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Top Tips for Novice Event Planners

If you’ve recently started the journey of becoming a professional event planner, you likely have a lot of time on your hands.

What better time is there to improve your skills and prepare for the event world picking up momentum again? If you’ve had very limited experience planning events, have a look at the following tips to see if they fill any holes in your arsenal.

Top Tips for Novice Event Planners

Thoroughly Know Your Client

If you’re managing events, future business will come from you giving clients the best service you possibly can.

You want to go above and beyond their expectations, which is why it’s so important that you get to know them as well as you possibly can.

Not only will that help you to avoid any embarrassing or costly mistakes (like overordering alcohol when the event is a professional corporate event), but it will help you to gauge the appreciation you need to invest in to ensure that the client will be a returning customer.

A good example is identifying the event decision-maker and learning their favorite brand of drink before making sure you offer it to them on the day. If the client doesn’t drink, maybe try to get their favorite flowers as a centerpiece. If you can find out this information without asking them directly, you will come across as more impressive.

Cut Out as Much Admin as You Can

When you receive a work order, there’s a lot of paperwork that normally goes into processing that order – whether it’s scheduling, assignment tracking, billing, estimation, team communication and more.

All this processing can be cut out simply by using work order software, which can automate all the processes that would normally take up your valuable time, enabling you to shrink your team, cut costs and focus on what’s most important: delivering a high quality, memorable client experience.

Learn the Importance of Backup Plans

For every key decision you make, you should have a backup plan just in case things go wrong.

You should have a secondary location, menu, band, caterer that you can fall back on in case something goes wrong on the night. If this backup plan falls within budget – even better, but expect it to take a few more hours to prepare backups. It’ll be worth it though – in the events industry things go wrong all the time. Ideally, you should save some money from the budget as a reserve if you need to make a quick change of plan.

Do Your Due Diligence – Especially with the Catering

You should make sure that you research everybody you use to help you with the event. Reviews and customer testimonials are a good way of doing that, but first-hand experience is even better.

When it comes to catering, bad food can ruin an event, so make sure you ask for a sample of their menu beforehand and bring two or more people so you can get a diverse range of opinions. You should exhaust all the caterers around you when looking for a company that fits the budget but also delivers the required quality.