I have worked in or with just about every position there is in both corporate and social events and one of the biggest mysteries to me is how customers and clients think event planners are an unnecessary expense. I understand that up front that they might need an explanation of cost, but almost everyone that I have explained this to always has the same thing to say, “I had never thought of it that way before.” In order to spread the information I have broken down a few key points that you can use to explain, persuade and convince your client why an event planner is a key position that they need to invest in to help make their event a smashing success.

Budget Management

The problem with event budgets is that they are different than practically any other budget imaginable. An event is a constantly changing causing budgets to shift, sometimes dramatically, and the average Executive Assistant or Bride most likely does not have the knowledge to effectively manage this. Since the budget is most important part of an event, the advantage of an event planner is they have the knowledge and experience to move the numbers around to make things work. They know the in’s and out’s of each of the line items and what is most important and what can be worked around to fit more with the budget limitations. These are not easy to manage and by utilizing an event planner they not only can save time and money, but the headaches of math!

Vendors

The time and research that goes into selecting a vendor can be exhausting. The advantage of an event planner is that they come to the table with a Rolodex of people they have worked with before and know that they can deliver what the client wants, when the client needs it. Instead of spending time talking to several potential companies an event planner will already have each area down to one or two vendors that will fit the role perfectly.

It is always good to note that the relationship between an event planner and their vendors is sacred. Event planners bring vendors business and in turn the vendor makes an even bigger effort to make sure they deliver an exceptional product and sometimes even a better pricing structure. It is a win from every conceivable angle, so use this to your advantage.

Experience

I know that every event I have been a part of I have seen new ideas and processes that can be translated into other events. This is the special part about working with a planner. A client gets the vast and often diverse knowledge that event planners have simply because this is what they do. A planner will explore and research new ideas, trends and products and then work with the client on how these things can work for their event. An even bigger plus is that the client will also get someone who knows what doesn’t work. Some ideas are great to use for 200 people, but for 1000 it just won’t have the same impact. Experience is what makes the difference when it comes to executing an event and a part of the planner’s job is to make sure that as many pit falls as possible are avoided.

A chef in a restaurant can cook their signature dish in no time flat, because they make it everyday and know how to get it done without even thinking twice about it. It’s their job. If you were to try and go in and make the same dish, you would most likely take longer to get it done and the results might be a bit off. The same logic applies to an event planner. This is their job, this is what they do best and they can get it done in less time with the desired results because of this.

Bottom line is all of these points lead to less time and money for clients and we all like to save time and money right? I’d love to hear your suggestions on this – what do you say to clients?

Shannon

Shannon Anderson has been an active member in the event industry for over 15 years trying out every job she could from banquet server to Director of Events. Taking on challenges from the screens at the Sundance Film Festival, the exotic locations of destination weddings and the slightly scary convention centers in Cartagena, Columbia, she has been there, done that and made small children and clients happy.

Currently she can be found traveling the globe, providing an educational experience about her job in creative production and spreading her wisdom to anyone within earshot. As a person who spends equal time on two different continents she chronicles her explorations on her daily lifestyle blog for sanity and admiration.

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