No matter how they charge for their services--a flat fee, cost of elements plus a markup percentage, or itemizing everything--independent event professionals are facing increasing pressure to justify the value of every event dollar. This was the consensus of a panel of special event professionals at the "Industry Pricing Summit," a session held during The Special Event 2006 in January in Dallas.
"When I started my company 22 years ago, I said, 'If you don’t charge a professional fee, no one will consider you a professional,'" said Mona Meretsky, CSEP, head of Comcor Event and Meeting Production in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. "Until our industry starts charging a fee upfront, we’ll never be recognized or paid the amount we should be for our capabilities. My company charges a professional fee for our creative services, but we list staffing on-site separately. Anything it takes to put the program together in the office is part of the professional fee."
"As a corporate planner, I would never pay for every piece of paper that a company uses to plan my event," said Dina Velasquez, CMP, of International Truck and Engine Corp., Chicago. "But it depends upon the scope of what’s involved. If the event company is duplicating 2,000 color copies specifically for my event, I would absorb that cost. But I don’t believe the client should be charged for the everyday tasks of running your event company."
The complete story appears in the April issue of Special Events Magazine; click here to see it.