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Discussion Forums

Choosing a Corporate Event Planner

Corporate events can be huge, with thousands of attendees, lasting several days at multiple sites.  Or they can be small with only a few people attending.  In both cases, your company’s reputation is on the line so you might need the help of an event planner.  There are big differences between types of events - large or small, informal or formal, onsite or offsite, etc. That is one of the reasons to hire a coordinator who has experience in putting together your type of event. Ask questions until you are satisfied you have chosen the most qualified person to plan your event.

Qualifications of a good event planner. 
A good coordinator is able to accomplish the following:  

  1. Generate Great IdeasYou want someone who is more than a facilitator.  You want someone who can come up with sound ideas about location, menu, staffing needs, sponsorship and budget that fit your market and that will help you achieve your goals.
  2. Evaluate Those Ideas – Most events are iterations of several ideas.  A good party planner doesn’t stay married to their idea but lets the idea evolve as they learn more about you and your needs.
  3. Design and DecorateDecor, layouts, presentation, logistics, and creativity are all part of the their responsibilities.
  4. Create a Plan. Share the Plan. Work the Plan. – We’ve seen good plans that didn’t work because the planner did not let everyone know what was happening or they deviated from the plan.  The devil is in the details.  
  5. Coordinate multiple activities – Sharing and delegating responsibilities can reduce costs and result in a great event.  Big events may need committees. A good planner will make sure everyone is aware of their job and is doing it.
  6. Evaluate the Event – This event should help you plan your next event. .Was it a success? Why? Why not? Document any suggestions for future use.

Questions you should ask.
It is expected that you will interview the party planner.  You will be held responsible for the event and you will be working closely with this person to make sure it is a success.  Pick someone you like.  They have to be good communicators. They have to be someone you trust.  You can gauge these traits during the interview.  A face-to face interview is usually best. There are some specific questions you should ask.

  • What are the most recent events you've organized?
  • How many events, like the one we want, have you supervised?  What were your responsibilities?
  • How many people attended? Did that meet or exceed expected attendance?
  • If a fund-raiser, how much money did the event raise?
  • How much time do you have to promote to this event?
  • Would you work out of your home or must we provide you an office?
  • Will you be there on the day of the event? If not, who?
  • Do you have letters of recommendation?
  • Do you charge a flat fee? If not what items/services are billed? 

Return to our Corporate Event Party Planning Guide

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