Event planning can be tough, to say the least, but planning your perfect function doesn’t have to be stressful. Event planning experts have the tools and expertise needed to make your exceptional occasion a success and a unique experience for your attendees. Hiring the right event planner does require a basic understanding of what it takes to succeed in this type of role, and the following checklist will help you find the right person that will meet your event needs.
1. Gather All of Your Event Preferences
Assembling any and all artifacts that you feel would make your event dynamic before starting your search will enable you to provide the core details of your event to candidates when asked. Basic information will help your potential event planner put together specific event quotes and provide hard numbers for planning purposes. A few data points to gather are:
● The projected amount of guests that would be in attendance
● Food and beverage requirements (also be sure to include any dietary restrictions)
● Venue suggestions, requirements, or preferences
● Preferred event day, start, and end times.
● Staff needs such as servers or bartenders
● Setup and breakdown costs
● Audio visual (A/V) needs
2. Create a Budget
Once you’ve gathered all of your event preferences, work on putting together a budget for your event. Doing light research on venues or catering options will help you connect your choices with what you can afford. Being able to have a ballpark number or price range to discuss with potential event planners will help you to narrow down candidates and progress your search. A good event planner can help you with your final budget and provide hard pricing on venues, catering, A/V, and any other rentals that you might need.
3. Interviewing Prospective Planners
Now that you’ve set your objectives and have an idea of what you can spend on your event, it’s time to identify and interview potential event planners. There are many event planning companies and independent contractors that have small event planning businesses across the country. Any notable event planner should have a website, an email address and phone number, and a portfolio of prior events that they’ve successfully planned. If they have social media platforms that they are active on, there should more than likely be photos of events posted that you can review. Be sure to check for client reviews and testimonials, but it doesn’t hurt to ask for references if you can’t find any. Once you’ve located the event professional that you want to work with:
● Set up a time to do a phone consultation, which should be free of charge
● Kick-off the conversation by asking them about themselves and their experience. By doing this, you will be able to get a good feel for their work style and personality. Make sure to try and gauge if you would be able to work and communicate effectively with this person.
● Next, talk to them about your event and ask them what their opinion is on what you are looking for.
○ Do your expectations match your budget?
○ Do they have any recommendations?
○ Is there anything about your event that they would do differently?
4. Make Sure to Follow up
Once you’ve interviewed all candidates, and received references, make sure to follow up with the event planner that you are interested in working with. Event planners are extremely busy, so you may need to follow up more than once, but ensure that the professional you choose to work with is responsive. Working with an event planner is always a good idea because it allows you to enjoy your event and entertain your guests without worry.