You don't have the time or resources to plan your upcoming event. Maybe you're a busy bride or an overwhelmed in-house planner or HR employee. You need an event planner, but how do you start? You should be prepared to answer a few key questions.
1. What is the Purpose of your event?
Every event planner will want to know the Purpose of your event. They will need to know why you are having an event in the first place in order to judge whether your event was successfully planned. Are you celebrating an important Anniversary? Planning a launch party for a new product? Organizing a company convention with break-out sessions? Step one is telling the event planner as many details about the Purpose of your event as possible.
2. What is your Vision?
The event planner wants to execute your vision of the event, so tell him or her the way you want things to go. They will want to know how you see the event in your head. If they don't ask, Tell Them! Often times, this gives the planner a chance to help you brainstorm a bit. They can also let you know about limitations they may be aware of that get in the way of that vision. You may not be able to do indoor pyro special effects in your city, as you imagined - etc.
3. Do you have any Details?
Maybe you're starting from scratch and don't have a date or a venue. The event planner can help you discover the perfect time and place for your event. But if you do have some information about your event - even if you don't think the planner needs to know- tell them anyway. Event planning is all about the fine details and no event planner can be too prepared.
4. What are your Demographics?
What is the age and gender of your group? The event should be planned with the audience in mind. If your event is a Product Launch VS. a Retirement party, everything will be different - from music to food to the level of physical activity your group is capable of sustaining and the technology you able to incorporate. Bourbon tastings are growing in popularity for women in their 30's and 40's while sports games like corn hole and pool are classic favorites for men 20 to 65. It's important to let your planner know Who is coming to your event.
5. What is your Budget?
You may be tempted to low-ball your planner in order to save money. For the sake of your event, please don't! Your planner needs to know what the real numbers are in order to plan your event effectively. Giving your planner the real dollars and cents eliminates a lot of work for you both while giving your event planner an opportunity to reconcile your budget with your vision.
In conclusion, it's best to think of the questions you would ask, were you the planner. The What, Who, Where, When, and How Much have to be answered before planning can begin. Save yourself and your event person the time and expense of a lengthy back and forth and already have as many of these answers before you pick up the phone.