Tips for Finding the Right Corporate Event Planner
Choosing the right corporate event planner always means finding an expert in the particular type of function that you intend to organize. Asking for personal recommendations is great when you’re looking for prospects, but you typically need to do more.
If you don’t want to settle for less, aim for an event planner with a long experience in the business and someone who is respected by the event-planning sphere.
You should also go out of your way to check with the local chapters of trade groups like Meeting Professionals International and the International Special Events Society. Since it’s usually best to go local (these planners are more knowledgeable and experienced with the options in your particular area), contact your chamber of commerce too, or talk to the convention sales manager of a good local hotel.
Or why not call a hotel’s convention sales department and talk to their manager?
b Interviewing Candidates
Event planners are often happy to hear about your affair. Provide a few details first, focusing instead on their background during your initial appointment. You can then narrow your list of candidates to three of the best. Talk to each of these three about their event planning experience, which companies they’ve worked with, what contingency plans they usually have in place, etc.
In the same way, a good planner will want to interview you too about your event, your overall objectives, how many guests you’re expecting, your budget, and so on and so forth. Pay attention to the company that shows the most interest in your objectives and how to meet them best.
While a planner may not always be available for a personal initial interview, usually because their schedule is very tight, it does offer you a great
advantage. Certainly, you’ll want to know if you get along well together as your rapport will certainly have an impact on the outcome of your event.
Another step you don’t want to skip when choosing an event planner is checking references. Ask the planner for at least three names and contact information of previous clients, and call each one to know about their experience. If the planner seems unwilling to provide such a list, go take your business elsewhere.
Deciding on a Budget
A lot of people who plan an event for the first time want a grand affair for the price of a house party. While any competent planner can extend any budget to maximum capacity, it is also important that you remain grounded with your expectations. This should be a team effort, after all.
Finally, whatever fees and agreements you have with the event planner, make sure there will be a written contract and that you have reviewed it thoroughly before adding your signature.
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