Event Planner Salary Guide: From Freelancer to Franchise Owner
Published On: November 5, 2023Categories: Uncategorized5.4 min read
The event planning industry is a vibrant field for people with a passion for organizing and executing memorable occasions. Are you considering a career in event planning? Are you curious about potential earnings? How much do event planners make? Learn the wide range of event planner salaries and what you could earn with each business opportunity.
An upsurge in events following the lifting of COVID-related shutdowns sent the event planning industry soaring, and organizers scrambled to fulfill service requests. Although business is normalizing, the U.S. market size for party and event planners generated an impressive $5.6 billion in 2022. Customers want over-the-top celebrations with high energy and unique touches. Creating memorable events comes down to the details, and people rely on event planners to make their occasion a success. At least 29% of couples rely on the services of a wedding planner to coordinate their big day.
Independent Event Planner Pay
Starting as an independent event planner is a route many entrepreneurs take. It offers flexibility, the freedom to choose projects, and the ability to build a brand from scratch. Typically, independent event planners charge either a flat fee, an hourly rate, or a percentage of the total event cost.
On average, freelance event planners can earn anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour, depending on their experience, location, and the complexity of the event, according to Business Yield. For larger events, some planners opt for a percentage model, usually taking 10% to 20% of the total event budget. If you’re organizing a grand wedding with a budget of $100,000, you could earn up to $20,000 for a single event.
However, being independent also means you’re responsible for all business expenses, from marketing to equipment, which can put a dent in your event planner salary. Plus, the income can be inconsistent, especially when you’re just getting started. There are nearly 112,000 event planners in the U.S., with the highest concentrations in Florida, California, and Texas. Gaining traction in a crowded market can be difficult. Special events, particularly weddings, tend to be once-in-a-lifetime occasions, and customers want assurance a planner will be able to pull the event together without a hitch. You’ll need to establish a solid reputation and portfolio to build a loyal customer base.
The Franchise Owner Route
Transitioning to or starting as a franchise owner in the event planning industry with Complete Weddings + Events can be a game-changer. Our event-planning model is an affordable, low-cost franchise business that does not require a brick-and-mortar location. With an initial investment of $56,820 to $71,070, we can help you break into the event planning marketplace. We take care of the details so that you can focus on running the business. Here’s how franchising can get you a head start:
● Stability: Franchises often come with a built-in client base, thanks to the brand’s established reputation, leading to a more consistent stream of events and a steadier income.
● Support and training: Franchises like Complete Weddings + Events offer comprehensive training programs, ensuring you’re well-equipped to handle all aspects of the business. Having support can be invaluable, especially if you’re new to the industry.
● Multiple revenue streams: With an event planning franchise, you’re not just limited to wedding planning. Complete Weddings + Events, for instance, offers photography, videography, DJ services, and more, allowing you to tap into various income sources, such as anniversary parties, corporate events, school functions, and more.
So, how do franchise owners get paid? Typically, they earn money from each event they organize, with a percentage going to the franchisor as a royalty fee. The exact amount can vary, but with the added services and the brand’s reputation, potential earnings can be significant.
As a franchise owner, your event planner salary will be a combination of the fees from each event minus the operational costs and the franchisor’s royalty fees. Given the diverse services offered by franchises like Complete Weddings + Events, it’s not uncommon for franchisees to earn a six-figure income annually.* Your earnings will depend on the number of events, the services provided, and the location.
Boost Your Earnings Potential
Your event planner salary often depends on a variety of external factors and unforeseen circumstances that might impact profitability. Partnering with a franchise may increase your chances of meeting your financial and lifestyle goals. But no matter how you choose to start your business, in addition to conducting thorough market research and having a solid business plan, there are six steps you can take to increase the likelihood of success.
1. Financial planning: Understanding your costs is essential. You’ll have startup costs, operational expenses, and any other costs associated with running your business. By setting a budget and regularly reviewing your finances, you can manage costs and make sure your pricing strategy aligns with your financial goals. The Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) can give you insights into how other locations perform.
2. Adaptability: The business landscape is always changing. Being able to adapt to market changes, customer preferences, and other external factors is crucial for long-term profitability.
3. Continuous learning: Stay updated with industry trends, attend workshops, and seek feedback. The more you learn and adapt, the better positioned you’ll be to make informed decisions. From long-time leaders and sales innovators in the events industry to branding, operations, and post-production experts, the Complete Weddings + Events corporate team is there to train and guide franchise owners every step of the way.
4. Build a strong online presence: In today’s digital age, having an impactful online presence can significantly raise your profitability. At a bare minimum, you’ll need a user-friendly website, active social media profiles, and positive online reviews. Every Complete Weddings franchise owner gains access to marketing materials and online resources to help build your business.
5. Networking: Building relationships with other business owners, suppliers, and potential customers can open up opportunities for collaborations, partnerships, and referrals.
6. Seek expert advice: Don’t hesitate to seek advice from mentors, business consultants, or other experts in your industry. They can provide valuable insights and guidance. Having a network of franchisees can be a great resource for sharing best practices and lessons learned.
Walk Down the Aisle of Success with Us!
If you’re keen on maximizing your earnings, enjoying the perks of an established brand, and having access to continuous training and support, partnering with a franchise like Complete Weddings + Events is a compelling option. Get started to learn more about helping people create memories with Complete Weddings + Events.
*This is a historical representation of what some of Complete Weddings + Events franchised agencies earned, as described further in Item 19 of the FDD.