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If you are planning a large event and want to make sure that it goes off without a hitch, hiring an event planner is your best bet. Event planners are great for many different types of things including weddings, corporate events, conventions, festivals, trade shows, and much more. When you find the right event planner, you will be able to give them the details of what you want, and they will take care of everything for you. This not only helps to ensure your event is great, but it also takes a lot of stress off of your plate.

If you have never hired an event planner before, you may not know how to find the right one. Read through this article to learn about the process to ensure you get it right.

Have Details of Your Event Ready

Before you even reach out to an event planner, you will want to make sure you have at least a basic understanding of what you want from your event. This type of information will be needed so that you can give it to the event planner when you contact them. Not all event planners do all types of events, so having at least a general idea of what you need will help to weed out any options that will not be a good fit. The following are some things you should know up front.

Type of Event You Need Planned

Of course, you are going to need to know what type of event you want planned. Planning a wedding, for example, is quite a bit different from planning a trade show. Part of this should also include the estimated number of people you expect to attend. This is critical to know as early as possible because booking an event location often needs to happen well in advance.

Estimated Date of the Event

When it comes to planning events, you want to have as much lead time as possible. While event planners can often work magic even on short notice, planning ahead gives you a lot more options. Even if you can just give them the season and the year, it will help them to determine if they have the availability to give your event the attention it requires.

Prepare an Estimated Budget

Do you have an estimated budget that you want to work with? This is definitely something that your event planner will need. While event planners are most commonly hired to plan major events with massive budgets, they can also help with smaller parties in many cases. Having a total budget for the event in mind will give a lot of valuable information to the planner.

Have a List of Preferred Venders

Many people have a list of preferred venders that they want to work with for their party. While this is not strictly required, it can be helpful to provide. This is because some event planners either have contracts with specific venders or prefer only working with venders that they already know and trust. If you have a best friend who is a florist, for example, and you want them to provide the flowers for your event, it is a good idea to mention this to the planner. Some other examples of vendors that you may want to work with includes:

  • Florist – Many events require flowers as a decoration. Having a reliable florist is critical.
  • Party Rental Supplies – In most cases, an event will need things like chairs, tables, shelves, linins, and other popular items. Working with a reputable party rental supply company is essential for ensuring the event goes smoothly.
  • Transportation – If you will be providing transportation for anything related to your event, having a good vender is critical.
  • Event Space – Do you have a specific venue you want for your event? If so, you need to mention this as soon as possible so that they can get it booked.

Make a List of Local Event Planners and Setup Interviews

Once you have the basic information you need ready to go, it is time to start making a list of all the different event planners in your area. To start with, just go through and find every option around and make a list. Depending on the size of the city you are in and other factors, you may find that there are only a handful of event planners, or you may have hundreds to choose from.

Tips for Finding Event Planners

If you have never used an event planner before, you might not know where to look. The following are some simple options to start coming up with a list of options:

  • Google – A simple google search for “Event Planners Near Me” or “Event Planners in CITY NAME” will likely come up with a lot of options.
  • Facebook – Facebook has become critical for companies that want to market their businesses. Use the Facebook search with the same types of terms as you used on Google to get some great options.
  • Instagram – Events are a very visual experience, which makes Instagram a perfect place to show them off. Most great event planners will have an Instagram page set up to display their work. Use this tool to find some that you love.
  • Phone Book – While not nearly as popular today, most quality event planners will make sure they are listed in the business section of the phone book so make sure to take a look.
  • Ask for Referrals – Perhaps the best way to find a good event planner is to ask your friends and family if they have ever used one before. If they were happy with them, ask for the contact information. This way you know they can do a good job.

Read Reviews of Event Planners

Once you have a list of the different options in your area, it is time to start narrowing it down to just a handful of qualified options. Take some time to look online for some reviews of the planners on your list. There are many sites out there dedicated to customer reviews. You want to select an event planner who is highly rated and has helped a lot of people in the past.

Questions to Ask

Once you have your list narrowed down, you will want to schedule interviews with each one. Make sure you have some specific questions ready to go when they arrive for the interview, or when you give them a call on the phone. Some types of questions to ask may include:

  • What types of significant events have you planned in the past?
  • Are there any national or global events that you would compare your style to?
  • How much lead time do you need to plan an event of this type?
  • How available are you for communication throughout the process?
  • What do you charge for this type of service?

Request a Portfolio

One of the most important things you can do when talking with event planners is to ask them for a portfolio. All experienced event planners will have a portfolio that they can give you to look at. This will contain pictures and other things from other events they have planned in the past. Most of the time this portfolio will be in the form of a website where you can browse through various sections. Ideally, they will have a separate portfolio for each type of event planning service they offer so you can look just at what you are most interested in.

Looking through a portfolio is going to give you a good idea of the type of work that they do. This is one of the most important things when it comes to hiring an event planner. You want to make sure that their style and way of doing things matches your own as much as possible. When interviewing event planners, one of the most common reasons for eliminating them as an option is that you have different tastes and styles on some key aspect of the event.

Hire the Best Event Planner

One you have gone through this process, it will be time to hire the event planner that you have decided on. When hiring someone to plan a major event, you want to do everything possible to ensure it goes smoothly. One key thing that this involves at this stage of the process is having a contract in place between you and the planner.

Most experienced event planners will have a general contract that they use for this type of work. Make sure to read it through carefully, and do not hesitate to have additional requirements or other details added before signing it. Depending on the size and scope of the event, it may even be a good idea to have an attorney review the contract to ensure everything is as it should be.

Once the contract is signed, you will be able to largely sit back and relax since you can have confidence that you have found and hired the best event planner in your area.