Planning a party? To maximize the success of the event, and minimize the work for you, consider hiring an event planner. An event planner can come in pretty handy, no matter the size of the fête. The size, theme and scope of a party are major details that should be closely aligned with the qualifications and expertise of a professional event planner. To help you in your search, here are a few guidelines to follow when choosing an event planner for your next function.
Before you start the hiring process, take some time to really think about your event. Answer the Who, What, When, Where and Why to make sure you have a clear vision of what you want.Those answers should help you narrow down the search for who you will need to help you achieve event success. Once you have your event goals clarified, try to estimate a budget. Consider venue, caterer, décor, entertainment, security, parking, etc. An event planner can help you solidify the budget down the road, but it is good to have ballpark numbers when interviewing planners.
How to Find a Qualified Event Planner:
To hire an event planner word of mouth is okay, but searching professional affiliations is better. Inquire with a local Convention and Visitors Bureau or a Chamber of Commerce; professional event planners are oftentimes members. Another source is the Convention Sales Department of a particular hotel venue, in an effort to lobby for your business; they may be willing to share their list of top event planners.
Interview at least three Event Planners and ask for references. Try to meet them in person, if hiring a local. Feel free to share general guidelines about the event, but you don’t have to disclose small details. Come prepared to answer questions, as event planners should ask you about your history, objectives and goals.
When you have narrowed the candidates down, make sure and check references of your chosen event planner. Also, ask and check references of the caterer and any other vendor that is critical to the success of your event. Once everything is checked out, take about price with your event planner. They should disclose their cost to you up-front. Pay attention to all terms and financial details and have all contracts looked over by a lawyer.
When you hire an event planner, a certain degree of communication and trust is valuable in the relationship. In the early stages of working together, make sure that the event planner is following up on what you had agreed to. Check with the venue, caterers and others to ensure they have received their deposits and instructions. If there are re-occurring hick-ups along the way, it may be time to let your event planner go, and hire a back-up.
Follow these guidelines to hire an event planner and your event should be a spectacular success!