Tips to Pick the Best Event Planners
Because we aren’t all inherently party-planning experts, it is expected that not everything can go according to plan. This might mean that half of our guests could cancel their RSVP, or at the last minute more guests are being added to the list. It is an event planner’s job to go with the flow and make the event a success, no matter the adversity. Party planners should have a range of resources they can turn to in case of emergencies. Therefore, when hiring an event planner, you should always ask them how they face such challenges, and how they may handle a similar situation under pressure. The most important thing is that they remain accommodating to their client, and offer solutions to problems that alleviate his or her burden of stress.
Well-organized and professional
Typically it goes without saying that any company you hire for a service should be professional and well organized; unfortunately, looks can be deceiving. It is important to take into consideration what previous clients have to say about the event planner in question: do they have a reputation for professionalism? Can they organize an event on a strict time limit and budget? Successful event planning should rely on a company or team of individuals who has experience in the industry, particularly with managing other companies and people who will contribute something to the event. For instance, it is the event planner’s responsibility to manage time constraints of the event, but also to manage vendors, caterers, performers, or distributors who will add other services.
Range of services and options
Accomplished event planners offer solutions to some of the bigger questions for their clients. For instance, if you need help coming up with a theme for your party or event, an event planner can provide you with a list of potential themes that they can easily access tools and resources for. For instance, if you would like to plan a casino night, your planner should be able to help you nail down games, tables and chairs, food, entertainment, and decor that will add to the overall atmosphere of the night, transporting your guests into a Vegas-inspired wonderland. When these tasks are left up to someone who is unfamiliar with the options available, disappointment is often the result. Be sure to ask your party planner for a list of party themes, vendors, and other resources that they frequently collaborate with. This will give you an idea of the range of services and options they provide for their clients.
How to Find and Hire the Best Event Planner
Determine Your Objective
Before you start your search, you need to work out the event’s objective, the budget you’re working with, and your reason for hiring externally.
You want to be in a position to communicate the broad outline of the event and its most important goals.
Once you’ve defined your objectives, a few clear ideas will begin to emerge about the theme and message you want to convey.
Now you’ll want to determine the budget you have for a planner and what they will be expected to do. An event planner can select the venue, recommend food and beverage options, source speakers and entertainment, be on-site for day-of production needs, and create the invitations.
If you can’t handle all of the above on your own, you need to start your search for an event planner.
Find Your Event Planner
Regardless of whether it’s a social event or a corporate meeting, the rules of hiring an event planner or caterer remain the same: You want to hire someone who has expertise in creating your type of event.
Word of mouth is one way to find an event planner, whether it’s an anniversary party, breakfast business meeting, weekend retreat, or any other type of event. But it’s not always the most effective approach.
If you’re trying to find the best event planner for your affair, look for a company with experience and a strong reputation within the community of event planners. Peer reputation may be a stronger indicator than references from friends.
Check with the national or local chapter of Meeting Professionals International, the International Special Events Society, or the National Association of Catering Executives.
If you want to know who has a good reputation in your area, check with the local convention and visitors bureau or chamber of commerce. You might also reach out to a hotel’s convention sales department.
things to look out for when choosing an event planner
Looking for the easy route
Whether you want to throw a Sweet Sixteen or an Artificial Intelligence conference, your event planner needs to be aware of the goals that need to be achieved. If your event planner allows details to fall through the cracks it can have a catastrophic effect on your event. A lazy event planner will more than likely take shortcuts and you can’t be sure these shortcuts won’t be with your budget, using cheaper vendors or event tech.
A good event planner will do their homework, present you with options and give you a rough estimate of what certain parts of your event might cost. If your event planner is unable to give you the correct information about the event tech at your event you could end up with a poor WiFI connection or worse, no WiFI connection at all.
Know your planner’s score
Everything we do these days is online and it should be the same with event planners. Does your planner have a website, social media pages or a digital presence? These are all important factors to consider as you don’t want to work with someone who is clueless about the digital world. EventerScore allows you to test an event supplier’s commitment to their client by checking the quality of their digital user experience.
Planners who promise the moon and the stars but don’t deliver
Before planning an event it is likely that you will do a fair amount of research before approaching an event planner. However, some event planners may pull a disappearing act once you have signed on the dotted line so it is essential to make sure your event planner knows what you want from the start.
To avoid such a catastrophe when planning your event use the Eventerprise platform as a starting point. Eventerprise is a neutral third party industry platform that creates transparency within the events industry. Search for event planners, view their previous work, read their reviews and compare them to their competitors so you can make an informed decision.
Event Planning Tips to Minimize Stress & Increase Productivity
Event coordinator tip #1: Organize your time and your workspace
Creating efficient work habits sets the foundation for productive event organization. Structure your days, systemize your workflow, declutter your desk, and make time for breaks. Even a 15-second break from your computer screen can decrease fatigue!
When outlining your day, try to leave a buffer for the unexpected that comes up. Nearly half of organizers (44%) say the biggest barrier to productivity is last-minute requests.
Event coordinator tip #2: Set clear and achievable goals
Event planning is incredibly stressful for even the most seasoned pros. There are never enough hours in the day, and something always goes wrong. Anything you can do to be more efficient makes for a better event and a less stressful life.
We have 15 event coordinating tips from the experts to help you prevent things from slipping through the cracks.
Event coordinator tip #3: Stick to a budget
“I love spreadsheets!” said no event organizer ever. Still, creating a budget — and sticking to it — is crucial to avoid slipping into the red.
Use the technology at your disposal to hone in on activities that give the highest return. Advertising apps like ToneDen conduct A/B testing automatically so you know which of your ads lead to actual sales.
Becki Cross, Managing Director at Events Northern Ltd., also recommends working a contingency plan into your budget for the unexpected. Based on her experience, an additional 5-25% is a good safety fund.
Event coordinator tip #4: Choose a reliable venue
The location of your event can make or break your stress level. You might be looking for a nontraditional venue that will create an unusual experience. But you also want one that’s safe, trustworthy, easy to deal with, and ADA compliant.
Venues that provide things like seating, catering, and lighting take the burden off your to-do list. But what about Wi-Fi? Onsite IT? Any other technology perks that a prospective venue provides will only simplify your planning.
Tips for Choosing the Best Event Vendors
Determine your needs
First, have a brainstorming session and come up with what you want each vendor to provide on the day of the event. Sometimes, it’s as simple as an individual running an activation; other times, it’s an entire team armed with truckloads of theming or AV equipment to transform an entire venue. If you have a solid list of things you want the vendor to do and provide, it’ll be easier to judge their proposal.
Google isn’t your only resource
When Googling, don’t be surprised if some vendors’ sites aren’t very stylized or responsive. You’re looking for an industry expert, sometimes a one man band, who may or may not have the resources to keep a nice website up-to-date. The best way to get the information you need from the vendor is to simply reach out to them directly to find out their capabilities. Of course, reaching out to tons of individual vendors can be a daunting task… and really, who has that much time? Event planners sure don’t. To narrow down your options, look into familiarizing yourself with Yelp, event industry blogs, and other sites related to events to help you find the perfect vendor for your event.
Make a connection
When first approaching a vendor, make sure they meet your predetermined requirements and first see if they have availability for the day(s) of the event you’re planning. There’s no point in wasting anyone’s time, and if they aren’t available, they can probably give you suggestions for other vendors.
Request multiple quotes
Don’t get a quote from just one vendor. Even if you’re sure you’re going to use a specific vendor, getting more than one quote is a great best practice. These quotes will serve as a benchmark for comparing vendors now and in the future. You’ll also get to see what the industry price standards are by looking at multiple vendors. The quote from one vendor you may not like might have some inclusions that your preferred vendor overlooked.