So you’ve decided to hire an event planner. Now what? Where to start? What to expect? Hiring an event planner for the first time can be scary, even though it doesn’t have to be, just by keeping a few simple tips in mind. Most of us have seen at least one wedding planner on television by now and we know that they are filled to the brim with knowledge, vendor relationships and, most importantly, great ideas. The perfect event planner should have a healthy mix of moxie and pixie dust to make your event the best ever.
While all of this seems like an easy recipe for success, often times it is not. Most planners are rarely seen in the limelight because they are knee-deep in the details that are ever so important. Those details are the “little things” that mean a lot, even though, ironically, most of them are not so little. The job of a planner is to make your life easier, not more difficult.
Strong, professional event planners, whether wedding or not, are able to consolidate the tasks at hand and navigate the stressful waters associated with any successful event. All event planners are service professionals with a pre-existing formula for success. Their experiences enable them to give their clients the event of their dreams.
With all this said, how do you select the perfect planner for your event? What should you expect in an initial meeting? How do you move forward from there? If any of these questions have entered your mind, then this blog is for you! First meetings of any type are like first dates. There is an enthusiasm and nervousness that goes along with anything new.
Come prepared with an idea of how you want your event to look and feel. If you can explain it, a qualified professional can create it. The difference between professionals is in the way in which they create it, how and where they create it, and what they do to make it “yours.” It is the special signature they give your event, which is really your signature not theirs. For example, is there a special type of flower you prefer? A band you have seen and loved? A photographer who has a style you like? Discuss all of this from the very beginning and learn how you can integrate your vision into a live look and feel.
On your first date with any planner, come ready to discuss your budget. The planner should tell you if your budget is reasonable or not and what you can expect for that price. She can also give you ideas of things you may have never thought of which would fit your budgetary needs as well! Discuss your goals and set firm objectives for them. Set yourself up for success from the very first meeting.
Your event may have been in the works for a very long time or it may be something new. Maybe your envisioned what your wedding would be like since you were a little girl or maybe you are planning a corporate event for staff across the country with very different tastes and experiences. Either way, it makes sense to listen to the professionals. They can tell you what will work and what will not from their own vast experiences.
Set a timeframe and a schedule for meetings. A timing plan will help you both complete specific details. If you are feeling overwhelmed, a checklist will help! Make one with your planner showing what she is able to complete and when. It should also show what your planner needs from you and when. This keeps everyone on the same page.
Finally, expect a fairy godmother. Your planner is not only your advocate and detail expert, but also the person with the pixie dust that makes your event great. Little details and suggestions can transform your event from a good one into an incredible one; and we all know that life doesn’t get any better than that! The goal of the event planner is always the same as yours: when the last guest leaves, you both want them to feel (and remember) how special and intimate the event was, regardless of whether there were 5 or 5,000 guests.