There can be a lot of pressure to make everything perfect when you're planning an event. Is there enough food? Are the decorations a success? Are people having a good time?
To help make sure the event is the best it can be, there are many details event professionals need to find out from their clients. Whether the client has never thrown an event in their life, or they attend event planner expos all the time, great communication is important for a successful soiree.
Here's a list of the top questions that event professionals ask their clients to help ensure the event is a hit.
What Is Your Event?
This one may seem obvious, but it's an essential first question for finding out the direction your planning should take.
Most events are either private events or public ones. Private events might include a wedding, family reunion, or birthday extravaganza, while public events include fundraisers, trade shows, festivals, and others.
Asking this question helps event planners understand if they have the expertise to deliver what the client wants.
What Is the Goal of the Event?
Is the goal to raise money? To foster business relationships? Or maybe to celebrate someone?
Knowing the goal of the event helps one realize where their focus should be in terms of planning.
Going along with this question is "What type of atmosphere are you hoping to create?" This question will give you an idea of what sort of vibe you should be aiming for.
What's the Budget?
The sometimes-dreaded question: What's the budget for the event?
Often clients may underestimate how much different costs will add up when trying to recreate their vision for the event. Having this question be one of the first ones asked will help make sure you think you can make their request happen (and at a reasonable price).
It's also a good idea to ask who's paying for the event - is it the client, a sponsor, their business, etc.?
Which Vendors Will the Event Require?
There are lots of possible vendors that may go into hosting an event. These might include a photographer, band/DJ, caterer, florist, bartender, rentals, and so on.
A good event planner will find out which vendors the client definitely wants, as well as suggest ones they believe will be beneficial. They'll also likely have local recommendations for great vendors they've used in the past so clients have vetted options.
What Are the Event's Must-Haves?
Finding out what the client's top priorities for the event are is another key step in creating a successful gathering.
Some clients may want a specific type of food served or ask that a certain venue be booked for their event. Others may have more detailed must-haves, like a specific color scheme, certain decorations they want displayed, or even a favorite song that should be played.
How Many People Are Expected at the Event?
How many people are attending the event will have a great impact on the pricing. The more people that are expected to come, the higher the cost!
Asking the client what their guest estimate is will help an event professional pinpoint many other details. Events that are invitation-only will lead to an easier time figuring out a potential guest count, while events that are open to everyone will be trickier. Just make sure the client gives a reasonable range to help with planning.
What Do You Need Most from Your Event Planner?
This is another question that may seem obvious - they need help planning their event! But an event planner can dig a little deeper to find out more.
What is the client looking for in this relationship? Are there things they have in mind that they'd like help with the most? Are there details about the event that could use an expert's advice?
These sorts of questions tell the planner how they can best assist clients.
Have You Worked with an Event Planner Before?
This question gives an event professional an idea of how a working relationship between them and the client might go.
If this is the client's first time working with an event planner, the whole experience will be new to them. But if they respond that they have worked with an event planner before, there are some additional follow-up questions that can be asked.
These include, "How was the experience?" and "What went well with the event and planning? What didn't go well?" Again, this gives the event planner background information on what the client is looking for and what should be avoided.
Have You Collected Any Inspiration for the Event?
Some clients may come to an event planner open to all possibilities when it comes to the theme and design of the event. Other clients have a clear picture of what they'd like their event to look like, and if they can show the event planner examples of this, it's very helpful.
One might ask the client, "Do you have any reference photos for the event?" or "Did you create a Pinterest board with design ideas?" Getting the client to show or write down as many details as possible about how they want their event to look and feel will make the planning process go much smoother.
Do You Have Any Concerns About the Event?
It's a good idea to give clients a chance to get any nagging worries or concerns out of the way in the initial talk with them. A great event planner will ask them if they have any specific things that they're worried might not work or other concerns that are event-related.
Letting the client know they can come to the event planner with any questions or anxieties about the event will help make the planning time together a positive experience.
How Event Professionals Make Magic Happen
Asking the right questions is essential to making a client's vision come alive when it comes to their dream event. By using this list of questions, event professionals can find out everything they need to know before diving into event planning.
Are you looking for tips and tricks for planning events? Get your tickets to this year's Event Planner Expo in New York to learn from the best in the industry.