When planning an important event, sometimes hiring an event planner is the best route. If you don’t know what to look for though, it can be a harrowing task. Keep an open mind and follow these tips and finding the right planner will be a breeze.

What is my first step when looking for an event planner?
Before you start calling leads, take some time to consider what you want and need from your event planner. Some questions to ask yourself include:

  • How many guests are coming?
  • What is the event budget? (Don’t forget to figure in the cost of the planner. If you’re not sure what to budget for a planner, come armed with the overall event budget and indicate to the planner that you hope to work their fees within that total.)
  • How much planner input is required or desired? Are you imaging someone you can ask about every aspect of the event or wedding? Or just an extra pair of hands for event day?
  • What is the general theme of the event? Fun, serious, elegant, traditional, modern?

Where should I go to search for an event planner?
Snappening.com’s event planner search is the most comprehensive search tool for Indianapolis and surrounding areas. You can search based on planner experience and event speciality. This will help you find the right planner in the right area. Luckily, the site allows you to contact multiple event planners with just one search, so that’s a great time to tell them your event date and budget to see about setting up your first phone consultation or interview.

After I have my list of prospective event planners, what’s next?
Set up interviews with them. Interviewing helps you get a better idea of their experience and personality—both of which are important. Make sure to have all of your questions written down, so that you don’t forget them. Keep in mind that some of these questions might be answered during your search for leads—don’t overlook this information.

What questions should I ask? And what answers should I be looking for?
You’ll want to find out about their credentials, costs and if they’ll provide a good working relationship for your individual style and personality. Some helpful questions are:

  • What trade associations are you involved in?

We recommend finding planners who are involved with professional trade groups such as Meeting Planners International (MPI), the International Special Events Society (ISES) or the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC).

  • How long have you been a professional planner? How many events have you been the lead planner?

The more events a planner has coordinated, the more able they will be to dealing with all the little things that come up unexpectedly. Even more, these “unexpected” events won’t be so unexpected to them. A planner with some time under their belt is great if you don’t have much experience planning events. That said, new planners tend to come on board with fresh takes on traditional occasions and can be great to work with when there is room to be creative. Newer planners may also be slightly less expensive and fit within your budget more readily.

  • Could you provide me with a list of references for your work?

A good planner will gladly produce a list of people they’ve worked with before. These can include vendors, co-workers or clients. Don’t forget to actually follow up on these!

  • What is the cost of your planning and how will you make that work within my budget?

A good planner will be financially beneficial in the end. They should have connections that will help you find the best venue for your occasion and budget, as well as your best vendor options in more than 20 categories.

  • What are your favorite types of events to plan? Tell me about one.

This question will help you get to know more about their personality and if they’ll be a good match for your event.

  • How do you go about planning an event? What steps do you take?

This will give insight to how they handle the planning process. Do they listen and communicate with their clients? Do they respect their clients wishes, or would they rather plan the whole event alone?

  • What’s the biggest crisis you’ve had to deal with and how did you approach it?

You’ll want a planner that has had to deal with some stress. No event goes perfectly without assistance. A planner that knows how to deal with the unexpected, will take the stress off of you.

If after your interviewing you have found they are all good matches, choose the person that you would most like to work with. You will be spending a lot of time with them and it’s important to pick someone that meshes well with your personality.

Go to our event planner search and let Snappenng.com help you find the right event planner for your special occasion.

Have other tips or questions? Visit us on Facebook or Twitter!