October 10, 2017. Marketing Author: Sophie Jackson

How to Avoid Hidden Event Planning Fees

If you’ve been involved in planning events you’ll possibly have been in this position before. Finalising the budget for your event and then realising that you are suddenly over your anticipated budget amount. 

How could this have happened? You budgeted everything you could, but the final numbers tell a different story. 

How Hidden Event Planning Fees Occur

There are a number of ways that a hidden event planning fee comes to your attention. Many times, I find that costs are added during the live event, that you don’t see the financial implications until you get the final bill. 

Before giving direction to vendors, you need to make sure of the cost implications and ensure everyone is on the same page or that your budget allows for additions prior to you adding them. Items like additional AV or AV support on the day that wasn’t planned and bar bills can add up if you aren’t careful. 

Some Event Planning Budget Items to Consider:

  • Conference Calls
  • Corkage
  • Credit card processing fees
  • Onsite printing
  • Misc. or last minute audio visual (e.g. projector, screen, power, flipcharts)
  • Office supplies (e.g. pens, paper, pads)
  • Onsite Staffing Hourly Charges
  • Service Charges
  • Staff and vendor Expenses while onsite
  • Wifi Access

If you are looking for a way to protect your budget from some of these items, think about adding a contingency line to give your budget some padding.

To do this, estimate anywhere from 5-10% of your total costs and include it within your budget to protect you, in case you get any great ideas or additions that might come after your initial budget. 

Alternatively, you can speak to the venue and make sure you get a clear list of costs for any additional items. If you are planning for a client, they will love you for this as they will then ensure that the right amount of money is set aside, and that you can ensure you are under budget. 

A lot of venues are quite helpful with this and will give you a list of additional costs you may accrue on the day, however I’ve know some unhelpful ones too! If I were you, I’d always push them for this. 


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