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Estimates of Charges, and Charging for Estimates

So, I know this is a little dry as a topic, and a whole lot less flowery than I can sometimes make these posts, but I did think a quick trip back in to reality was not such a bad thing. As such, a topic that can sometimes be a very big bug bear, and something that can be the difference between making and losing money on an event – “The estimate of charges”.


The clue of course is in the name, but all to often, and especially in the market at the moment where clients are so aware of every penny they are spending – theirs or someone else’s – if we don’t cover ourselves from the off, committing to a set price for any item only when we are 100% sure that the goal posts will not be moving thereafter, then in the event that for whatever reason we need to make a change, the leeway is not there to do so. More so, when a client thinks that they are not asking for much, as they request “just two more floral displays” and that this should be included in any set price, you find yourself in the uncomfortable position of having to push back and explain why you just can’t afford to do this.

So, a couple of  key pointers for the journey…..

Provide yourself with breathing space by always quoting a “from” price. This then allows for movement, and whilst clients may only look at the lowest price for any item, in the event they add that fourth course or additional display, – this time of calla lilies rather than chrysanthemum’s – then you have already indicated the price will change.

“One off Package”
This one is a toughy. Some clients want a drinks package, all inclusive, some want a one off minimum spend for all food and beverage. Think about some of the following;
What do they want included
Is there a budget
The number of guests and your minimum contracted numbers to make things work for you
Duration of the event
Who is coming – all burley men, or lunching ladies?
Champagne or wine – champagne pumps up the price of any package
Add on’s that you might be able to use that can be of benefit to them, but don’t cost you anything

As soon as the estimate is updated, keep the client in the loop with a copy of the most updated estimate. Have this matched against the clients budget if you know it, so that you are aware of how much is left in the kitty.

These may only be a couple of key things to consider, and I would be interested to know how you manage your estimates to clients. Whilst it may be an odd time to use the expression, “honesty is the best policy” – there does have to be that indication to the client, that should they want the best, then by all means, but this does come at a cost. As the event Manager, there is little to fall back on if, from the off, you haven’t covered yourself by making things clear from the off.


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