The actual cost of your staff’s time; should you hire a consultant instead?

I hear clients say, “I don’t need to hire a consultant to help us with events, we have staff who do that.”

“Your staff member earning a $50K salary actually costs your company close to $70K* annually. That staff member’s cost to you is approximately $35 per hour.”

If my client truly does have a dedicated staff person who works exclusively on events, then I’ll concede the point.

But, most of the time, what they mean is that there is a staff member who is tasked with event planning and coordination “in their spare time.” I’d like to suggest that for several reasons, it’s time to let go of this practice.

A small internal event such as a catered lunch can easily be handled with a phone call or email. Arrangements might only take a few minutes plus a bit of set up and clean up. However, any more than an hour or so of your staff’s time working on an event is costing you. Here is why:

  • Unless your assigned staff person is idle (!) by tasking them with event planning and management, you are taking them away from the task for which you hired them and their expertise.
  • A professional event consultant will have ideas and strategies for making your event more effective and successful. Why spend money on an event and have it appear as anything less than 100% impressive?
  • A complex event such as a Conference, Workshop, Mixer or New Product Launch Party will require many hours of planning and day-of, on-site management to be successful. Your staff should be fully present and available for client relations, not managing the party.
  • Finally, weigh the cost of Proxy Events consulting to provide professional event planning and management against the cost of relying on a staff member:
    Your staff member earning a $50K salary actually costs your company close to $70K* annually.
    That staff member’s cost to you is approximately $35 per hour. (You might actually be using a much higher paid C level executive for this purpose!) 

Proxy Events’ hourly rate is based on a $75 hourly model and our packages are based on conservative estimates of time spent on standard event models. Our goal is to produce a fantastic event for you at an affordable cost. You spend the money on a planner either way; take the burden off your staff and hire a professional consultant.

“Basic salary and employment taxes are a minimum- in most cases you will need to provide some benefits.  Typical benefits for a $50,000 salaried employee include life insurance ($150) and health coverage ($2,000-$3,000 for single persons; $6,000-$7,2000 for families –  Other benefits could include long-term disability insurance ($250), dental plans ($240-$650), dependent care assistance, tuition reimbursement, retirement plans etc.  These involve actual payment of benefits by the employer.  There are also “self funded” plans where the employer contribution is the administrative costs- e.g. 401(k) savings plans where a portion of the employee’s salary is withheld.  Vacation is another cost but is subsumed in the basic salary.

The costs to this point (basic salary, employment taxes and benefits) are typically in the 1.25 to 1.4 times base salary range- e.g. the cost range for a $50,000/year employee might $62,500 to $70,000.”

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