A Beginners Guide To Event Planner Certification

Reasons Why You Should Hire an Event Planner

We love doing everything ourselves mainly because we have a general distrust of experts. We think we know better and this often leads to a disaster. You may have decided to do things on your own all the time but when it comes to an event, you must take the back seat and let an event planner handle everything. A good event planner will make your event the most memorable occasion of your life.

Here are 10 reasons why you should hire an event planner:

Everything will be according to your choice

If your biggest concern about event planners is that they set up everything according to their choice, you’re wrong. The first step in event planning is listening to the client. All you have to do is explain everything to your event planner and get rid of all your worries about bringing your ideas into reality. Because that’s exactly what your event planner will be doing.

You will be saving money

A general misconception about event planners is that they cost you more money. In reality, an event planner will be saving your money. Because of their vast experience in the field, event planners have plenty of contacts with event services and can hire the best caterers, cameramen, transporters while getting you a discount at the same time. Event planners also know where not to waste the money unlike the rest of us who general do not have any experience in planning an event.

Decision on venue

‘Is it safe in the current weather? Is it too difficult to reach there? Does it fit the client’s requirements?’ These are some of the questions that go through an event planner’s mind before choosing a location for your event.

Pictures

Whether it’s a business event or a personal one, you want it to be special. You want it to stay fresh in your memory forever and for that, you want lots of pictures. But you cannot know for sure the kind of light that will be necessary for your event. That’s where your event planner comes in. Only a good event planner can perfectly guide the people setting up lighting. And good lighting means good pictures.

Protecting you from a catering disaster

You can hire the best caterers in the city and still run into problems on the day of the event. Maybe the food was not sufficient for your guests or the serving style was not according to your satisfaction. The reason behind that? You hadn’t dealt with caterers before. But your event planner has, on many occasions. They know the right way to communicate with caterers to make sure nothing is amiss on the day of the event.

Here’s How to Hire an Event Planner

Whether you’re planning a product launch, a team-building event, or a holiday party, it’s crucial to make sure that your event is the absolute best it can be. Sure, you can plan it yourself, but it may be a more challenging process than you might realize. Why not save yourself the time, energy, and stress, all the while ensuring that your event is a success that stays within budget? For these reasons, many will choose to hand the task off to a professional and hire an event planner. If you’re in that camp, it’s important to select the right person for the job. Luckily, our guide is here to walk you through hiring an event planner from start to finish.

1. Establish your goals for the event

The first step to hire an event planner is determining what kind of event you’re looking to have planned. That’s because different event planners have their own particular areas of expertise. You should know what your budget will be, what the aim of the event is, and its intended audience, for starters.

Having at least the beginnings of a clear vision for what you want will make an enormous difference in how specific your search can be. Rather than wading through all the event planners in your area, you can focus on those who have a portfolio of events similar to what you have in mind. Of course, without having hired the event planner, it’s unlikely that you’ll have an extremely specific vision, but that’s fine. To start, just develop a general sense of what it will be.

2. Locate potential event planners

Sure, you can rely on referrals and informal recommendations from friends. Sometimes this is advantageous, but you might be better off taking a broader look at who’s available and getting a sense of their reputation (particularly within the industry itself, as other event planners will likely be the best judge) and credentials more generally.

One great resource for finding skillful event planners in your area is through professional event planning organizations, such as:

  • International Live Events Association
  • Event Service Professionals Association
  • Meeting Professionals International
  • National Association of Catering Executives

Depending on where you’re located, these organizations might even have a local chapter that you can connect with for more in-depth guidance.

3. Choose a candidate

Here’s the most exciting point in the process: when you actually hire an event planner! You’ll have to interview the best candidates first, of course. And, if you’re being extra methodical, you’ll do several rounds of interviews. In the first set of interviews, start off by telling applicants just a bit about what you have in mind, and then give them plenty of time to discuss their background and experience.

Once you’ve done this set of interviews, review your notes (yes, you should be taking notes!) and decide on a few applicants for the second round of interviews — perhaps two to four people. These should be more detailed, particularly involving questions about past event planning successes (and even failures).

Look for candidates who ask strong, specific questions, helping to guide the conversation based on their own experience and knowledge — this is a great indicator of expertise. With all this info gathered, don’t forget to reach out to references before you make a final decision.

4. Iron out the details

Once you’ve chosen someone, you should be sure to agree upon payment at the very beginning. This should be crystal-clear for both parties before you move forward with anything. Additionally, work with your event planner to agree on a detailed budget.

Once all these steps are done, it’s crucial to maintain strong communication. You should be reaching out to the event planner on a regular basis (preferably an agreed-upon regularity, such as a few times a week or whatever works best for both of you). This way, if any issues arise, you can work together to address them before they become complicated.

Interview Questions for Event Planners:

1. How would you put on a great event, given a constrained budget?

Look for candidates who know how to prioritize essential items on the budget. The best candidates might have developed some creative solutions to lower costs, without sacrificing client expectations or attendee satisfaction.

2. How do you go about finding suitable suppliers for an event?

Good candidates should demonstrate an ability to research and negotiate with suppliers. Candidates should also ensure that they know what the client wants, as this must be a major deciding factor when choosing suppliers for an event.

3. Can you tell us about a difficult interaction you’ve had with a client?

The best candidate will be someone who knows how to have difficult conversations or handle demanding clients in a professional manner. Event Planners need strong interpersonal skills, and should be able to work well with a wide range of personalities.

4. How do you effectively manage your time when planning an event?

Ideally, candidates should demonstrate that they are experts at managing their time. Take note of candidates who can tell you about specific tools which they use, such as a schedule app on their mobile device or a color-coded board, for example.

5. What considerations would you keep in mind when planning an outdoor event?

Look for candidates who have a knack for detail and an ability to anticipate all potential risks. The weather is a major consideration, so they should take precautions for all types of conditions. Candidates should be able to mention a wide variety of considerations, and how to prepare for them.

What Are Your Experience Areas?

To find out more about your event planner, you should ask them about the type of events they most frequently do. You should only choose the event planners who have a relevant experience of working in your industry. For example, if you have a technology related business, you should only choose an event planner who has the relevant experience of organizing events relevant to your industry.

What Services Are You Offering?

It is important to know about all the services the event planner you’re looking to hire is offering. This is the only way of making sure that you get the best quality services. You can also hire them to help you with lits of other things as well.

The Wedding Planner

A wedding planner is probably one of the first (and arguably one of the most important) vendors you will hire for your special day and can play an integral role in making it an unforgettable and stress-free day. But with such a personal event, it’s important you find somebody who understands your vision and has the experience to execute a flawless event.

So to help you find the wedding planner that’s right for you, we’ve compiled 10 questions to ask before signing on the dotted line and hiring a professional to plan your wedding.

1. ARE YOU AVAILABLE ON MY WEDDING DATE?

First and foremost, it’s important to establish whether your preferred wedding planner is available on your date. If they’re not, you can either eliminate them as a possibility (and move onto someone else) or consider changing your wedding date if they’re someone you really want to work with. If you haven’t yet locked in a wedding date, ask the planner for a few possible options to consider when making your final decision.

2. ARE YOU WITHIN OUR BUDGET?

If you’ve arrived at the point of meeting with a wedding planner, chances are you have an idea of their fees (and have determined that it fits within your budget). But perhaps you have certain things in mind that may bring additional charges. It’s important to put them on the table early on before you get out of your depth.

Alternatively, you could just ask what’s not included in their package and use that information to compare the wedding planner with others you’re considering. If you can’t afford to hire the wedding planner for their full-time services, you may be able to negotiate a part-time planning arrangement or some level of coordinating in the lead up to your special day.

3. HOW MANY WEDDINGS HAVE YOU PLANNED?

Practice makes perfect, which is also true in the wedding planning world. So don’t be shy about asking how many weddings they’ve planned and whether that was as a lead planner or as an assistant. At the same time, check how many weddings they take on each year. This is one situation where more is not better as you want your wedding planner to have as much time as possible to plan your wedding. If a planner is taking on weddings each and every weekend, chances are they’re cutting corners somewhere.

4. HAVE YOU WORKED AT OUR VENUE BEFORE?

If a wedding planner has previously worked at your venue, they already know the ins and outs of how things work. While this doesn’t have to be a “make or break” question, it’s something to take into consideration. Having experience at a venue means they may have insider knowledge or suggestions that are particular to the space and can help the wedding day run more smoothly. If they have worked at your venue before, be sure to ask for photographic proof so you can see how it all turned out.

5. HOW INVOLVED WILL WE BE IN THE PLANNING PROCESS?

For couples who want to be really hands-on, you want to find a wedding planner who will work with you, rather than letting you know what’s happening right before the big day. So ask exactly what the process of planning your wedding will look like – will they email you designs and talk you through them over the phone or perhaps you’ll meet in person on a regular basis to go through swatches and samples. Some couples are happy for the wedding planner to do their thing (and just fill them in towards the end). There’s no right or wrong way but finding a professional who allows you to be involved as much or as little as you like in planning your wedding is essential.