A Quick Primer on NYC Corporate Event Entertainment Pricing

I’m following up my most recent blog post on how much NYC team building activities cost to share a quick illustrative story in event entertainment pricing.

As described in yesterday’s post, NYC has no shortage of corporate team building offerings and entertainment vendors, with different companies charging different amounts based on their expertise, experience and the level of service offered. As somebody potentially seeking these services for your company, it’s up to you to decide both how much you want to spend, as well as the type of event you are expecting.

As with most things, when it comes to corporate entertainment, you get what you pay for – which leads me to my story.

As an employee team building and corporate event entertainment company in NYC, we receive a wide range of inquiries every day regarding our services: what we do, how we do it – and of course, how much we charge. I’ve been doing this for a long time, and thought I’d had every conversation possible regarding event pricing – however, one recent inquiry left me with my jaw on the floor.

The caller was requesting a 2-hour, 100-person corporate team building event. After responding enthusiastically to our service options, she asked if I could send her a proposal, which I did. However, after some time had passed and I hadn’t heard back, I followed up – and was told that even though her team loved our service offering the best, they were going in another, less expensive direction. This wasn’t all that surprising – as a premium brand, TrivWorks isn’t cheap, and our events aren’t for everybody. However, when I asked how much the other vendor was charging, her response blew me away: $250.


Let me see if I get this straight. We’re talking about entertaining 100 smart, highly-educated professional knowledge workers, for 2 hours…for $250? That works out to… $2.50 per person.

$2.50. Per person.

What other activities in New York City can you do for 2 hours, and only pay $2.50 per person?

Why, you could:

  • Take everybody for a 2-hour subway ride
  • Buy a stack of local newspapers, and let them read from cover to cover
  • Raid the Duane Reade candy aisle and have a picnic
  • Put 1/5 down on movie tickets

So what kind of corporate entertainment event can your employees or clients possibly expect for the same amount? Do you think your $2.50 event will:

  • Be of high quality and caliber?
  • Be carefully planned and produced?
  • Meet and exceed your team building goals/objectives?
  • Will the vendor be professional, polished and responsive?

I don’t know about you, but there are very few things I would trust in the hands of somebody charging $2.50 for their services, let alone my professional reputation. Is this really something you want your name attached to in the eyes of your colleagues, your boss or your clients?

I’m all for paying less for your event if price is a factor – however, there’s a limit. Ask yourself: what does this vendor’s price say about them?

Read more: The Secret to Successful Office Holiday Parties


  1. Jim Casey on June 7, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Very well said. It’s amazing how little other “entertainment” companies will take in exchange for their skillset.

    Kind of scary to think a company with that many professionals going to an event would be “treated” to something second rate.

    Stay the course!

    • david on June 7, 2013 at 9:56 am

      Couldn’t agree more, Jim – this was a VERY high-profile, highly successful company, with incredibly high-performance employees whom we assume they wanted to retain. On top of that, think of how much money they had allocated for venue, food, drinks etc. for 100 people – yet were content to spend only $250 on entertainment! Crazy!

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