OMG! OMG! OMG! Your manager just dropped full responsibility for organizing the annual company Award Ceremony in your lap. You don’t have the first clue where to start and you have scant six months to pull it all together. How in the world are you going to make magic from this mess? It’s time to hire an event planner.
OMG! OMG! OMG! The guest list for your small, intimate wedding has exploded to include nearly 100 people; everybody from great-grandma to Cousin Johnnie’s two-year-old will attend. Your special day depends on your ability to ensure that everyone in this diverse group has a wonderful time and your head is about to explode. Before your nuptial bliss spins into an out of control nuptial nightmare, hire an event planner.
OMG! OMG! OMG! A wondrous evening of dining and dancing is your sorority’s vision for their annual celebration of sisterhood and you’ve been named chair for the event. You have nearly 11 months to plan, but the pressure is on. Every member of your committee is a working professional with young children; time is precious and there is so much to do. Coordination promises to be a struggle and there are far too many opportunities for the event to devolve into chaos. Corral the confusion and ensure a seamless evening; hire an event planner.
You’re convinced that you need help ensuring your upcoming event is everything you envision, but there are a couple of things you need to settle before you begin your search for an event planner. First, you must determine the objectives of your event. Who are you trying to reach? What are you trying to communicate and what is your end goal? It is also important to know your budget before you start shopping for an event planner.
Look for someone that has expertise with the type of event that you’re planning. If you are hosting a company event, you probably don’t want to hire someone who specializes in youth birthday parties and conversely if you’re planning a birthday party, you don’t want to hire a corporate event specialist. Don’t choose your event planner based solely on word of mouth recommendations; take time to check with your local Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau to ensure your perspective planner is reputable and will interact with you with professionalism and integrity.
Interview potential planners thoroughly. Gather as much information about the planner as possible; allow them to walk you through how they would manifest your vision and how they would prepare for the unexpected. Determine what services they offer. If you need someone to manage your event from set-up to clean-up, look for a full-service planner with the ability to coordinate vendors like caterers and florists, provide entertainment and emcee services and provide the personnel to ensure your event flows seamlessly. If you require fewer services, a smaller, more focused company, like a DJ service or wait staff provider may fit your needs. No matter how big or small your need; remember that your event planner is someone you’ll work closely with for months; make sure whomever you hire is someone you will enjoy working with.
You’ve made your choice and you’re confident that together, you and your planner will host a memorable event, but the paperwork remains to be done. Read your contract carefully; ensure it details all the services your planner will provide as well as proposed expenditures. Make sure the contract addresses your responsibilities if for some reason your event should be cancelled as well as how your planner will address unexpected occurrences and potential disasters. It is also crucial that you understand the deposit and payment schedule as well as your planner’s cancellation and refund policy.