7 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Conference Planner
Conferences are high-profile events. They have the potential to yield business even before you can pitch in your ideas to your potential clients. Hence, it is imperative that they are handled with great care. We live in a competitive world, and the success of a conference no longer lies on having the best employee on board to do the planning. Your conferences need professional event design in order to assure your attendees that you truly mean business. You need to make sure that you hire the right person for the job, someone with the skills and experience to make your conference glitch-free and impressive enough to up your company's profile.
When hiring a professional conference planner, be sure that you don't just rely on fancy websites or friendly referrals. You may want someone else to handle your conference for you, but you need to first do your work to make sure that they are worth your money and your trust. Following are 7 questions that will help you sieve out the talent and experience to make your conference a success.
These are some of the most important questions you need to ask potential planners before deciding on one. However, it is important that you have all the details ready on your own end. Have your purpose, objectives and estimate budget in mind before contacting a conference planner. The clearer you are about your ideas and vision, the easier it will be to channel them through to the planner, and to find a planner who can understand and execute it accordingly.
Who Will Be Planning the Event?
If you are hiring an event planning company then you need to make sure who exactly would be planning your event. The agency might have an impressive portfolio, but that doesn't mean that the person in charge of your event would have the same too. And the last thing you want to do is to find out about the planner's talents and abilities (or lack thereof) after the event.
What Skills and Knowledge Do they Have to Handle Corporate Events?
There are plenty of event management courses out there, but not all of them are thorough. Corporate events are an entity on their own. They require different skills set, knowledge and understanding. Just because someone has the right education in events management does not necessarily mean they can handle corporate events too. So make sure that you check the credentials to see if the person has ample knowledge of handling corporate events.
What Kind of Experience Do They Have?
No amount of knowledge can beat experience. As long as the individual or company doesn't have planning conference event down to a science, you need to keep looking. Ask about the kinds of events that they have hosted in the past. The maximum number of attendees that they have handled in a single conference event and if there are any videos or photographs of recent events that they can offer.
Ask for References.
It is best to look for references yourself. If you have recently attended a conference that you were particularly impressed by, then it is best to ask the host about the details of the organizer. If not, then you can ask the event planner for references.
What Kind of Equipment Will They Be Using?
With technology as advancing as it is, there are newer products and gadgets in the market all the time. Whether it is the organizing, the sound system, valet announcements, microphones, visuals, lighting, there are solutions for everything. And they only get better with time. And you need to hire someone who can utilize all that equipment to your company's or cause’s greatest advantage.
What Will They Do, Exactly?
Some event planners are specialists in particular areas, and others are generalists. Some simply will not perform certain tasks, such as staffing or cleanup. So a key question to ask is, what can the event planner do? Find out if they can perform all the functions you need, or if you'll have to be juggling multiple resources.
What Are the Costs?
You are not just looking for the best planner in the area, you are looking for the best planner with the best price. Ask about the prices or get online quotes and then tally them when going through potential conference planners.
This is surely one of the most important questions that you need to ask. Make sure that you interview a few before you settle for a quote by any one planner. Planning a high profile conference might cost, but it doesn't necessarily have to cost a fortune. The ability of a good planner not only lies in planning a problem-free event, but also planning it at minimal cost.