The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Professional Event Planner for Corporate Events
Who is a corporate event planner?
When the largest U.S. businesses plan to organize an event in New York, they usually call Ron Wendt, an event professional who knows exactly which tablecloths you have to rent for your corporate meeting. Business owners from London usually contact Lucy Francis or Chris Preston when they seek assistance building impactful corporate events. Who are these people? Corporate meeting planners. They are event experts who are not afraid of multi-tasking and who can take responsibility for corporate hospitality, entertainment activities, and incentive trip planning.
The key responsibilities of a corporate event planner
The mission of corporate event planners is building competitive events to match the feel and values of the host organization. When hiring a corporate event planner, check whether he/she is capable of handling the following processes:
- Brainstorm event themes based on the client’s vision. If you contact a corporate event coordinator, the first thing he should offer is having a meeting with you where you discuss the event message, corporate values, and themes. A successful corporate event manager knows how to transform your ideas into a working event.
- Make a cost estimate. The next step is contacting vendors, suppliers, and venue hosts. Based on the information gained, a corporate event planner makes a comprehensive cost estimate which must be aligned with the event budget.
- Build a checklist. Well planned is half the battle. It’s a useful habit for a corporate event planner to build a checklist, featuring the core planning, administrative, and operational tasks, along with assigned responsibilities.
- Choose a smart venue, food, & decor. In one of his interviews on party planning, Ron Wendt said if you can align the feel of an event with decor, you can make a flower tell the story of the whole event. Making clever decisions about small details like catering and venue navigation has a huge impact on attendance experiences.
- Team bonding & entertainment. While team spirit is the lifeblood of corporate events, bonding activities are always part of the show. It’s the event planner’s responsibility to make them personalized.
- Travel & accommodation planning. In the case of overseas trips, a corporate event planner should handle travel planning, accommodation booking, partnerships with local hosts & suppliers, and more.
- Cooperate with tech vendors. No matter which country an event takes you to, a corporate event planner should find a reliable tech vendor to satisfy onsite management, RSVP processes, and tech-driven networking within a specific budget.
The pros and cons of hiring an event planner for corporate events
Whether you should drive your corporate success alone or entrust the event to an external party is a decision only you can make. Here are some pros and cons you should consider when hiring an event planner:
- A smooth-running show. An experienced corporate event planner has tools and strategies to help build high-quality events. Since many companies simply don’t have the right expertise and sourcing contacts to power an efficient corporate event, having your meeting outsourced might be a good decision.
- Technology expertise. The person who powers your event should be abreast of tech news to deliver the most up-to-date expertise. It’s very likely there might be no such savvy tech experts in your company.
- Increased focus. If you assign the task of event organization to one of the existing employees, the latter might get serious task overdose. Outsourced event managers are able to give your project the attention it needs.
- Extra costs. The cost of outsourced event planning services might be quite high, which is why many modern companies consider it cheaper to organize corporate events relying on internal resources.
- Trust. If you hire corporate event planners, you should trust these people. Unless you choose a certified professional or someone who has been recommended by a friend, it might be a better choice to entrust the whole thing to your internal staff.
What are the drawbacks?
They are not cheap
Event planners are obviously an added expense, so it’s important to weigh up the cost of the planner versus the savings you’ll make both in regard to time and money.
They often take over
While this could be the best possible outcome for many, some, who may like to have a bit more control, may perceive this as a major drawback. If this is you, you’ll have to decide just how much control and see whether you can stand to relinquish the control you’d be handing over.
It’s the luck of the draw
Unless you hire the cream of the crop, it can be difficult to ascertain whether or not a planner is good at what they do. Even a gruelling interview process can result in hiring someone who is sloppy in their work or who has simply taken on too many jobs simultaneously.
They may not understand your vison
Good event planners will do their best to understand the tone and feel you want the event to have; bad ones may not. When you hire an event planner you have to be prepared to be really specific about what you want or live with the fact that things may not go perfectly according to what you want or expect.
Reasons to Hire a Professional Event Planner
Planning an event yourself may not seem all that difficult. In-house, DIY planning is often viewed as cheaper and simpler, and therefore better than hiring a professional. However, a large-scale event is made up of so many factors that are easily missed by someone lacking experience. At the end of the day, hiring a professional meeting planner is a better bet. Don’t believe us? Here are seven reasons why.
- The Devil’s in the Details
Planning a large event successfully requires a thorough knowledge of all the details involved. If you lack experience it’s easy for little things to slip through the cracks. Take nametags, for example. A small detail, but incredibly important if you want your guests to be able to network and get to know each other.
- Time Saved is Time Gained
One of the biggest downsides to DIY planning is the amount of time you lose. Organizing an event takes a great deal of time and effort. What’s more, if you’re not a professional planner it will likely take you much longer to accomplish every part of preparation. Hiring a planner will free you to spend your time on other projects.
One of the biggest reasons to hire an event planner is that their connections become yours. Planners cultivate relationships with hotels, airlines, caterers, and vendors—relationships that will work in your favor. If you’re doing things on your own, planning an event for the first time, you’ll be starting with no connections. The network provided by established planners could get you discounts, access to hard-to-get conference speakers, and other perks.
- Reduced Stress
Accomplishing a difficult task is all the more stressful if it’s something you’ve never done before. Event planning, with all its intricate details, is undoubtedly stressful. It isn’t just the preparation stage that can cause anxiety, however—while the event is going on you can be worrying about things that might go wrong. A professional planner, however, is used to the innerworkings of event planning and will be much more adept at managing things. Hiring a planner will allow you to sit back and enjoy the event without being in the thick of stressful planning and execution.
You’re Going To Save Money
Once you communicate your budget, event planners design the event around your goals and investment. Experienced planners will utilize their extensive network to save you money. Furthermore, event professionals stay up to date on industry trends and are capable of providing insight on what’s best for your special event while keeping budget and preference in mind.
Your Event Is Going To Be Beautiful
Event planners know that if an event looks and feels great, it will be a success. There are many details that an event host may never think of. Things like, if you angle your audience chairs a certain way, it makes them feel more involved and engaged. You may want something a bit more unique for your event and that is where an event planner will shine. Professional planners and event companies can help with certain themes or offer their ideas and show you their previous work so you can visualize it in advance.
You Have No Idea Where To Start
You may have been asked to make an event happen and you’ve never planned an event before and have no idea where to start. You lack relationships with vendors and industry know-how. Events have many moving pieces and variables. Your event planner brings everything together for you and becomes a key asset to your family, brand, or organization.