Owning an event planning business can be a lot. There are so many moving pieces! From the backend and managing your team to producing flawless events that keep clients coming back time and time again—it’s neverending. Add a pandemic to the mix and you’ve got yourself a whole new layer of complexity. Throughout the pandemic, EventMB found that nearly half of planners experienced a loss of income.
Furthermore, 3.1% had to close their business. Only 12.6% saw a positive impact on their event business. If we had to guess, those who experienced positive growth were likely the businesses who shifted to virtual and hybrid event production. All that said, one question most event business owners are asking is if you need to raise your event rates to make more money post-pandemic. The answer isn’t cut and dry. But what you can do is ask yourself the below questions to decide what steps to take next.
Did you receive pandemic support for your event business that can help?
Countries like the U.S. and Canada generated economic response plans to help support those businesses impacted by COVID-19. While just over half reported receiving government support, 49.4% told EventMB reported they did not. And of those who did receive government support, only 6.3% said it was sufficient to maintain their business at pre-COVID operation levels. Based upon the numbers, few who received government support can use that money to stay afloat. If you’re one of the many event planners struggling with that, it could be time to increase rates. Or you could pivot your business to a virtual and hybrid event model to increase revenues and get your event business back on track.
Are you shifting your event business model?
This leads us to the next question. Have you shifted your in-person events business to serve virtual and hybrid event clients? Less than 1 in 5 companies have reached even a quarter of their pre-pandemic business travel spend, directly impacting the event space. This, plus the fact that over 70% haven’t been able to host a successful in-person event in the past six months, means reduced spend for live events overall.
So if you’re sticking to your in-person event services only, you may want to increase your production cost. Since the number of events happening altogether is less, you need to make more money on events happening. But, if you’re shifting to virtual and hybrid events (here’s a blog to help you decide if that’s right for you), the key is marketing. With successful marketing, business will roll in so you may not have to raise your event business rates. Of course, you can still charge a premium for your expertise! However, you won’t need to charge more due to a lack of business opportunities. Believe us. We’ve seen the demand!
Have your costs increased?
Part of owning a successful event production business is ensuring your costs are fully covered. Whether you charge a retainer that’s a percentage of event spend or a flat rate on top of your clients’ event production costs, you must always factor in those costs, so your fees don’t take a hit.
Right now, virtual events are saving money versus in-person events for many. Yes, you’re still paying fees for the platform and increased audiovisual spend, but you’re likely not paying costly travel or venue fees. So, in this case, you may be able to stick to your standard fees. However, if you’re sticking to in-person or hybrid events, this may be a time where you do need to increase.
Venues are increasingly charging event service fees above and beyond that standard 20+%. They have to cover increased staffing costs on the venue side of things. Plus, they may charge more for a “safe service” event. This includes more single-serve packaged items, higher PPE and cleaning costs, etc. You also have to pay attention to the increase in audiovisual fees. Streaming requires greater internet bandwidth, more audiovisual labor, and setup fees. It can add up quickly. You want to make sure your client is aware they’re responsible for these costs and potentially charge more for the increased time you’ll spend on logistics producing both live and virtual events in one.
If You Need Help Figuring Out the Next Step for Your Event Business, 1-on-1 Coaching with Alecia May Will Help.
It all comes down to time and money. If you’re spending more time and money producing events now, without ample government support, yes, you raise your event business rates to make more money pandemic. But it’s important to know that you could just be covering the increased costs of doing business.
If you want expert help on how to ensure your events business stays afloat during these turbulent times for the event industry, Alecia May our Founder & CEO of Eventistry by Alecia can help. She’s offering limited one-on-one coaching spots for event business owners and planners looking to make money in this new era of events. She’s done it successfully and is ready to help you do the same! Schedule your consultation today to see if 1-on-1 coaching with Alecia is a fit for you—time is running out to register and there are only a few spots left!