When To Hire An Event Planner

Articles Event Planning Small Business

I’m going to be honest with you.  Not all events require you to hire an event planner.  Most people can handle small events (below 40 people) as long as they are organized and are willing to put in the time and effort to bring it all together.  Some people can even plan their own major events by themselves with no problem.  Then there are those that start planning an event only to realize that they may need some extra help.

I was recently helping a friend with a small event.  She was about 3-4 months in to the planning when I got the call for help.  After I playfully chastised her about not brining me in sooner, we got down to discussing the status of her planning.  She was literally pulling her hair out!  The venue wasn’t responding to her calls, the caterer changed the menu without telling her, she wasn’t getting the registrations she hoped for and so on.  I love her dearly and she is a very organized person that was determined and focused on this event, but in the face of issues that us planners deal with on a daily basis, she was out of her depth. 

 So how do you know when to ask for professional help?  Number one, you don’t have to hire us to plan the whole event.  In some cases, that would not make financial sense.  But you can hire us to handle certain task for you or to consult you on an as needed basis.  Here are some ways that an event planner can help. 

Large vs. Small Events

The number of attendees has a huge affect on your event.  Besides the budget concerns, it will affect the type of venue you can use.  Smaller events are easier to plan for and allow for more flexibility if you encounter a hiccup on event day.  If you are planning an event for hundreds of people, it may be a good idea to seek an event planner to help with certain aspects of your event like negotiating with the venue and vendors, consulting on marketing strategies or logistics.  For larger events, an event planner can also be your onsite person the day of.  That way you can focus on your workshop, networking and impressing your future clients.

As Your Wingman (or woman!)

Planning an event, even a small one, is time consuming.  If this is your first event, take your time and focus on each step of the planning process.  We offer a planning process just for small or medium businesses that will walk you through the steps.  If you rush your event, it may not turn out the way you envisioned. 

Identify the task or group of tasks that you dread doing.  The good thing is planners don’t have to do everything.  You can hire an event planner to just help complete the task that you don’t like to do or may need the professional planner know how.  For instance, we know how to negotiate very well.  We have tricks and phrases that we use to get the most from vendors and venues.  Which could save you much more money than it cost to hire us.  We’re also good at going through your agenda and making sure you have addressed all of the possible logistics challenges.  We can review your budget for items that you may have missed.  If you are a detailed oriented person that loves to do this, then you may be good to go.

Bad planner/good planner

Professional event planners are excellent at negotiation and knowing how to use the leverage we have to negotiate the best deals for our clients.  If you are trying to have a fairly large event on a limited budget, an event planner can definitely help.  We will play the bad planner that insist on getting every concession, every discount, and every incentive we can while you sit back and say,” I wish I knew how to stop her.  She’s just going to keep asking for more.”  A perfect partnership!

Consultant Extraordinaire

If you are not sure about your next move or just want to bounce some ideas off of, professional planners have seen lots of events and can give you very good advice on some of the pros and cons of your plan.  And guide you in the right direction.  Event if you have planned an event before and would like to plan a different type of event, you can consult a planner to make sure you are heading down the right road.  

Our desire is for the world to plan nothing but successful events!  We are here to help, coach and guide as much or little as you need. Hiring an event planner can be the difference between your event being a successful or not.

Jamel Shuford
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