paid 30 days prior to the event. Be sure to have everything outlined in your contract which is wise to have created through a lawyer. Typically event planning services in New York don’t have an attorney or paralegal so they use a service like Rocket Lawyer to find and customize a contract that fits.

If you choose to charge an hourly rate, you should track your hours for each event and send an invoice to the client at the beginning of each month.

If you choose to charge a flat fee, still track your hours because that’s a good way to gauge how many hours you put into each phase of the planning process. It may even help you realize that perhaps you should change over to an hourly rate.

After 6 months of planning events, review all of your invoices and look at the hours it took you to plan each event. This will allow give your clients a more precise budget estimates when doing the math between the time to plan their events and the overall cost.

48% of Independent Event Planners Charge$50-99/hr For Their Services

Most event planning services in New York will tell you that after years of experience, they’ve changed their fee scale to include a 10-15% planning fee plus a 10% service fee to cover to help cover overhead and miscellaneous expenses. Your event fees should be fully disclosed (highly recommended) to the client because they are responsible for paying all outside resources and event vendors.

There’s no one-size-fits-all rate card for event planners in New York and there many variables to consider before you elect what price and fee structure is the right one for you.

An event planner in the New York City area can charge more than an event planner in Suffolk County, Long Island. You have to consider the difference in the size of the city, per capita income and the types of events these two (extremely different) cities would need. Using New York City prices in Long Island would mean spending most of your days staring at the phone hoping clients will call you. Not to mention, using Long Island prices in New York City might get you more work than you can handle which would send you straight into the red very quickly, and possibly out of business within your first few bookings.

It’s crucial for you to know what price structure your area can afford. Remaining competitive helps you build your event planning services in New York portfolio so that you can grow your business and become the event planner to call on in your area.

3 Things to Remember About Your Rates for Event Planning Services in New York

  1. It’s key to price your services right for ideal sales, profit margins, cash flow, and branding.
  2. Be consistent with your rates.
  3. Be confident with your rates.

The above items will demonstrate that you’re a professional who knows how to get the job done, which will in turn lead to more work (and more income) for you!




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