How to find an event planner that is a good fit for your next event

Does your organisation want to stage a corporate event or conference and doesn't know where to start?

Well a place to start is appointing someone, either internal or external, as the event planner – a person who can project manage this event no matter how big or small. This decision is crucial and will ultimately shape the impact and result of your event or conference.

So how do you find an event planner that is a good fit for your next event?

You may not have the person with the necessary skills and experience within your organisation to take on this important and intensive role, so I certainly recommend you consider a specialist.

Finding an event planner is not as simple as googling the nearest person to your location. As with any successful team, it is important to ensure that you engage a planner that you are comfortable with and feel will complement your strengths.

From our experience in the industry, we have compiled 5 key criteria for you to help choose your next event planner:

1.  Personality

It is important to meet your planner before making any decision to ensure you both get along. We all have different styles and personalities and it is important you find someone that matches your style and you feel you can relate with. I suggest interviewing your prospective planner and see how you both get along and evaluate the ease of communication between you.

2. Industry Knowledge

In your interview, ask your potential planner about their experience. What style of events have they delivered? What events have they planned similar to your event? What challenges did they encounter? How would they be able to help you improve your event? Ask for some case studies of previous events and request a reference that you can call and talk to.

3. Organised

Although it may sound obvious that an event planner should be organised, it should not be considered a given. Discuss with your event planner their methodology and approach to organising an event. You should insist on a project plan with clear deadlines be presented from the outset.

4. Resources

Organising an event can be quite complex, especially once you start including accommodation, catering, flights, and planning a variety of sessions and activities. Ask your prospective event planner what software platform they use to manage their events. There are many different programs on the market today with some of the more popular being - Events Air, Summit and E-touches. Other resources to ask about include mobile applications, online registration, event website development, survey management, abstract management, graphic design, sponsorship, marketing and public relations, and development of social media platforms for the event. 

5. Attention to Detail

With so much detail required for organising each delegate and every small part of an event, it is important your planner has high attention to detail. Little things like lighting, table decorations, sound, and dietary requirements are not things you want to be worrying yourself with and a good event planner with ensure all of these are cross checked and checked again for you.

As you have read, the selection of an event planner should not be taken for granted. It is a highly specialised role, with these 5 skills and qualities imperative for the person to possess, if you want your corporate event or conference the best one it can be.

Dwain Richardson is the Managing Director of Corporate Challenge Events – a leader in the delivery of corporate events and team building programs in Australia and New Zealand for the past 21 years. www.corpchallenge.co.nz

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