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Work With an Event Planner

by Gwen (follow)
Gwen O'Toole is the director of a boutique event management and creative services company, The Ideas Library. Visit www.TheIdeasLibrary.com.au
Parties (18)      Party Planning (2)      Event Planning (1)      Wedding Organisation (1)     
If you're celebrating a milestone, a birthday, or organising a wedding, it's always nice to have a bit of help. We've outlined some of the key steps we encounter when working with our clients to allow them to host one unforgettable event.

birthday balloon
Event planners can be used for not just weddings, but for any milestone celebration, birthday or special event.

No matter if it's a 1st or a 21st birthday party or an elaborate wedding, we've worked with all types of clients to ensure their event was a stress free success.

So whether it's your first time hiring an outside event organiser to help you, it's important to keep these few things in mind.

Organising an event can seem like a daunting task, but remember, having the help will save you a world of stress and allow you to enjoy the event as a guest.

Time: 2-12 months (depending on the event)


Step 1 Plan Ahead.
This is the biggest tip of all. Just like the old saying that all good things take time, having as much planning time as possible will allow you to have the event you want, not what you've settled for because of time constraints. Having time up your sleeve gives you and your planner greater negotiating power when you book your venue and suppliers (such as a caterer, entertainment, etc).

If you're trying to organise a special event in under a month, you're putting yourself in a desperate situation.

Plan at least 2 months out for a birthday and 5-12 months out for a wedding.

Step 2 Decide how much help you need.
Using an event planner can be an economical way to get a great deal from a caterer or venue as they book several events in a year and have more buying power.

birthday balloon
An event planner can do as much or as little as you need. From organising absolutely everything, to simply finding you an amazing wedding cake or photographer. Image credit:thestockxchange

Getting them to help you find the right venue and caterer and read over your contract can take a huge strain of and save you money in the long run.

We often go with our clients to the proposed venues for site visit prior to booking it and ask all the important questions that our clients may not think of until they've already signed a venue contract and it's too late.

In some cases we can negotiate bonuses like overnight accommodation for the bride and groom or a welcome drink on arrival for a birthday celebration toast.

A planner can help with just one or two things or they can see the entire event through from initial ideas to the special day. We've even attended our clients events (but stayed unnoticed in the background) to help out with set up and ensure everything runs smoothly so that you don't have to stress at all.

Decide how much help you want. Do you need them to help with selecting the venue and menu? Are they helping with creating invitations and managing the RSVPs? Do they need to source entertainment, a photographer or transport?

Step 3: Know your budget.
This will vary based on the type of event you are hosting, and what you want it to include.

Many people who organise an event for the first time often fall into the trap of wanting to plan a champagne event on a beer budget (no offense to beer themed events, which can be great too!)

aussie money
Know your budget. Being honest about your budget will allow your planner to assist you as best as possible and in many cases they can even save you money. image credit:thestockxchange

Step 4: Come to your planner with at least a vague idea of what you want. We're always eager to hear about the events our clients want to organise. From colourful and creative children's parties to lavish (or modest) weddings. We've even organised marriage proposals.

Have an idea of the style and feel you want. This will let your planner hit the ground running with plenty of ideas. As they work with hundreds of venues, restaurants and suppliers, they should know who will give you the best service for your budget.

Good planners will take the time to discuss your event's purpose, budget, guests, and your personal preferences.

They will also be upfront about their fees and provide you with a breakdown of more than one option for each service you need. This way you can compare costs and ultimately choose which supplier to go with and there won't be any surprises.

Step 5 Stay in touch with your planner leading up to the event.
If your plans change, guests numbers change, etc let them know as soon as possible so they can make sure everything runs smoothly on the event day. This is especially important with catering and/or seating numbers.

Step 6 Enjoy your event.
With careful planning, your event should run seamlessly so that on your event day you'll have no stress about what time the florist or entertainment arrives.

#Party Planning
#Event Planning
#Wedding Organisation
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