Like in real estate, location is everything. location, LOCAtion, LOCATION! I take pride in finding the right venues for each event. I think I have seen almost every venue in Boston (sometimes twice) because it always looks different, depending on the event your ready to plan. It took me about 1 month to find the perfect venue for my Catwalk Events (fashion shows raising funds for cancer). Its not just about looking at the main room where all guest will enjoy the actual experience, you need to look at the BIG picture. Backstage, front-of-House, catering space, storage….don’t forget load in either. Knowing where the freight elevator is, is key!
Having people you can trust and rely on is a HUGE part of a successful event experience. It’s not just about the night of the event, but the lead up. If you have a team that slacks off, you may want to reconsider [or hire an intern that you feel could do a better job…they are great help and eager to learn]. If you don’t have the right team, your stuck doing all the work yourself. Autonomy is key. It is the first word I bring up in any interview!
“Build it and they will come”! Your job is to take the clients vision and make it a reality. A good event planner listens to the client, but a great event planner sees the clients vision before they do. Sometimes their vision is a bit farfetched. Your job is to bring them back down to earth in the best way possible.
“Mo money, Mo problems”. Stick to the budget at hand. Sometimes that budget is $1,000, sometimes its $100,000. You’re being hired to create the best possible event within that means. I am a stickler for budgets, and I make sure to take it to cents under budget. Especially when working with nonprofits, every dollar counts (they are there to make money, not spend it). If you need an increase, just ask…if its not going to happen tweak a few areas. The other thing to remember is the client’s vision could be large than life and there is no way the budget will cover that…you’re the event planner…. so tell them! They look to you for advice. If you think they are in over their heads….again…tell them!