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You may be wondering, how much does a corporate event cost? Well, that truly depends on the scale of the event, as well as, the event planner or corporate events agency you choose. There are several types of corporate events including conferences and seminars, trade shows, retreats, appreciation events, board meetings and much more. Therefore, the number of attendees and the specific type of function can have a big impact on the corporate event cost. Below are a few examples with ranges to help you determine the cost of planning and executing a corporate event.

Location & Venue

You must define the purpose of your event and secure the guest list to determine the type of venue that will be the best fit.  Are you looking for a meeting room, restaurant, or entire conference center? Additionally, is your event taking place in a large or smaller city? These factors will hugely impact the cost of your event venue. A smaller venue will range between $500-$3,000, while a larger venue can be upwards of $5,000-$20,000. Be very careful before you sign on the dotted line and pay a deposit. Most are non-refundable outside of a 10 day period. Not an ideal hit to any corporate event budget!

corporate event cost

Food and Beverage

There are many options for food and beverage, depending on the time and day of your event. Are you offering continental breakfast, passed apps or a sit down dinner? Are alcoholic drinks included? Typically, we like to assume 3 drinks/person + appetizers would be about $60-70/guest + tax/tip. Alternatively, if you were to host a conference with breakfast, lunch and dinner, we may assume $125-$150/person + $10/drink. Of course, depending on the catering package you choose (and the venue), prices can vary quite a bit.  This said, the last thing you want is to run out of food – so always aim for more when considering your corporate event cost!


Centerpieces, florals, custom builds, backdrops, furniture – the list goes on! In some cases, your venue may not need much decor to amplify the space. However, when you’re branding a conference, you’ll want to hang posters, custom backdrops and even consider branded podiums. Whether you’re planning to rent or buy these pieces will also effect the price. Pro tip: it’s always better to buy if you are able to reuse and re-purpose the item. The costs of rentals may be the same, or close to the same, as the purchase price!

corporate event cost


Your average DJ costs may range from $1,500-$3,000 for an evening event. Live entertainment on the other hand may start at $1,000+/- for two sets. This can go up from there depending on the type of live talent you are looking for. Of course, local talent is much more affordable than well known performers. Depending on the type of event, you can spread out the entertainment, or a simple audio system may be sufficient if you are looking to scale back on corporate event cost.


Event photography pricing varies greatly based on location, experience, and the difficulty of shooting the event. It’s a good idea to expect a rate somewhere between $250 and $500 per hour. More often than not, videographers and photographers may come as a package deal. This is because their time takes into consideration onsite shooting, editing and transportation. We find that videographers tend to cost photographers, so expect their prices to be a bit higher.  Buyer beware! If a videographer offered to provide photos – make sure they are using appropriate equipment, not cutting corners by providing still images from the video. The colour and quality won’t be the same.


Everyone loves leaving an event with swag, wouldn’t you agree? Giveaways range between $0.50/person to $150/person depending on the item. Are you looking to hang out a swag bag or distribute big giveaways? Small branded items including apparel, bags and pens are very affordable. Larger giveaways including iPads, gift cards and other items should be purchased at your own discretion. Looking for a premium giveaway? Did you know that Maui Jim does custom fittings for corporate events? You can give away gorgeous glasses at a reduced bulk price to give the impression of a giving a gift of considerable perceived value.

How Event Planners Structure Their Costing

corporate event cost

How much will your corporate event cost? When receiving a quote from an event planner or a corporate events company, you may notice the following items…

Creative Support: this includes custom design and branding.

Project Management: securing quotes from suppliers, managing program logistics, site checks and more. This is only billed on events requiring planning support over and above staffing.

Event Management: onsite support for the duration of your event including set up and tear down supervision.

Event Staffing: you may require talent for registration, facilitating contests/giveaways, greeting, silent auction and/or serving.

Hard Costs: anything physically purchased for the event including decor, signage, catering, photography, venue, etc. Be aware that many companies significantly mark up hard costs on an estimate. At Tigris, you can rest assured that what you see is what you get. All hard costs on a bill are reflective of the true total spent for your event.

Agency Fee: this is a common fee included when working with corporate event companies that is a percentage of your event subtotal. An agency fee generally covers the corporate events company’s account management time to collect availability, schedule and train staff for your events, create post-event reports and operational costs including but not limited to bookkeeping/payroll, insurance and incidentals.

It’s crucial to understand an agencies breakdown so you know exactly what your corporate event cost estimate encompasses – and are not overcharged. A quote does not ultimately outline how much your corporate event will cost; if you add items along the way, always ask for a budget update to keep your finances in check.

Are you looking to execute and discover how much your corporate event cost? Contact Tigris today – we operate nationwide across Canada with over 14 years of events under our belt. Let’s discuss your needs and get started with a free quote!

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Serena Holmes
Serena Holmes
Serena Holmes (formerly Schwab) is the President & CEO of Tigris Incorporated. She is a Broadcast Journalism graduate from Ryerson University. She began working in events in 2000 and started with Tigris as an events staff in 2004, was promoted to management and later accepted partnership. Serena took over operations of the company in 2008. Since that time the roster has tripled and the company continues to grow at a healthy pace. Some keynote clients include Rogers, Motorola, GTAA, CHIN Radio, Appleton Rum and many others. Google PLus Profile:

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