You know what they say in the event planning business: “A happy client is a happy life.” It’s true.
Satisfied clients (and lots of them) are the keys to building a robust event planning business. They will spread the word on what a great event planner you are, and are the foundation of a solid event industry reputation. That’s why it’s so important as an event planner to set the stage for event planning success. Here are some essential tips to increase the odds of getting great referrals and building your event planning business:
What are your client’s event objectives? Is it determined by the number of attendees, flawless execution or by staying within budget? It’s important to start by defining the metrics for a successful event.
2. Event Date
Does your client have a date and a venue for the event? This seem like a no-brainer question, but it’s a way to gauge how far along the client is in the concept phase, and potentially how much time you will spend on those aspects of event planning. It’s easier to find event venues for smaller groups, but capacity thresholds will be tighter. Scaling down is MUCH easier, so make sure your client is choosing an event venue that can accommodate the largest guest list projection.
Finally, 4-6 months of event planning time is ideal.
Does your client have a style preference for example mid-century modern, boho bungalow, boho chic, French farmhouse, Hollywood glam, etc. Today, there are luxury event rental companies like Zen Event Rentals that specialize in one or all of those categories.
Has your client worked through details to come up with a per-person budget amount? There are always unforeseen expenses that occur in the event planning process. For that reason, it’s a good idea to start out as detailed as possible so that cost-cutting opportunities are easier to find. Believe it or not, small events can actually cost more per person because hotel and catering prices decrease as the event headcount increases. Don’t forget to discuss taxes, insurance, security deposits, and service and gratuity fees. Does the client understand how you, as the event planner, are compensated for your work?
How many guests will be in attendance? The difference between 500 and 700 event guests is significant. This is an important qualifying question to assess whether your client has an understanding of event cost structure, and if not, it’s an opportunity to demonstrate value with some event-hosting education.
What are the essential elements that your client can’t live without? Uncovering any gaps between event expectations and affordability early in the process can help avert surprises and roadblocks later.
Remember: an event planner’s pot of gold is word-of-mouth referrals. With awareness and good communication on the front end, you can ensure the likelihood of great events and happy clients.