2023 Independent Planner Pricing Report: How and How Much to Charge | WHITE PAPER

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Pricing is one of the most closely guarded and highly sought-after topics among independent meeting and event planners. Despite a real need for guidance and insight into how others charge for their services, such data has been scarce. The past few years have seen tumultuous change for this industry segment, whose ranks have swelled since the pandemic brought a wave of planner layoffs among corporations, associations and large third parties. Independent planning businesses have seen wild swings, many going from devastation in 2020 to steady recovery in late 2021 to record demand in 2022. Overall, planners are busier than ever — and more stressed than ever. The industry has been hit with dramatic price and wage spikes, unprecedented labor shortages, unpredictable business disruptions and new client demands. To maintain profitability in such an unsettled business environment, how, and how much, should they charge? The data provided here, from a joint survey by the Event Leadership Institute in partnership with Northstar Meetings Group and Explore Branson, holds valuable insight.

The survey was fielded from Dec. 5, 2022, to Jan. 2, 2023, generating 303 qualified responses. Respondents specified that they were independent planners and not currently employed by an association, corporation or large third-party planning organization.

Learning Objectives

  • List how much planners charge per hour, broken down by years of experience, home or office location, and other variables.
  • List how much planners make per event and per year, broken down by years of experience, home or office location, and other variables.
  • Identify which pricing models are the most widely used (e.g. flat fee, hourly fee, markup, percentage of budget, commission).
  • Identify how often planners take commissions, and the frequency with which they disclose them to their clients.

Course Information

Difficulty: All

CMP Credit Hours:

Speaker: Howard Givner Headshot

Howard Givner

With over 20 years of industry experience, Howard is a widely recognized expert and innovator in the field of special events, meetings and small business growth strategy. Howard is the Founder and Executive Director of the Event Leadership Institute, provider of best-in-class training and education for the events industry, through online, on-demand video classes, interviews with industry leaders, white papers, webinars and live events.

Howard is the founder of Paint The Town Red, Inc., and the former CEO of North America for Global Events Group, the 13th largest event agency in the world, which acquired Paint The Town Red in 2008. During his tenure the company won over 30 industry awards. He is a Past President of the ILEA (International Live Events Associate) NY Metro Chapter; has served on the board of directors of MPI (Meeting Professionals International) Greater NY Chapter as VP of Education; has served on the Advisory Board of Special Events Magazine; been a judge of the Gala Awards & HSMAI’s Adrian Awards.

He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences on a wide range of topics. He currently writes the monthly In Business column for Event Solutions magazine. He has been profiled in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, National Public Radio, ABC News, The Apprentice, and USA Today, in addition to numerous trade media.

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