Meeting and event planning may seem simple, but professionals know that theres more to the process than meets the eye. There are numerous steps involved in planning a successful event, beginning with identifying the type of event you wish to hold and determining the goal and desired outcome of the event. Once youve chosen a date and time for your meeting or event, the planning can begin in earnest.
The first step in planning involves setting a budget for your event, by identifying potential revenue and detailing expected expenses. This is one area of event planning that will need constant review and revision, based on actual revenues and costs. A Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) has proven proficiency in not just meeting and event design, but in financial management as well. Julie Wong, CMP of the Event Concierge in Phoenix, Arizona, says, In our experience, we can almost always point out things that our clients have forgotten to include in the budget. She stresses the importance of following up on cost and budget issues throughout the event planning process, explaining, It is essential to stay on top of actual costs as you work through the event planning process. One change in pricing can create a domino effect that can negatively impact the success of the event.
Selecting a location and type of facility for your event that is in line with the budget is the next step in event planning. Meeting and event planning professionals know the ins and outs of various venues and have developed relationships with management. Based on experience, they can also make recommendations regarding use of the space, capacity and seating arrangements.
From here, there are many decisions to be made, including menu planning, choosing vendors, ordering materials, managing the invitation and response process, and much more, depending on the scope of the event. A CMP has experience in project management, strategic planning, site management and marketing that enables her/him to stay on top of every detail throughout the process. The CMPs job goes far beyond just the initial planning, as Wong reveals. What meeting and event planners know from experience is that pulling off a successful event requires planning, reviewing, implementing, and reviewing yet again, she explains. Event planning is a very fluid process, and we are trained to handle every aspect of a wide variety of meetings and events. We follow up on every detail multiple times, adjusting as needed, to ensure that our clients are completely satisfied with the outcome of their event.
Working with a professional event planner can provide numerous benefits. The myriad of details that go into an event may be a source of stress to you, but to a professional meeting planner they are all in a days work. Clients of professional meeting and event planners also benefit from the relationships the event planner has built with vendors, facilities, printers, musicians, florists, etc. Their experience and dedication throughout the process eliminates additional worries, time, paperwork and staff for the client. It is the meeting planners goal to ensure that your event is everything you want and need it to be.