Another way that event planners may collect fees for services is by securing event space through venues that offer a commissionable rate. These are fees typically provided to travel agents for booking tickets, hotel rooms and other forms of transportation.
For example, many hotels may extend a commissionable rate up to as much as 10% for guestrooms and other expenses.
Although some event planners will embrace commissionable rates as a source of income for themselves, savvier may should question the event planner’s sense of loyalties. For that reason, many seasoned planners will limit any planning selections that include a commissionable rate or negotiate non-commissionable pricing for their programs and pass that source of savings directly to their client’s bottom line.
Further, many clients are already aware that commissionable rates exist, and do not expect their outside consultants to bill using any of the identified billing methods previously outlined and still pay a commissionable rate. To be sure, many clients are not aware that hospitality venues and transportation companies may offer a commissionable rate.
However, it isn’t considered good form by many event planners to essentially “double dip” their revenue stream this way.
Generally speaking, if relying on commissionable rates, do not charge your client fees for your services using alternate billing methods.
There are scenarios when this makes the most sense, such as a smaller nonprofit or association that may be hiring your services for a membership event or meeting and the bulk of the fees are paid directly by the attendees rather than the organization.
Another scenario may be if your client is purchasing client gifts from you, and you may also offer promotional items distribution services. In that case, simply negotiate for the promotional items and do not charge for your services on an hourly basis unless your client is aware of all charges up front.