Weddings vs. Corporate Events: Which Are More Profitable?

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When you think about the two types of events that are the most profitable, weddings and corporate events probably come to mind. On average, companies are likely to dish out around $75 per person for holiday parties. As for weddings, the average spend on a ceremony and reception last year was around $25,000.

With that in mind, we wanted to dig into what makes these such money-makers, and how venues can attract more of these event types. While corporate event clients can potentially bring you repeat business, the cost of weddings is increasing by the year.

To get more insight, we chatted with two event managers — one who says corporate events bring in the most cash, and another who says weddings are what boost their bottom line. Plus, we’ve got a few tips on how you can capitalize on the most profitable event types at your own venue.

In the U.S., the average site fee for wedding ceremonies is $500.

 

The average cost of a rehearsal dinner is $1,330 — about one-twentieth the price of a typical the wedding.

weddings v corporateWeddings

Weddings are typically an event that couples are willing to shell out a pretty penny for. We chatted with Debbie Tennick, general manager of The Adams Estate event venue in Lake Alfred, Florida, about why weddings rank as the most profitable event type for her business.

Q: What are your top most profitable event types?

A: The most profitable events at The Adams Estate are weddings. We attribute this to the size of the party and the percentage that we receive from catering — with weddings, we also provide an alcoholic beverage package. The rental rate for weddings is much higher than the rate for social and corporate bookings.

Q: How much work is required to host weddings at your venue compared to other events?

A: Hosting weddings is definitely more work than other events at the Estate. Ceremony chairs are set up and taken down. The bridal suites are used and must be set up and cleaned as well.

Q: Do you market your space to all event types or do you target certain ones?

A: We market our venue to social and corporate events but definitely spend more on marketing to weddings. We promote our venue mainly through social media and paid internet sites.

Q: How does event software help you maintain a profitable events business?

A: Event software is crucial for our venue in that 80% of correspondence lands in the same place. [With event software], we’re able to track expenses for each event and manage contracts all in one platform.

In 2017, nearly 80% of companies planned to host holiday parties.

There were 1.9 million meetings in 2016 — more than 5,200 every single day. 

Corporate Events

For many venues, it’s corporate events that bring in the most revenue, particularly since they can be re-booked on an annual or semi-annual basis. We chatted with Zachary Artz, events manager of Yards Brewing Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, about why corporate events are the most profitable for his business.

Q: What is the most profitable event type for your space?

A: Corporate events are more profitable due to volume (we can host multiple holiday parties or team outings in a day or a week).

Q: How much work is required to host corporate events compared to other types of events in your space?

A: Corporate events take slightly less time to prepare and work than personal events like weddings, but it’s not by a huge margin.

Q: Were you surprised to find out corporate events are the biggest revenue driver?

A: What surprised me was the volume of corporate events we’re able to book.

Q: What methods do you use to market your event space?

A: We’re really just focused on marketing our space via social media and word of mouth right now.

Q: What advice do you have for event managers looking to host more profitable events?

A: I recommend that event managers target their busiest days with somewhat aggressive minimum booking sizes.

Tips to Boost Profits for Any Event Type:

  • Offer in-house catering or subcontract it out
  • Build an in-house bar for your event space
  • Establish relationships with well-respected vendors in your area
  • Assign a staff member to work one-on-one with customers to help plan their event