No event is truly a success without an event planner organizing every detail, from weddings to birthdays, corporate parties, fundraising galas and more. If you’re interested in joining the always-in-demand events industry, you may be wondering how much an event planner makes. According to our survey of 1,000 small business owners, wedding and event planners paid themselves a salary between $25,000 to $75,000 in 2021.

The take-home pay for event planners can vary widely, depending on the type of events they produce and their clients. For example, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shares the following salary estimates for event planners:1

Average Event Planner Salary


Furthermore, business is back and stronger than ever. While 40% of the event planners we surveyed said the pandemic harmed their business, event planners are in exceptional demand as people play catch up after pandemic lockdowns. Over the next 10 years, the event planning industry will grow by about 18%.2 What’s more, 100% of the event planners we surveyed said they were optimistic about their company’s success in 2022.

Whether you’re considering starting your own event planning business or looking to increase your revenue in 2022, learn about the average event planner’s salary and tips for increasing yours.

Where do event planners make the most money?

The top three states with the highest average salaries for event planners are:3

  • Alaska: $87,710 per year*
  • New York: $78,490 per year
  • Washington: $70,810 per year
  • Massachusetts: $65,500 per year

However, if you’re interested in which states have the most event planners, they are:4

  • California: 13,130 event planners
  • New York: 7,870 event planners
  • Texas: 6,940 event planners
  • Florida: 6,480 event planners
  • Illinois: 4,360 event planners

*Alaska only has 80 planners

How much revenue can event planners make?

The majority (66%) of the event planners we surveyed reported annual gross revenues of up to $50,000. About one-quarter reported annual gross revenues up to $100,000, and one planner reported gross yearly revenues as high as $200,000. The businesses reporting higher gross revenues were more likely to have a small staff than operating as solopreneurs.

Furthermore, 60% of the event planners we surveyed said their earning power is moderately or significantly higher now than before they went into business for themselves. The others said it stayed about the same. And this year, 80% expect their revenue to increase even more – to the tune of 10% to 50%.

What do event planners do?

Event planners help clients produce an event that goes smoothly, fits their budget and looks amazing. Event planners meet with clients to understand their vision and budget for an event. Then, over a period of several months, they help their client make that vision a reality. Event planners manage event budgets and solicit bids from vendors and venues. They coordinate other services to support the event, such as catering, transportation, lodging and entertainment. If you like working with people and bringing events to life, a career in event planning may be the perfect fit.

The toughest part about event planning is finding clients. While there is a lot of demand, there is a lot of competition. Because of this, it can be difficult to find consistent work. However, many of the event planners we surveyed said it’s worth the freedom they enjoy from running their own business.

As one event planner told us, “It is my goal to grow my small business enough to allow me to continue full time eventually and avoid a return to the traditional workforce, giving me more flexibility and time with family!”

How to increase your salary as an event planner

According to the BLS, there were 98,150 event planners in the United States in 2021. The average pay was $27.81 per hour, which translates to $57,850 per year. The top 10% of event planners earned more than $96,230.5

Ready to maximize your earnings as a top-earning event planner? Try these tips:

  • Change your location: Event planners who work in urban environments tend to make more. For example, the average salary for an event planner in the Seattle metropolitan area is $78,190 per year vs. $48,730 for a planner in Walla Walla, WA.6
  • Choose a specialty: There are many different types of event businesses, from corporate event planners to private party planners. Choosing to specialize in a particular type of event can make you more desirable to those clients, and enable you to increase your rates. For example, wedding planners typically charge more as weddings are considered a premium event (and everything gets inflated in the wedding industry, anyway).
  • Streamline your operation: The more work you do as a planner, the easier it will be to spot efficiencies. Create planning checklists, templates, and spreadsheets that allow you to do your work faster. As a planner, you have a special talent for organization! You may just need to turn those organizing skills inward, toward your business.

How much does it cost to run an event planning business?

As a new event planner, there may not be a lot of physical equipment you need to purchase to manage your business. However, there are costs to running an event planning business. These include:

  • Certifications: Certifications help you present yourself to new clients as a professional who knows their stuff. The Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) certification is one of the most popular.
  • Transportation: Event planners are always running around, whether by plane, train, or automobile (okay, maybe just by foot or car). Budget for gas, car maintenance and commercial auto insurance.
  • Business insurance: Speaking of insurance, most venues and clients won’t agree to work with you unless you can show them a Certificate of Insurance. Always be prepared with Thimble’s Event Planner Insurance.

From planning to profit

Event planners make memories happen, whether they’re planning an intimate wedding ceremony or a huge corporate affair. Your clients will always remember the special event you planned, so make sure you’re getting paid what you’re worth! Look for ways to make your business more profitable, such as changing up the types of events or clients you work with.

Stay on task, and stay protected with Event Planner Insurance from Thimble. Safeguard your earnings from general liability and professional liability claims. Thimble is quick-thinking insurance for fast-moving businesses. And we mean quick — get your policy and get covered in minutes.


  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners.
  2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners.
  3. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners.
  4. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners.
  5. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners.
  6. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners.