Price and Value In Events

Event Planning BudgetPricing and budgets are always important when planning events. You don’t have an unlimited budget and usually one of the first questions asked of an event planner is “How much is this going to cost?”

At Pierce Events we serve three very different and distinct clients.

  1. Social event clients who are planning a private event on a limited budget.
  2. Corporate clients with larger budgets and internal and marketing goals
  3. Non-Profit clients who are looking for fund raising opportunities and a solid return on event investments

Creating a pricing structure for a variety of clients, budgets and events can be a challenge. Pricing need to work of all parties involved. Social events require a different pricing structure than corporate and non-profit events. Many social event planners charge a time based fee. Depending on the type of event a planner creates, average hourly rates vary greatly.

Corporate event planners may change a flat fee or planning and project fee based on cost and time estimates. Often we plan an event with a specific budget defined. Choices and vendors are chosen based upon the budget restrictions.

At Pierce Events, we plan and produce events from coast to coast. Our internal costs of vendors, labor and staffing varies based upon geographic location. Everything from time of the year to local tax rates can impact the cost of events.

While pricing is certainly important to most clients, choosing the lowest bidder in events is often a mistake. It’s just as important to consider value along with pricing. Spending more with an event planner or company that has experience, vendor connections and production knowledge is money well spent.

It’s important to remember that a large portion of the money paid to planners does not remain with them. From the fees we charge clients, we pay venues, vendors, equipment rental, permits and license fees among other costs.

Educated clients are often the best clients and provide for a powerful working relationship. Be sure communication is clear and your planner understands your budget and goals.

Pierce Events

Should You Be An Event Planner?

People are often interested in what we do as event planners and producers. We love sharing what we know, what we learn and the challenges we face along the way. We want people to be interested, because what we do is for them. We need a audience for what we do. Yet it’s rare that someone actually sees the true planning process from beginning to end.

Most people considering a career in the event industry have an interest sparked by events they were personally involved in. They planned college events, family parties, maybe a wedding. That’s a great introduction to the event world, but it’s also a very small deceiving part of it.

An event can be everything from a meeting or conference to a fundraiser, product launch or marketing effort. A good planner must be able to adapt to different personalities, budget constraints, deadlines, changes and keep track of every detail along the way. So to answer the often asked question of “what do event planners do”?…. the answer is everything.

For someone truly interested in being a part of the event industry a journey of self discovery is required. The journey never ends and you must adapt and change with each new trend, each new client and each new challenge. You have to create your own success formula, your own style and your own clients who believe in you and what you do. It’s part sales, part production and part smoke and mirrors. You can’t show anyone an event until it’s happening. The idea in your head is only seen by you, so you must find people who trust in your idea. People who trust in you.

It’s never easy and I can’t tell you how to do it. What I can tell you is this, embrace failure. It’s the best teacher there is. Abandon all hope of a normal, stress free life. You will do things and go places most people never will, but there is a price to pay for it.

Get a sense of humor and learn to laugh at the person in the mirror. Be real. Never offend on purpose, but don’t be afraid to speak your mind even at the risk of offending. Understand that you don’t want everyone as a client. Nurture your drive, confidence, patience, listening skills, always deliver more than promised and never take anyone for granted.

Those are principles for life, not just event people.

Should you be an event planner? Probably not, but you already knew that. All planners do.

Plan Like a Pro – Corporate Events

So you are in charge of planning an event. Our first suggestion is to hire a pro. If you can’t, we have some tips for you.

Plan it out No matter the type of event you’re planning, you need to map out a strategy. What’s the goal of your event? Are you introducing a new product or service to customers? Running a demo for analysts or prospects?

Whether your end goal is to get in front of key influencers or present before a group of executives, you’ll want a strategy. Look at your audience, what message will resonate with them and how you are going to measure results?

Budget Once you have your goals, you need to consider how much it will cost to accomplish those goals. Make a checklist of every item and the cost. This can include signs, invitations, graphic design, food, beverages, entertainment, etc. Consider all the little things that add up. What are you wants and needs. Deside and develop a price tag. Don’t lie to yourself on this step. Many people do!

Time and Place?  Who are you hosting? Executives or managers? Is it a presentation or a mixer? Is this event part of brand awareness?

The answers should determine when and where your event is held. If you’re targeting busy executives, consider a breakfast or lunch. A networking event is best  in the evening. A presentation is best in a hotel or conference room.

Be aware of how our surroundings influence your guests and thier expectations.

Invite The invitation to your event is one of the most important aspects of the entire planning process. You don’t want to send out the first invite too early or too late. Three weeks out is standard. If you want to get on executives’ calendars, send it out even earlier. A detailed, elaborate invite for a dinner event is appropriate, but you may want to be more simple and straight to the point if you’re presenting a demo. Include directions and who to contact for information. Make it easy to be an attendee.

Keep track of responses. Those who have RSVP’d should receive reminders that differ in timing and message than those who haven’t.

Attend the Event Before the Event Visit the venue and imagine your event.  Envision how you want attendees to experience the event. Everything from parking to the food should be considered. What signs need to be in place to avoid confusion? Where should you station staff? You want to understand what your guests will see from the time they arrive to the time they depart.