As organizations look to plan large-scale events, they may wonder if working with an event manager is necessary. Considerations like cost, roles, and responsibilities are weighed. Within an organization, the task of planning an event often falls on a Marketing Manager or an Executive Assistant. These people are highly qualified in their fields, but may not be the best choice to produce and execute a complex client facing event. Hiring a full-time event manager allows your staff to focus on their roles and responsibilities within the company.
Pulling off an event with great content and context requires a large deal of planning, attention to detail, and experience. While budgeting concerns may take precedent over contracting an event professional, it’s important to remember the long-term return event managers provide. Event professionals transform vision into reality.
Hiring an event manager involves a direct upfront cost, but the return on this strategic investment is profound. A professional event manager will add value to your event beyond just handling logistics and decor. They examine budgets, weighing constraints against goals. They identify best approaches to cost management and ultimately create a meaningful experience for your stakeholders. Event managers know where to allocate funds to bring about the strongest impact. They are better prepared to leverage their connections within the industry to negotiate on your behalf with vendors and venues. Event managers also have extensive training in risk management and mitigation. This includes everything from health and personal safety, to transportation and sanitation. Those outside of the industry often underestimate the amount of time and energy it takes to successfully execute a project. We all know that time is money, that’s why event managers have streamlined processes to achieve their goals. Something that may take an industry outsider 20 hours to do, like drafting a series of RFPs, may only take an event manager 6.
An event manager will seek to understand your mission and vision and will become a trusted partner. They will immerse themselves in your mission to deliver a comprehensive strategy to execute the event. Event managers have a depth of knowledge and specific skills that allow them to work well under pressure and quickly adapt to last minute changes. Event managers understand the intricacies of contracts, timing, load in and load out, venue and vendor regulations, and industry trends. An event manager acts as one point of contact to all vendors and seamlessly coordinates their efforts to deliver your guests a world class experience. Having a partner on hand to handle all the details leaves you with the time to interact with your guests, build relationships, and further pursue other goals.
Event managers have contacts to access industry leading caterers, stagers, producers, and performers. Vendors recommended by your planner are vetted to ensure they meet quality and price standards. Knowing where to start can be a daunting task, but your event manager will have a plan. Utilizing an event manager provides greater access to these resources, as they know what questions to ask and how to ask them. Event managers operate in a constantly changing environment. Consistent education and development is key to success, that’s why event managers regularly attend industry shows and participate in continuous professional development.
Full Time or Consulting Partner?
Given your capabilities and experience, a full-time event planner may not be necessary especially if you already have an in-house event planner. In this instance hiring an outside firm is one way to reimagine your event, add value, and shake things up. You can always decide to have an outside event manager take on specific tasks. This could mean planning the décor and food internally, while outsourcing areas like talent management and technical production to your consulting planner. This allows you to better leverage the strengths of each partner to their full potential.
As you undertake the responsibility of planning an event you should have an honest dialogue with yourself. What are your skills and strengths, how much time are you willing to commit, and what is your vision? Are you ready to undertake it all on your own or is it time to hire an expert?