When you are planning an event it’s important to find the right person to coordinate the whole affair, but if you have never hired an event planner before it can be tricky to know what to look for. There are often a number of professional event planners offering their services in any local area, but how do you know which candidate is the most reliable and competent person for the job? Here are a few tips to help you out:
Identify your needs:
Sit down with a piece of paper and a pen and write down everything you know about your event. What is the occasion? Approximately how many people will be invited? Will you be offering food? What sort of schedule will your event have? Is there a theme? Answering these questions and more will be helpful when you come to interview potential planners. Add information as you go.
Look at reviews:
Go to review websites and talk to locals about event planners they have used. If you know that an acquaintance used an event planner for a big anniversary party or a fundraiser ask them how the event went and what their experience with that particular event planner was like. Review websites are a great tool when choosing a candidate but it’s important not to rule a candidate out or definitively select someone based on a review, just bear the review in mind when evaluating candidates.
Talk to potential event planners:
Once you have worked out which event planners it will be useful to contact, get in touch and arrange a time for a face to face conversation. Prepare a list of questions based on your requirements and make sure you take note of their answers. If you get a quote for the event in this initial meeting make sure you get it in writing if you are going to be relying on that quote as a price gauge. You will need someone who is confident, organised and able to listen to requests, following through on them quickly and efficiently.
Work out a budget with your potential event planners, don’t wait until you have signed anything to get a quote, fixed price or price per head. Finding out exactly what sort of financial commitment you will be expected to make as soon as possible will reduce your susceptibility to bill shock after the event. Budgets have a habit of blowing out and so it’s important to bear that in mind when setting limits.
Have a backup plan:
No matter how well you have chosen your event planner things can go wrong. If your event planner becomes ill, injured or turns out to be unreliable you need to be prepared to find another event planner to replace them. Ensure that you do not burn any bridges with other event planners you interview so that you have a viable backup candidate if the worst should happen.