E.L.I. Releases 2016 Planner Pricing White Paper: How, & How Much, Planners Charge

Posted by , on August 17th, 2016

Survey of 516 Independent Planners Shows 54$ Charge A Flat Fee; 53% Earn $5K or Less Per Event

The Event Leadership Institute (ELI) today released its 2016 Planner Pricing Report: How & How Much, Independent Planners Charge, which breaks down the results of a survey of 516 independent corporate and social event planners.

Pricing Model Chart

Supported by over 25 charts and graphs, the white paper analyzes a variety of pricing trends for independent or third party planners, or owners of event companies. Among the findings:

  • The most common hourly rate charged is in the $50-99 per hour range, with 40% falling into this category.
  • The most popular pricing model is a flat fee, used by 54% of respondents.
  • 35% of planners accept commissions at some point from vendors, 22% from venues.
  • Of those who do accept commissions, 54% never tell their clients about it.
  • 42% of independent planners earn $50,000 per year or less.
  • 33% of independent planners earn $2,500 or less per event.
  • 14% are not sure how much they make per event.

Hourly Rates Chart

ELI further breaks down the data based on years of experience, type of event (corporate, non profit, or social), whether the planner works from home or an external office, and other variables.

This is ELI’s second such survey and paper; an earlier version was conducted in 2013, and the current version also dissects key trends between the two surveys. Some notable differences:

  • Fewer planners work from home in 2016 (49%) than in 2013 (64%).
  • Planner companies are larger. In 2013 almost half (47%) of respondents were solo practitioners, compared to 32% this year. The percentage of planners whose companies had over 20 people rose from 6% in 2013 to 24% in 2016.
  • Fewer planners take commissions from venues. In 2016, 78% said they never take commissions, up from 66% in 2013.
  • Perhaps the most surprising finding: Fewer planners disclose their commissions. In 2013 32% said they never told clients about commissions they took. That figure rose to 54% this year.

In addition to the white paper, ELI will be hosting a webinar to walk through the results in greater detail on August 30, 2016 at 1 pm EDT . To receive a copy of the Executive Summary or the full White Paper, and any of the charts or graphs, please contact us.

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