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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...

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Old September 17th, 2009, 07:35 PM   #1
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how event managing businesses work with you?

Hi guys,

I just got an email from an event planning company that handles quiet high-end clients including weddings.

they basically organise events with concepts and are always looking for suppliers. They found our website and contacted us. They said that they would love to see a demo of a complete wedding rather than a showreel that i have on the site. They also asked if I give discounts to event managers...

I'm not so sure about what she meant by this.

Does she ask for commission when I finalise deal with the client


Does she just take a lump sum of money from the client and then go find suppliers for them? so that whatever money left is her cut?

I don't want to sound like I didn't know what I'm talking about when I reply her email so I want to ask other people about their experience with event planners that serve high-end market. Because I think it will be a good thing to have these businesses as your bridge to reach the high-ends... (e.g. celebs weddings..)

Thanks guys!

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what about motion picture?
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Old September 17th, 2009, 08:02 PM   #2
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Hey Santo! (Or should I say AVPA, WEVA award winner?) :)

I've basically dealt with most variations of planners and they seem to have 3 models.

Some want you to offer a discount for the client for booking through them = Client pays less - you're earning less
Some want a commission of the package the client books = Client pays the same - you're earning less
Some charge the client a 'lump sump' planning fee and simply refer them onto you = client pays same (for your services anyway) - you're earning same

I'd say from the wording that they want to be able to offer your services to their/your clients at a discounted rate.

I only really deal with a 1-2 planners now and usually they're 'lump sum' from the client and they refer them onto me - generally 'high end' weddings too. If a planner insists on commission based then it must be added on top of the package and the whole thing transparent to the client.

They can be great to have in your corner if you can get the 'right' one and can really trim down the time from that initial enquiry to booking.

Hope that helps!


Last edited by Matt Barwick; September 17th, 2009 at 08:42 PM. Reason: fixing up error
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Old September 17th, 2009, 11:04 PM   #3
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Location: Sydney, Australia
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Thanks Matt!

its good to hear from someone who got experience already.

I think I'll ask about how she operates and we'll go from there.

btw, instead of avpa weva winner, you can call me Santo GoodLook

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Old September 18th, 2009, 10:15 PM   #4
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Location: Boise, Idaho
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I have been approached by a similar high end event planner. She changed her business from asking the client to pay (because the were reluctant to pay a coordinator) to asking the venders to pay her 10% by charging the client 10% less and paying that 10% to the coordinator.

I am not sure I like that arrangement, particularly because this vendor is brand new in the market and is completely un prooven.

However, if you can get the truely high end clients and raise your production price over all.... may be you get fewer clients, but may be you get more money per gig. Hard to say.

I would check aroudn for the reputation of this coordination company. Are they as "all that" as they say they are?
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Old September 19th, 2009, 12:28 PM   #5
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To be honest, I can't really see what the problem with doing a discount actually is? I do this with my video work. If I need extra crew I get them, and pay them a fee, arranged in advance. I bill the client at a higher price. They could work for the client direct, but most clients just want a one price for everything. Surely that is why they have planners. They add the photos, the video, the entertainment, the caterers together, and submit one total to the client. If they have a choice of suppliers, which they usually do, then being cheaper might mean more business for you - but less profit. However, if you don't need the work, don't do it.

There's no way I'd pass on my freelancers details to a client, they'd probably go direct and keep doing it.

If the wedding planner has a good reputation, then 10% seems quite reasonable for extra work - and sometimes being one step away from the end user is a good move!
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Old September 20th, 2009, 08:13 AM   #6
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As some of you may know, I use to be part owner of a successful full scale production company that started out as just a video production company. We did many high end weddings in the Southern California area with packages starting at 4k and often going over 10k.

There were several coordinators that we really enjoyed working with, so we offered them 5% commission on the total price the client booked (which turns out to be a nice amount of cash for a 10k package). For weddings, normally the client does not book video through the planner/coordinator, they only get a referral. For corporate events, the production company hired to do the event takes care of everything, and then the client pays the production company a lump sum. It is common for the contractors to give the production company a discounted rate, since they will likely see repeat business from them.

So if this company that contacted you is doing a referral only, then you might want to consider giving them a commission of the total booking (5% - 10% max).

If they are a production company that does all the dealing with the client, and you only have to deal with the production company, then you can consider giving them a discount off your total.

Either way you will be making slightly less, however it usually turns out to be lots of repeat business and even generates more clients while you are at the events.
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