Finding event planners is easy – but how do you choose? How do you pick the one who is perfect for you?
Before you begin contacting, and certainly before you begin meeting with prospective richmond va event planners, sit down and consider your event needs. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What kind of event am I planning? (Birthday, anniversary, corporate retreat, convention, reunion, meeting, political
rally, community event, wedding – what is the occasion?)
- What is my preliminary overall budget?
- How many guests will be invited and how many do I anticipate will attend?
- Which venue or venues do I have in mind?
- What are my venue needs?
- What are the event specifications?
- If I could have everything I want, what does the dream version of the event look like?
- What are my greatest planning concerns?
At minimum, these are the initial thoughts you will need to bring with you to an initial consultation.
When you first start making calls or sending emails, planning firms may ask you some of these questions. Despite rumors to the contrary, it really does not benefit you in the long run to “hide” information that you think might influence a quote or proposal. If you want to find the planner with whom you can have the very best and most effective relationship, start off on the right foot and be frank about your needs, limitations, and priorities. If you have a concern about a proposal, you can always go back and ask for revisions, or seek additional candidates. You can’t easily repair broken trust, though – and a mutually trusting relationship with your richmond va event planner is critical to your event’s success.
Depending on the size of your event and your planning timeline, you will probably meet with multiple candiates. You will generally consult with a representative of the firm, express what you are looking for, hear some initial feedback on your ideas, and if you are interested, request a proposal. It is reasonable to expect a friendly and professional exchange of ideas – it is not reasonable to expect the planner to completely sketch out your event, issue referrals to venues and vendors, give detailed pricing, and a timeline for execution. Part of the value of a great richmond va event planner is his or her knowledge and contacts. This is not information that can be expected for free.
What you can expect is an explanation of what will happen next. You should be given a reasonable time estimate for the proposal turnaround, and the procedures for reviewing, revising, and accepting the proposal. If the planner does not meet the suggested proposal deadline, is there a reasonable and plausible explanation? Your first experience is generally one of the best, so keep your expectations high, yet within reason.
After you have met with your candidates, you will have the opportunity to compare proposals. Try to look at “apples to apples” – this may take some careful examination as well as a follow up call or two. Just as critical, note how comfortable you are with the communication between you and your prospective richmond va event planner. Professionalism and courtesy are impossible to quantify – but are some of the most important “line items” you should compare.
If you didn’t check references before your consultations, now is the time to perform due diligence. Once you sign, you are obligated, so take the time to ensure you have done all you can to screen your top choices (whether your event is corporate OR personal).
Choosing Your Richmond,VA Event Planner
When you are ready to commit, make sure you honor any deadlines for signing and remitting your initial payments, and follow up to be certain that your planner received everything needed to get started. You should have or quickly receive a clear timeline indicating your responsibilities, upcoming deadlines, and future payment dates. Ask clarifying questions, give honest feedback, and know that a great richmond va event planner is there for you no matter what happens. Having chosen the best Richmond Event Planner, you’re on your way to ultimate event success!
Interested in seeing if Make it Posh is the right planner for you? Contact us today!