It's 2018 and every week the team at Curate (that’s our new name! We’re the stemcounter team!) is talking with event professionals across the globe who are at all points of their business--from entrepreneurs to corporate level event professionals--who seem to have one common issue...
They struggle with pricing their events for the fairest profit.
It's a basic business principal: you have to be profitable. Yet so many event professionals have issues with pricing the value of their services in a way that is truly fair with what they are actually contributing. This issue manifests itself in different ways depending on the stage their business is in. Entrepreneurs tend to avoid wanting to add profitable markups because they're fearful that potential clients will turn them down. Small business owners aren't totally sure how to adjust their prices to reflect the new team members coming on board. Professionals who are moving up market are worried that their increased prices will lead to decreased profits as fewer leads are sales qualified.
Most often, the root of the issue is that many event professionals struggle with how to value themselves. While many have no issue charging what's needed for the flowers and to pay for their workspace, they struggle to consider what their markup should be to help pay their other personal expenses and have enough money left over to invest back into their business. We've often spoken with event professionals who say that, at one point or another, they’ve felt guilty charging higher rates for items that they felt didn’t really cost them very much--such as charging $8 for a $1 flower (markup plus labor plus service adds up!), $20 for an entree that cost $4 to make, or $200 for a vintage chair they found at a yard sale for $32.50.
The reality is that event professionals are not simply middle men who get the flowers, ingredients, or rental items together for a client and send them on their way. From the initial consultation through the warehouse walk-throughs, taste testings, design previews, the event professional's job is to flawlessly pull together the thousands of pieces that go into creating events that will never be forgotten... All while dealing with Pinterest brides with budgets that are more intimate than their inspiration boards, never ending calls and emails with changes to the proposal, and taste testings where the central entree gets a big thumbs down and the whole menu needs to be scratched. Event professionals often have to play the roles of best friend and psychologist for their clients and often spend hours late into each night trying to catch up on their basic administrative work because they spent too much time working on a fifteenth version of a proposal (which looks very similar to the first version) because the client absolutely needed it by the end of the day.
With all of that in mind, it's a wonder that so many event professionals consistently struggle to value their work for profitability. Here's the truth, plain and simple: you are worth it. You are worth the extra markup that you're going to invest in educational purposes and the additional labor fee you're charging for the client who wants a chunk of your time every day from the time they sign the contract to the time they say "I do." You are worth the higher rate on rental items you spent years tracking down to build out a perfect collection. You. Are. Worth. It.
It's time for event professionals to reject the idea of an industry standard and start pricing for what you're truly worth. Remember, pricing is not simply talking about raw materials, but the blood, sweat, and tears that you put into making each client feel so special and making their big event into the event of their dreams.
We would love to help you learn how to best price out your events and rentals! Check out our top Excel calculator downloads to start pricing what you're truly worth and what you need to be profitable: