Event Planners in New York: How to Choose the Right One for Your Event

December 6, 2022 Susan Serena

Most event planners in New York know how to throw a party. They've been doing it for years, maybe even decades. But that doesn't mean they're right for every type of event.

So, you'll want to make sure you're picking the right planner, whether it's for your wedding or your corporate soiree. Here are some steps I recommend taking before booking any event planner:

Get the low-down on fees

Event planners in New York will typically charge between $500 and $2,000 per event. You can hire them by the hour or on retainer, with hourly rates ranging from $200 to $1,000 depending on their experience level and area of expertise.

There are many kinds of fees that event planners can charge for their services. Here's a quick breakdown:

  • Base Fee: This is simply an administrative fee that you pay regardless of whether your event was successful or not. It covers things like signing contracts and keeping track of your budget.
  • Projected Cost: This is an estimate of how much money it will cost to bring your vision to life based on factors such as location rental costs, staffing needs (like catering staff), food/wine/drinks procurement costs and more! You'll want to keep this number low, so you don't go over budget—but just remember that these figures aren't set in stone! Your planner will work with vendors who may offer discounts if they know you're working within certain parameters (e.g., asking only for vegetarian options at an outdoor wedding).

Talk to their former clients

You can find out a lot about a planner by talking to their clients. After all, they know best what makes an event planner great!

Ask them:

  • For references. Your first step should be to ask your potential planner for a list of past clients who are willing to share their experiences with you. The best way to do this is by email or over the phone (don't ask for references in person). People are more likely to be open about what made them happy or disappointed if they're asked at first rather than face-to-face.
  • For portfolio samples of previous work. If you're looking for something specific—a certain style of event planning or décor, perhaps—it's important that your prospective planners have done this kind of thing before so that you feel confident in their abilities and expertise in creating those designs themselves (rather than relying on outside vendors). Also make sure they've got plenty of photos showing these events' successes so you can see how everything turned out!
  • For testimonials from past clients! These are essential because hearing what other people thought about working with your prospective event planner will give you an idea whether he/she was good at listening carefully enough for individualized needs without getting caught up too much on details like budgets and timelines."

Strike a balance between budget and expertise

In the end, when choosing an event planner in New York, you should always ask yourself: "Is this person going to give me what I want while staying within my budget?" If they don't have relevant credentials, or if their prices are too high for the service they're promising, then it might be time to find someone else.

You want someone who knows the area well—but not too well. Someone who has done events in your neighborhood before will know what venues are available and how much space they can accommodate.

However, if this person has worked with every single venue at least once before then they may not be able to recommend any new and exciting options that were previously unknown to them (and therefore may not be available).


You're well on your way to understanding what to look for in event planners in New York if you've made it this far. Hopefully this post has given you a good framework for how to find the right planner. If you're still not sure, feel free to contact us directly and we'll be happy to help!

If you so happen to be a New York Event Planner, you should click to get on the waiting list for our Event Planner Expo where we'll be hosting a panel on how to build your brand and attract clients. If you're interested in sponsoring, please contact us.


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