Is an Event Planner Worth the Money?
Over the last few months of networking and sharing what I do with others, I have run into some pretty negative feedback about “event planners” and find myself having to apologize for someone else’s lack of experience and share what a “professional planner” really does to help their clients. Right now, our market is saturated with “event planners” mostly people who have planned a nice birthday party or wedding and then start a business the following week. That’s great if you really have a passion for planning and get the proper training to be of value to your corporate client.
Let me share with you a few pointers about why I think a professional planner is worth the money and not because I am one.
Let’s say you want to hold a customer appreciation event but you want it to be more than just a party. Your company’s reputation is on the line. You have to make a decision whether to leave this important function to a professional or to unskilled hands? In this case, a planner can be a valuable asset.
Event Objectives: A professional planner can help you align your corporate marketing goals with your event strategy and realize a return on investment or return on your event objective. They can also help you reinforce existing customer relationships and provide an opportunity to approach prospective customers. A creative planner will help you create an event that will encourage interactive networking and communication and create the event to promote your marketing message. Professional planners have the skills and expertise to evaluate and negotiate contracts with vendors. They also have strategic alliances with vendors that can get you the best for your dollar. Professional planners act as your insurance policy making sure all details for your event are managed and nothing falls through the cracks.
Finding the right planner: Determine how involved you want to be in the planning process. Make sure the planner is experienced by asking a series of questions. How often has the planner handled events similar to yours? What other corporate events have they planned? Do they have experience with the type of event that you want to host? How will they approach your goals for this event? Ask for references to contact, including past customers. Ask if they carry professional and general liability (Errors and Omissions) insurance? Also check to see if they have a CSEP (Certified Special Event Profession) or CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) certification. Planners with either of these certifications have proven their professional achievement in the meetings and events industry. Both certifications are earned through education, performance, experience, and service to the industry, and reflect a commitment to professional conduct and ethics.
Think back to the times you have attended a well organized and executed event where the guests had a great time and it was a memorable experience. The right planner can help ease your load, meet your objectives and will pull off an event your guests will always remember.
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