How Event Planners Make Money: A Comprehensive Guide

Event planning is a lucrative business, and many people are turning to it as a way to make money. Most event planners use a “cost plus” method to value their service fees, which is the total cost to the customer. This usually amounts to between 10 and 20 percent of the total cost of the event, with an average of 15 percent. For example, Bernadette Coveney Smith from 14 Stories offers wedding planning services for LGBTQ couples, ranging from traditional wedding planning needs to more specific needs such as “escape” packages.

Social media plays an important role in the event planning industry, with 46 percent of brides being influenced by a provider's presence on social media and 34 percent having contacted a provider through social media. However, word of mouth is still the most important factor when it comes to attracting new customers, with 52 percent of brides turning to family and friends offline first for recommendations.

Event planners must charge between 15 and 20 percent of the total cost of an event as part of their fee. This is usually enough to cover the entire cost and source of benefits for the planner. Many places make money selling alcohol and food, and if you promise to attract a crowd to your establishment, they may not charge any fees. Networking with caterers and bands can help you with your business, but networking with customers can help increase your salary.

You don't need formal qualifications to become an event organizer, but having a degree in hospitality can help you interact with people and learn how to talk business in the world of event planners. There is also a growing market for 'wedding coaching', in which event planners advertise themselves as part organization experts and part therapists and shoulders to cry on. Virtual events are becoming increasingly popular due to Covid-19, so now is an opportunity to become an expert in planning virtual events.

When it comes to making money as an event planner, you need to be specific about the types of events you specialize in. You can mark operating expenses such as shipping, car rental, and other miscellaneous expenses by up to 15-20%. Whether you're starting an event planning business for social events, business events, or a combination of both, you need to know how to charge for services.

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