How Much Can You Earn as an Event Planner

You won’t get rich as n event planner, but you can earn a good, solid income. Overnight? No. But with patience, the right training, and lots of practice, event planning can become a well-worth-it career for you — just as it has been for me.

There isn’t an ultra clear-cut “you will earn X” answer for the question of earnings.

Earnings for an event planner generally fall between $50 – $99/hour. There are opportunities where you may make less or more than this range, but this range tends to be average.

Event planners pay varies according to several factors:

  1. Demographic area. You may be offered opportunities to plan events for individuals who don’t have the funds to pay what other people might. These jobs are still a valuable experience, and we encourage our students not to turn away these jobs just because they’re lower paying. Any “real world” experience is valuable!
  2. Type of events. There are two main types of events. 
Social Events – weddings, parties, birthday celebrations, reunions, fundraisers, and baby showers. Typically once-in-a-lifetime events, social event planning tends to be more emotional (and fun!) and you’ll work with brides, parents, couples, families and possibly corporate clients who are hosting clients. Corporate Events – meetings, conventions, incentive events, or team building events. As a corporate event planner, it’s your job to make business meetings a success. Planning corporate events has you making lists and checking them twice and typically the goal is to create an atmosphere of education that moves the company’s goals forward.
  3. A difficulty of a particular event. If your rate is set as a flat fee, this means you’ll only make a certain amount to plan the event, and it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to plan it. You’ll get paid the same. Usually, this isn’t a problem, but if you don’t know how long it’ll take you to plan the event and you don’t allocate time for things going wrong and taking longer than planned, it can take you longer and affect your bottom line.
  4. Deadlines. All events have a start and finish time and deadlines are the ultimate dates that a task or project is due.  Missing task deadlines can cost you more money, for example, if you didn’t print your marketing collateral on time and it’s now a ‘rush job,’ this will cost you.
  5. Listening. The better you listen, the better you’ll be. Making decisions for your event and your clients in involve saving great listening skills. If you don’t understand what your client is talking about, you’ll miss things and right your event will be a mess.

Event planning isn’t usually paid “by the event” in a traditional sense. A good event planner knows how long it’ll take her to plan an event, her expenses and how to charge so she makes money.

There are a few different methods of charging clients and being paid, but the most popular are the “per hour” method. If you are charging $75/hour and the event takes you 100 hours to complete, you will have earned $7500. Pretty good!

Another method is the “percentage” method. Experienced event planners seem to use this method more than newbie planners. In this case, you are paid a percentage of the event budget. An event planner using this method can expect to charge between 15-25% of the budget.

Finally, there is the flat rate method. Obviously, this is where you charge one flat rate to plan the event. It’s important to know how long it’ll take you to plan the event from start to finish if you’re going to use this method. It’s also advisable that you have minimum charges when using the flat rate method.

Again, a lot is dependent on demographic location and your skill level. The higher your skill level, the more you can charge — so if you want to increase your earning potential, it’s a great idea to get high-quality training to help make that happen a lot sooner.