Thirteen up-and-coming entrepreneurs on how to find an event planner that will best suit your company's needs:
No. 1: Energy
From Corey Blake of Round Table Companies
Your organization lives by core values, and your event planner should exude those in spades. We are guided by love, honesty, joy, momentum, growth, brilliance and community. Everyone we hire has to naturally live those values. It's the same with an event planner, but it's even more important because his energy will be infused into your event and the experience he creates for your people.
No. 2: Attention to Detail and Execution
From Parker Powers of Millionaire Network
An event planner can make or break any event. Attention to detail and execution are two extremely important "must haves," along with a "no-excuses" mentality. Great event planners are naturally strong-willed, good listeners and can make amazing things happen.
No. 3: People Skills
From Brett Farmiloe of Markitors
Event planning is all about working with people -- often while under stress. An event planner has to have a level head when working with others in coordinating an event, especially since event success relies on relationships. Try to find an event planner who knows how to work with people well when things are coming down to the wire.
No. 4: It Depends on the Event
From Tim McHugh of Saddleback Educational
Pick your event planner based on the types of events you will be hosting. Are you strictly hosting business/executive meetings where the most important factor is somebody who is detail-oriented and can meet a schedule/deadline? Or, are your events more design-focused where you need a special creative person that can really wow your attendees? Pick the person based on the style of the event.
No. 5: Creativity and Detail Orientation
From Alex Frias of Track Marketing Group
As an owner of an event marketing company, I can tell you a great event planner has the ability to think big creatively and simultaneously has OCD when it comes down to the tactical event details. It's a unique combination that is rare to find in the average person, but it's what separates a great event planner from just someone who plans events.
No. 6: Trust
From Alexis Wolfer of The Beauty Bean
You're hiring an event planner because you don't want to do it yourself. If you need to micromanage him, however, it defeats the purpose. Spend the time interviewing and speaking with references until you're sure that you trust the person you hire to execute your vision. Then, let go.
No. 7: Experience and Specialization
From Robert De Los Santos of Sky High Party Rentals
When hiring an event planner, you want to know exactly what experience he has and what kind of events he specializes in. Look at what past events he has thrown. Were those events on the same scale as what you're trying to achieve? You want to hire someone who fits your specific needs and can prove it. You don't need a celebrity event planner for a professional networking event.
No. 8: Connections
From John Rampton of Adogy
You never want to hire an event planner who's not well-connected in your niche. Prior experience is a plus, and a positive attitude is a must.
No. 9: An Upbeat Personality
From Josh Weiss of Bluegala
Your events will be a reflection of your event planner's personality. Make sure that you would want to go to an event featuring that person before hiring him.
No. 10: An Understanding of Your Vision
From Nicole Nelson of BENG!
You can always find a person to execute what you think you and your company need. A good event planner will understand your vision and goals and extend beyond that to provide you with what you asked for and more. Your event planner should be an ROI master with attention to detail and a true people person.
No. 11: Organization
From Andy Karuza of Brandbuddee
Organization and timing are key for event planners. There are a lot of details flying around, and everything tends to converge at a single point in time. The unorganized event planner will be flustered and find it hard to be consistent in staying up on specific tasks that need to get done for the event. In the end, he'll typically drop the ball on several issues during the event.
No. 12: Drive
From Carlo Cisco of SELECT
The event planner shouldn't be satisfied with the status quo. You want to make sure his top priority is making your event as good as it can possibly be. Experience and relationships are also important -- it will make his job easier and your event better.
No. 13: A Strong History
From Kim Kaupe of ZinePak
Never hire an event planner before you are able to personally speak to a handful of past clients. Past references and reputations are everything in the event-planning business. Choosing someone with a strong history and connections will allow you to have a wide range of choices and vendors to chose from for your event.
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