Event planners are like haircutters and real estate agents: they provide a service for you, and you either like them, personally, or you don’t. If you do like them, you can work with them and they can work with you to get the event done, and done well. If you don’t like them, the event could be a disaster.
Think about relationships in general. What happens when someone you’re trying to get to know doesn’t return your calls or texts or emails? You wait several days and wonder if they’re just really busy or ignoring you.
You want an event planner with the time, energy, inclination and personality that’s “right” for dealing with you, others, and the event itself. You wouldn’t want to put an introverted grumpy person in charge of a corporate event, right?
When looking for an event planner, there are some things you can do to minimize the risk of having an adverse relationship. First of all, ask your friends and family for recommendations. Chances are they’ll be able to tell you either horror stories about a certain person, or “this person was awesome.” Meet with the awesome one(s)!
Money is always an issue, and the cliché is true: you get what you pay for. Someone who costs a little more money than your friend who is willing to plan the event for free might be the right person to choose, simply because he or she takes event planning seriously and does it for a living. Furthermore, if you want “the best,” you have to be willing to spend some money.
If you don’t personally know any event planners and your friends and family don’t either, consider looking online for reviews, to see what other people are saying about a particular planner—some reviews may be on the planner’s website or social media page, and once in a while you’ll come across discussion forums where you can discover even more thoughts on so-and-so.
Choosing an event planner is like shopping for a car—you don’t automatically go with the first one after a two minute inspection. You should consider meeting face-to-face with three different event planners, if you have the time, in order to ask specific questions of them and gauge whether or not they gel with you and seem like they’re sincerely interested in working with you to get the job done.