Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I hire an Event Planner?

We naturally love doing everything ourselves because 1) we like to make cost effective decisions (aka. "don't hire an event planner when you can do this yourself for free"),  2) we have strong project management skills and 3) an eye of design. These skills are perfect for planning a small 'basic' event, but they are not enough when you are trying to produce that perfect HIGHLY ATTENDED event of your dreams. At that point, professional event planning experience is the key to the success for your event. Frankly,  if you don't have the time, nor the experience and do not own a large portfolio of skilled vendors you can trust, hiring an experienced skilled event planner will be the next move on your to-do list!

A good event planner will make your event the most memorable occasion of your life.

What are the benefits of hiring us?

  •  We are your temporary "personal assistant", here to execute every event-related wishes -  We are here to listen to the client. needs and execute their wishes if feasible. Just let us know your vision and we will take care of the rest.

  • We can save you money - With our large of portfolio of contacts with event services, we can hire the best caterers, videographers and the likes at a discounted price. 

  • We can simplify and expedite the venue selection process Is it safe in the current weather? Is it too difficult to reach there? Does it fit the client’s requirements?’ These are some of the questions that go through an event planner’s mind before choosing a location for your event. Inexperienced people like us may ignore one or two of these questions or we may not even think about them at all and end up choosing a seemingly nice but totally unsuitable location for our event.

  • We can help you select the best vendors - During the course of planning your event, an event planner will also be helping you in hiring the best event services for your occasion. Whether it’s the transportation service, florists, cameramen, or a DJ, you can count on your event planner to give you the best advice on who should you choose from a list of options.

  • Protecting you from a catering disaster You can hire the best caterers in the city and still run into problems on the day of the event. Maybe the food was not sufficient for your guests or the serving style was not according to your satisfaction. The reason behind that? You hadn’t dealt with caterers before. But your event planner has, on many occasions. They know the right way to communicate with caterers to make sure nothing is amiss on the day of the event.

  • Magically transforming your venue -  With our keen eye for design, we will transform your venue into a paradise. Whether it’s a formal evening or a casual gathering, an event planner will get the location decorated according to your theme.

  • Managing your budget - All you have to do is to tell your event planner your budget and they’ll take care of everything from thereon. They’ll keep a record of all the bills, make sure everything gets handled within the budget, review all the bills after the event, and release the payments. All of this might sound simple enough but most of us overspend on the mart; we can never work within the budget on a huge occasion. This is why the smart decision would be to let your event planner handle everything.

  • Monitoring everything - An event planner will coordinate with the on-site staff to make sure everything gets done perfectly. Even during the event, the event planner will monitor everything to make sure things go according to the wishes of the client and the satisfaction of their guests. In this way, hiring an event planner will save a lot of your time and you’ll be able to enjoy your event tension free.

  • Handling emergency situation - Maybe at the last minute you decide to change the timing of the event or you finally make up with angry relatives and realize that you have 20 more guests. You won’t be able to make these hasty changes yourself. But event planners are equipped to handle such last-minute changes in the plan and can accommodate the client’s wishes easily. They’ll be on-site to handle emergency situations during the event because a client may forget to mention some of the details.  

So, the next time you have an event coming up, instead of doing things on your own and ruining your important occasion, hire a good event planner to make it extraordinary.

When should I hire an Event Planner?

You should hire an Event Planner when:

  1. Your guest list has reached 100 or more.

  2. When you do not have the time to review a million list of details for an extended period of time (depending on the size and complexity of the event , event planning can become a full time job--Literally!)When you have no clue where to start and need expert advice on venues, talent bookings and program schedule.

  3. When your event is taking place at 3 or more venues.

  4. When you are not good at keeping time and maintaining a schedule.

  5. When you are not good at negotiating, but would like to save where-ever you can.

  6. When you are dealing with 10 vendors or more.

  7. When you have high profile attendees and need a security system or protocol in place (a seasoned event planner will know how to manage these celebrities).

  8. When you are stressed in the middle of the night and have lost sleep!

Tips to hire the best Event Planner?

As much as we would love for you to select us as your Event Planner for your future events, we want you to hire the best event planner that meets your events needs. We value your satisfaction above all else and pray that this process is the best experience you have yet. Therefore, to make sure your event needs are met, here are our top seven tips for hiring the best event planner.

TIP # 1 - Determine Your Event Objective and Need for Event Planner

  • Before you reach out to an external or internal resource who will help you plan that event, you want to be in a position to share the important goals of the event. Answer your relevant questions about who, what, where, when, why and how—there will be plenty of time to make adjustments later.

  • Once you've defined your objectives, a few clear ideas will begin to emerge about what theme and message you want to convey at your event, but most importantly, you'll want to determine what activities and services you need the external resource to handle on your behalf.

  • You'll want to determine what budget you have for a planner and if they will help select the venue, build the menus and make recommendations on food and beverage options, source speakers and entertainment, be on-site for day-of production needs, and/or help create the important communication documents like invitations and guest list. If you are planning your event alone and still have any of these needs unmet, chances are you'll want to hire an event planner to manage these tasks and responsibilities.

TIP # 2 - Use local sources to locate reputable event planners

  • If you're trying to find the best event planner for your affair, it's best to research someone who is experienced and holds a strong reputation within the community of event planners. Word of mouth provides an opportunity for easy sales for a planner wanting to find new clients, but peer reputation is very effective. Local sources such as The Knot, and Wedding Wire are great resources to consider, especially since they provide explicit reviews of the Event Planner's skills.

  • Regardless of whether it's a social event or a corporate meeting, generally speaking, the rules of hiring an event planner or caterer remain the same: you want to hire someone who has expertise in creating your type of event.

  • Consider chapters of professional membership groups or check with the national or local chapter of Meeting Professionals International, the International Special Events Society, the National Association of Catering Executives. It's also relevant to find out who is publishing articles in their industry.

 

 

TIP # 4 - Check Credentials and Narrow down to 3 options

  • It's not good enough to go on your gut instinct, the advice of your friends or even colleagues and coworkers, or the in-person meeting alone—this is your event, and your name and your reputation will be associated with it—you'll need to check your candidates' references, too. Be sure to ask for names of clients the candidates have worked with previously, but also dig into each planner's history to find events he or she may not have mentioned—you might find out he or she botched a few events with a particular client that didn't make his or her resume.

  • Once you've verified that a candidate jives well with your company, demonstrates expertise in the field, and has a pretty good understanding of the event you want to produce with him or her, it's time to narrow down your selection to one and listen to his or her ideas about the event. Based on your goals and ideas, a good event planner will present you with a plan that will help achieve your theme—if it's a private evening and dinner for an intimate group of people, the planner should come to you with ideas that include many of the details for your program.

 

 

TIP # 5 - Ask for a proposition (estimated budget ) and select the planner with the "BEST vision"

  • At this point, each event planner should present you with ideas that will make you feel like they've taken your budget and doubled its value. It should be apparent in the way they pitch their vision for your event.

  • Based on your event objectives, it's possible to create a general sense of how much it will cost for various elements of your program, which will vary based on the type of event you are hosting and what it includes. Many people who organize an event for the first time tend to fall into the trap of wanting to plan a champagne event on a beer budget, which is why many people will turn to their event planner for help.

  • An ideal candidate will take what budget you present them and turn it into something magical, but those ideas will come at a price, and it's important for you to ask the planner to disclose all of his or her costs and potential sources of how these fees will be covered and incorporated into the overall budget— event planner fees will vary from planner to planner or event company to event company.

  • Depending on the nature of your event, you will be asked to provide deposits, paperwork, and contracts to the event planner and the event venues and services they offer.

 

If everything goes as planned, you'll have a successful event and an excellent event planner resource for the future, but if the planning process doesn't run smoothly for the services agreed to in writing, then it's important to review whether the project is a good fit with the planner.

© 2018 AFK Events & Designs

Full service event planning firm specializing in luxurious decor and servicing the DC metropolitan area, Maryland and Virginia

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