Events 101: What Does an Event Planner Do?

Event planning, as a profession, sometimes seems like it is shrouded in mystery. Some believe that the mystery aspect simply covers up the fact that it’s not a real profession at all – a pseudo-profession, perhaps. And at first glance, it can definitely seem that way. Event planners charge you to essentially throw a party, something you could do on your own, right? Hire a caterer, hire an AV company, secure a venue, all things that seem easy enough.

If you can do it all on your own, why hire someone to do it? Depending on your event planner, hiring them to take on the planning aspect of your event or party can be the best money you ever spent. Sure, you can do it all on your own, lone wolf style, but why take on all of the added stress? Plus, an event planner will likely be able to pull off something even more extraordinary than you could have imagined.

The biggest hurdle to hiring an event manager is the cost. But if you’re ready to release the reigns of your event to a professional, then it’s important to understand exactly what you are paying for. Any event planner worth their weight in confetti should be doing the following things for you.

Event Planner Tasks

  1. Coordinate speakers and/or VIP guests. If your event will have speakers or other VIPs, the event planner will work with you to help secure their presence as well as arrange their travel schedules and accommodations. The event planner will ensure that the speakers or guests arrive at the venue at their scheduled time and will arrange for any special treatment while they are at the event. They will also plan their event schedule.
  2. Secure a venue. One of the most important tasks of an event planner is to scout various locations and then secure a venue for the event. The event planner will ensure that the venue can accommodate your guests or attendees as well as be logistically ideal for any activities or mini-events you have planned. They will work with the leasing agent to ensure that the space is ready to go on the day of the event and that everything falls within the scope of the contract.
  3. Hire all third party service providers. Most large events depend on many different third party service providers to ensure that things run smoothly. Everything from the food to the sound and music are sourced through third parties (caterers and AV service providers, respectively). Researching, interviewing, and hiring all of these providers can be a long and exhausting process, so having an event planner on hand to handle all of the work can be a huge weight off of your shoulders.
  4. Arrange all decor, swag, and informational materials. The event planner will ensure that all decor, swag, and informational materials are selected, ordered, and distributed to attendees and guests. This process includes hiring more third party service providers as well as making a lot of choices are far as what guests will want or need. The event planner must also be cognizant of the budget during this task.
  5. Create and organize the event schedule. The event schedule is a big part of whether or not an event will run smoothly. The event planner is in charge of understanding and anticipating the needs of attendees and then creating a schedule that fits what those needs are. The event planner will then create and disseminate a schedule that best fits the needs of those attending and then put measures in place that ensure things stay on schedule when event day arrives.

At the end of the day, it’s important to make a distinction between event planners and party planners. If you are just throwing a small party, it’s probably not as important to hire an event planner as it would be if you are in charge of a corporate event or party with a large number of attendees. If you’re ready to hire an event planner now knowing what you can expect them to do, then start doing your research in your community for one that fits your needs and budget. If you’re in Austin, TX and need help with an event, a good place to start is Clink Events. They are highly regarded and have been in business for more than 10 years.