I was recently reading an industry journal that said that event producers are earning on average about $88,000 pa, this figure made me stop and think about all of the clients and proposals that we have managed in the past – and the way that the service that we provided was highly undervalued by the organisation that we were either working with or planning to work with.
It also made me realise that my recent decision in regards to the events and expos that we manage has been correct – for so many different reasons – but also because of the time I spent on the events and the little return we have had in regards to paying myself. We certainly were not earning a ‘salary’ close to $88,000 which is the industry standard (plus super and bonuses. Workcover, insurances and business overheads also paid for).
In the past we have been asked to work for nothing (oh yes this is a good one – we will give you a budget to deliver the event including infrastructure and entertainment with no component for ‘management fees’); we have been asked to work for commission (which is great if we are sales people) with commissions not even close to meeting our time commitment. But that is what is expected – because there is no value put on the expertise that I can bring to an event in both the areas of logistics and marketing.
So, I have a low value of what my time is worth – at least with managing events (with marketing I happily charge and quote my hourly billable rate!) and yet events is so much more time consuming, takes more of my head space in regards to thinking and it is also the most resource intensive on our business as a whole.
Events are seen as glamorous and people forget about the hard work and detail that is required to make the event work successfully. We had 3 work experience students through our business last year – 2 decided that events were not as simple as organising a birthday party or trivia night and decided it wasn't a career for them!
So, with my new outlook on how we manage events I will be thinking of that industry standard salary of $88,000 a year when I quote next time. Also that experienced event managers are in demand and that my time is worth paying for!