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. Consider Peerspace’s Concierge team
One of the ways to make this process the easiest and most foolproof it can be is to use Peerspace’s skilled Concierge team. Peerspace is an extensive marketplace for venues, offering thousands of options across dozens of cities. It’s easy to use for selecting the perfect event space, whether you’re planning a serious brainstorming session or a fun and lively party.
The fact that Peerspace has a Concierge team to help you with the whole bevy of event planning tasks — such as figuring out catering, A/V rentals, furniture, and so forth — is an added bonus. Particularly helpful, too, is the fact that they have a hand-selected list of all the best, most reliable vendors that are experienced. So, if you don’t want to hire an event planner, working with the Concierge team ensures that you can bypass tons of small logistical coordination tasks that can add up to a huge amount of stress, all while you can retain quite a bit of direct control and involvement in the event planning process.
2. 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.
3. 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.
Additionally, there are lots of websites that allow you to search for event planners in your area. One such site is PartySlate, where you can search by location and other useful criteria, as well as request information about any of the hundreds of event planners in their database. A search on Yelp can also help you find event planners, with plenty of reviews to give you a clear sense of the quality of their work.
Locally, resources will, of course, vary tremendously. But for starters, you can reach out to organizations like your city or town’s chamber of commerce, as well as the local CVB (convention and visitors bureau). These kinds of organizations will likely have insights into which local event planners are well-known for doing good work. Do some research into the business organizations in your area — it’s worth contacting any that look at all promising.
4. 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.
5. 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.