Let’s face it, there is no shortage of event planning companies. But are they all equal? Of course not. But how do you tell which ones are better than the others? Well sometimes that’s not so easy to ascertain at the event planning stage. But by following the advice below, you will be able to make informed decisions on which event planning company you want to work with.
Top Event Planning Companies Stand out
The role of an event planning company is to ensure that their client receives the best advice, venue negotiations, etc. with the overall goal of a successful meeting, conference or event. If you’ve read any of the articles on this blog then you know that an event planner wears many hats.
Believe it or not there are also many instances where clients can save on their budget by hiring an event planning company. I know that sounds hard to believe because typically we believe that everything we contract or hire usually means an additional expense. But we also expect that event planning companies have established relationships with vendors and suppliers and thus are quite often able to negotiate better terms for their clients. And it usually these event planning companies that stand out. It’s those companies that work tirelessly towards ensuring their client has a successful meeting that start to gain the trust from their clients.
Key Factors That Make an Event Planning Company Stand out amongst the Crowd
I can remember meeting with potential clients and getting asked the, very common, question “what sets you apart from the rest?”. And let’s face it, many times you and your competitors are pitching the same venue to the same client. And, after all, a venue is a venue no matter who is doing the event planning. But back to the question that I’m often asked (what sets me apart). My reply is always that I believe the most important trait that sets any company apart from their competition is trust or integrity. And that’s something that takes a while to develop. So how do you know whether or not the company you are considering has integrity? Here are a few things that I always recommend;
Show the events price breakdown. In the proposal stage I would always break out the price by the various components of the event itself. For example, I would show an item line for transportation, food, beverage, service and equipment charges, my fee, if any, as well as taxes and gratuities. You have probably seen companies that show you a per-person price based on a minimum attendance. Now I’m not saying that if you price by a per-person price that you are gouging your customers. Rather, I’m just saying that, for me, I never had a problem explaining to a client where my fee would fit into their overall program. In other words I wouldn’t hide anything from my client regarding pricing or my fee.
Ask for references. You wouldn’t believe how many clients never ask a potential event planning company for references. It’s one of the easiest ways to verify whether or not the company is up to the task. Of course also bear in mind that any references you receive will probably be from friendly past clients of that event planning company. But, that’s still not a bad thing. I would suggest that you ask for references that are the same size as your group will be.
Networking. Check event planning companies out on social media as well as the old-fashioned face-to-face networking. A good reputable company will have made a name for themselves. So ask your colleagues if they know of the company you are considering. If they are good, chances are somebody in your professional circle has heard of them or has used them.
Choosing an event planning company to work with doesn’t have to be a stab in the dark. But you do have to take a little bit of time at the onset to make sure that you are establishing a relationship with a company that you can easily work with. Your main goal should be your working relationship. In other words do you trust the event planning company that you are about to work with. If you take a little bit of time, and do your due diligence, you’ll be able to answer that question without hesitation.
- Promote Your Event with a Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB)
- How a Meeting and Event Planner Uses a CVB
- Event Planning-Why Can’t We All Just Get along (plananevent.org)
- Event Planning Companies Are Getting Creative for Transportation (plananevent.org)