In the meetings and events industry the way that an event is priced can be all over the map. It can vary from company to company. I’m not talking about the range of pricing here. Rather it’s how the price is presented. Some companies, perhaps in an effort to avoid clutter, present an event’s price as a per person cost. Others present the pricing by item line –  showing the cost of each component of the event (transportation, food and beverage costs, entertainment etc.).

Looking at a budget worksheet for an off-site event, you can see that there are many items that make up the overall budget/price. In the screenshot here, each component of the event has its own item line. There is also a per person cost provided at the bottom, which simply takes the total cost and divides it by the number of people attending. See how to set up your budget pricing worksheet (including downloading a template) here.

Event Pricing – Sometimes Less Is Not Best

There are companies that prefer to present only the per-person cost and keep all of the item line costs as backup. Now I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, per se. However, in my experiences, providing the pricing breakdown of an event to a client helped them understand how we arrived at the overall price. And many times there were less queries because of the way that the price was presented. If a meeting planner needed to reduce the overall cost, then we could review and discuss which items could be eliminated. That’s a lot harder to do if the planner is only looking at a per-person cost.

The “per-person” approach is common when pricing attractions and tours while many planners prefer to see a more detailed cost breakdown when pricing off-site events.

Another bonus of being transparent with pricing, or budgeting, is that it can help dispel some worries that many planners have about working with third parties, such as destination management companies (DMC’s). Some believe that they are unable to work with third parties because of budget constraints. While it’s true that a DMC, for example, is a for-profit company, there are many times and instances where these third parties can work with meeting planners to save money (after all, they are the local experts). It’s my belief that being transparent with pricing will only help demonstrate this.

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When it comes to pricing, or proposing, an off-site event, the more information that you can provide to potential clients, the better equipped they’ll be to make a decision.

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