“Should I plan my company party
myself, or hire an event planner?”
This is practical question that a lot of companies ask themselves when it’s time to plan an event, whether it is their holiday party, annual banquet, or a summer picnic. I’m not an expert event planner, but am in a unique situation where I get to see a lot of different corporate events from a “backstage” view. I frequently arrive before the guests and am there packing up after everyone* else has left. So, I get to see how smoothly – and not – company parties run. (*Exceptions: caterers and DJs!)
Fact: Event planners charge money.
Assumption: I can do their job (or delegate it to someone on my team) and save a lot of $$$.
Truth: Maybe, maybe not.
The money you may save by DIY or having one your staff make the arrangements for, say, your company holiday party may or may not be a good investment.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you/your staff willing to put in the time to research each of the vendors (caterer, event decorator, DJ, musician, caricature artist, photographer, etc.) you’ll need?
- Are you organized and hands-on when it comes to details?
- Do you have more time than money?
- Do you enjoy the planning and research process?
If you can answer YES to all of these questions, you’re ready to plan your own company party. If not… join the crowd and read on!
Consider that professional event and meeting planners work with their vendors year-round. They know which caterer does the best job of outdoor barbecues and which event decorator will be the best given your budget. Entertainment agents can get the “feel” you want for your event and recommend the right band for your group. And, frequently performing artists give their agents special rates because they know that they’ll work for that agent many times throughout the year. Since they don’t have to do the legwork to find the client, arrange the details, and draw up the contract, they’re willing to do it for a bit less than if they had to hustle for the gig originally.
If you would prefer to focus on what you do right – your business – and let another professional do what they do best, then consider using an event planner or entertainment agent in your area.
The past three days I’ve had the privilege of working with four different event planners and entertainment agents. (This is unusual, as I normally book most of my shows direct with the client. However, during December I do a lot of corporate holiday parties.) So, I don’t hesitate to recommend these companies if you’re looking for someone who understands events and will help make your event a success. If you contact them, please mention my name!
- Craig Cooke, Pacific Rim Talent
- Ed Shaw, Ed Shaw Entertainment
- Susan Adkins, Class Act Event Coordinators
- Bobby Medina, Medina Entertainment Resources