Questions You Should Ask an Event Planner Before Hiring Them
When you are set for organizing an event and have little disposable time in your hands, you think about hiring an event planner to ease off the hassle. But in a world full of multiple options, it becomes difficult to determine which event planner is apt for your event and will really be worth the money spent. So,in order to avoid disappointment, we have shortlisted few important questions which you ought to ask an event planner before hiring them.
What type of events do you organize? Can we have a look at your previous projects?
Do they organize the type of event which you want to organize or is it their first time organizing such event at that scale? It is important to understand whether or not they have the staff capable of organizing that sort of event and are they capable of organizing the event smoothly with minimum errors.
How do you keep yourself updated with the event industry?
Is there any person who takes care of the research and updates or do they use some sort of application or magazine to stay updated? This will ensure implication of trendy and better inputs for your event.
What are your preferred venues for this particular event and do you have tie-ups with the venues?
It is not always possible to organize a particular event at our favorite venue. Event planners know better alternatives and they can suggest you with various options which can satisfactorily replace your favorite option(if it is unavailable). If the event planner has tie-ups with the venues you have shortlisted, it will benefit both of you as his reference will provide you discount and will provide him commission from the venue. Win-win situation!
What services are included in the fee?
Is the budget covering all the aspects (catering, equipment, decorations, staff, etc.) that you require? Are they providing licensed venues and vendors? This is important to know as lack of information might end you up with spending a big chunk.
Why You Should Hire Professional Event Planner
You alone can decide on whether or not you will hire the services of a professional event planner. Let’s look at some of the benefits that come with an event planner.
Knowledge and Experience
In line with being a great negotiator and knowing all the shortcuts in the event-planning world, a professional event planner will have a network of likewise skilled professionals.
So, if you need catering services for your event, your event planner would for sure be able to recommend a reliable and appropriate company. Need a decorator and a DJ? Your event planner can hook you right up!
Also, he/she would have spent long enough in the business to have gained experience in areas that are most likely to go wrong. With this foresight, they can quickly advise you on how to avoid these potential disasters.
This is maybe the most crucial point in the argument for or against an event planner. A professional event planner will considerably ease off your stress and workload. They are quite used to handling the chaos that comes with organising an event, and you are not (fact).
Even if you are hosting a small event and the planning stage goes smoothly enough, on the day of the event, you are more likely to be stressing about things going wrong rather than enjoying yourself. Let an event planner take that stress off your hands.
If you are looking to manage the planning and execution stages of your event all by yourself, be ready to have crazily conflicting schedules. There are a million things to confirm and arrange, and sometimes, your program would not allow for all that running around.
Your professional event planner would be on hand to do just that. After all, it is their job to have the time to schedule in planning your event.
You might think that hiring an event planner is adding extra costs to your budget, but think again. Even though event planning services don’t come free, your professional event planner would ultimately save you some money.
For example, with their knowledge of the event planning business, they would give you valuable advice and information on how to get the best services at the lowest price. You can get special discounts and take advantage of promotions with their assistance.
Preparing for the Initial Meeting
Your first meeting with an event production company can feel a bit like a blind date: you know a little bit about each other, were intrigued enough to meet in person, but still have plenty of questions that need answering before you can move forward with any degree of confidence.
Knowing how to prepare for an initial meeting with a potential party organizer will ensure that your questions get answered and any red flags come out from their hiding.
1. Define the Win
Every event has a goal—a dream outcome—behind the practical operations. For some, it might be to build camaraderie among employees. For another, it could be to thank a diligent staff and their sacrificial families. And for someone else, it could be to relax and simply have a good time. Defining the goals for your event will help shape your every decision. Stimulating entertainment or cushy seating. Healthy snacks or lavish desserts. Family-style seating arrangements or speech-ready rows of chairs. Your goals should act as blinders to your event planners, setting their focus on succeeding according to your terms.
2. Know the Practicals
When is your event? Is it during a weekday? On a Saturday evening? Part of a company-wide meeting or a set-apart special occasion? These details should be communicated ahead of your initial meeting to give your event organizers the opportunity to prepare, ruling out ideas that are unfit for the season, context, or time of day.
3. Make a Budget
There’s one thing that a knowledgeable party organizer has no shortage of: options. Options for venues, catering, rental equipment, and even hired talent for corporate event entertainment and more. The fastest way to narrow down your list of options is to know your budget. One of our event planners, Elle Harala, explains how she approaches budgets in the first meeting: “I come to the initial meeting with a full proposal so the event partner can see a visual for pricing as well. It includes things like, ‘Proposal A has X for this amount…’ so they can pick and choose items to fit their budget. The event partner then gets an idea of what they can trim, and understands how their dollars are being invested.” When you give your special event coordinator a number ahead of time, you’ll know what your realistic options are from the outset, without going back to the drawing board.
4. Land on a Guest List
Have an estimate of the number of people who you expect to attend. Yes, this number could change, and yes, you may decide to adjust your number up or down once you have a better idea of cost and other factors. But the number of food vendors, variety of entertainment, and quantity of rentals needed will depend almost exclusively on the size of your guest list. While a party event planners will expect you to have a ballpark estimate, they should also be prepared to assist in providing input about the feasibility of your list size, given your overall goals and budget.
Now that you’ve done your homework, what should you expect from your potential event planner? A reputable company will embody a few things:
5. They Think Holistically
As Bryan Jayne, our director of operations explains, good event organizers will come to an initial meeting ready to understand a client’s needs: “Preparation involves more than just facts. The planner should be organized and prepared, communicating confidence in their ability to make your event a success. That confidence goes a long way. When a customer knows they can depend on the words of their event planner, the entire process becomes a whole lot less stressful. Being able to defer to the planner for big decisions is a major win for everyone involved.”
6. Your Goals are Their Goals
That “win” you defined while doing your homework? As Lance Salisbury explains, it should be as familiar to your professional party planners as the back of their hand: “the best event planners will listen to their clients dreams and them take them to the next level.” Rather than resist your goals, they should embrace them, encouraging their merit and casting a vision for how to achieve them.
Questions To Ask Your Wedding Planner On Your First Meeting
Wedding planners will be your point of contact at every step of the tedious planning process, you will want to work with someone who is not only professional and organized, but also have your best interest at heart.
Before you make the final decision on who to help with your wedding planning, there will often be series of meetings and discussions to understand the wedding planner better.
The initial meeting with your wedding planner should give you answers to the 7 most common questions asked:
1. Is your wedding planner available on your wedding date?
This is the first and foremost most important question. If they are not free, you probably shouldn’t engage them. No matter how well things are planned, things could go wrong on the wedding day. You need an experienced professional who will be there to handle unforeseen circumstances.
2. What sorts of services do they offer?
Find out what are their strengths, is it more on design or coordination or both? Some are better at Wedding Day coordination, handling invitations and RSVPs. Some are good with the overall vision, being a producer who brings in the event manager and designer. Ask yourself what type of planner would work best for you. For example, if you are very good in organizing and have the time to follow up yourself, you may want someone to do the coordination role.
3. What is the most unique wedding they ever planned?
Ask for specific details or photos so that you will be able to gauge how creative they are and have an idea of their style.
4. What challenges do they see when looking at your wedding plans and ideas? What venues would they recommend?
With the vision you have in mind for your wedding, ask them to share their ideas. This can give you an idea on whether you can really ‘click’ with them. For example: If you have always imagined a ocean view wedding in a chapel but they suggested ballroom venues, it’s a red flag – they are not listening to you.
5. How many weddings have they done? What type of events have they done before?
He/she should have done a fair number of weddings in the country/place where you want to hold your wedding.
6. What are their experiences with the particular wedding venue (that you picked)?
It’s a major bonus if they have planned a wedding before at the wedding venue you are interested in, because they will be more familiar with the layout, logistics and event staff, which can ease the process.However, not having had any previous experience with the venue does not necessarily mean they will not do an excellent job. They may see it as a new exciting challenge and new experience to recommend to other couples too.
7. What are the costs of the wedding?
Price estimations of the wedding package, the possibility of renting equipment for the wedding or delivery coordination can be discussed as well.
How many weddings have you planned?
This is one of the first questions to ask a wedding planner. More specifically, “how many weddings of my size and budget have you planned”. You’ll also want to find out how long the wedding planner has been in the business, what types of weddings they’ve planned before and if they’ve gotten any certifications or degrees related to wedding planning. Ask to see their portfolio and get a few references for good measure.
How many clients do you take on per year and per month?
This question will help you get a feel for how busy your potential planner will be in the months leading up to your wedding. Some choose to only work with one client at a time while others are more than happy to juggle several. If you’re planning something huge, you may want to find someone who will devote most of their time to your big day.
Who are your preferred vendors?
Pretty much every wedding planner is equipped with a list of preferred vendors – ones that they trust and have worked successfully alongside before. If they’ve got long standing relationships with certain bakers, caterers and venue owners they may even be able to get you a sweet deal.