Event planning is a complex management job that requires advanced planning skills. Organizing a major event or meeting is not unlike opening a small business. It requires settling on a strategy, connecting with vendors, opening a venue, hiring employees, developing a marketing plan, establishing a budget, and executing the ultimate client interaction.
THE FOUR ATTRIBUTES
When hiring an outside planner to take your event from conception to completion, look for these four superstar success traits:
- EMPATHY – Event planners must be able to walk in the event participant’s shoes. It is essential from the outset, that the planner feel what the participant will feel when attending the event.
- Is the conference room the right size (intimate enough) to make participants feel connected and involved?
- Does the hotel’s ambiance add to, or detract from, the intended impact of an event?
- Is the technology used sufficient to keep everyone informed and comfortable with the agenda and logistics?
- Does the proposed evening entertainment fit the participant’s profile?
- Will the attendees mix well together?
- Will the guest rooms be comfortable for our customers and associates? Etc…Etc.
- HONESTY – Prospective clients often imagine Champagne events based on Beer budgets. The planners at Premier are trained to keep the client’s expectations realistic while designing the best possible event within budget bounds.
- Are A-list celebrities necessary or will a famous on-topic author create the same impact?
- Is a closing fireworks display the only option or will a moving documentary film send participants home with a lasting emotional take-away?
- Will it take Wolfgang Puck’s cuisine to impress prospective clients?
- Is Hawaii event Nirvana or will Austin, Texas do nicely?
It is critically important for outside event planners to avoid telling event organizers what they want to hear. Candor prevents disappointment.
- INTENTION – What do you hope to accomplish with your event? / What does the participant hope to accomplish by attending your event?
These are the first two questions superstar planners ask prospective clients. Complete and accurate answers are critical to the event planning process and professional planners will dig until they come up with the real purpose of an event from the organizer’s perspective. Then, and only then, will they plan event details based on an analysis of the event participant’s projected experience.
- FOCUS – Attention to detail is the backbone of successful events.
Event planners at Premier manage every detail of hotel selection, air travel, transportation, registration, food and beverage, speaker selection, floral arrangements, entertainment, audio visual, and vendor set-up and take down to name just a few. From long before the event is held to long after follow-up has been completed, skilled planners use dynamic checklists that are reviewed and updated on a daily basis. They stay focused on every detail of your event leaving you free to communicate your message.
EMPATHY- HONESTY – INTENTION – FOCUS are the four traits found in all superstar planners. Be sure that the outside planner you are about to hire possesses all of them in equal measure.