There thousands of event management companies out there, all keen to handle your next whatever it happens to be, and all happy to take a nice chunk of change from your bank account.
Yet a good event company will take the headaches away, will bring creative and different ideas to the table and can make something that could have been ordinary into something truly memorable.
Type of event
Event companies are good at some things and better at others, so the first place to start is with the type of event you’re trying to arrange. If you are arranging a wedding, there’s a big difference between a small event for 20 guests including the couple and a mega-wedding for 300 being held beside a lake 30 miles from the nearest town.
Corporate events often need audio-visual equipment and exhibition space as well as the requirements of the attendees and a setup and break-down period.
Knowing what you want from the event is the first place to start and then the next element is the budget.
How much you have to spend may very well dictate the company you use. Companies who are more used to producing mammoth corporate events are used to corporate budgets and so probably are not the correct company for the 20 guest wedding.
On the other hand, if your event is bigger or more complex than the standard business of the firm, you probably should consider an alternative. The last thing you need is a company who is stressed about the size of your event.
Before you even begin talking to the event companies, get a very clear idea of what you want them to do, and make that one of the criteria for selection.
If you know you will not have the time or the inclination to deal with the detail when you’re at the event make sure you articulate your needs up front. If you are looking to hire one point of responsibility make sure the event company knows. Some event companies simply will not co-ordinate other services; a set designer may not wish to coordinate caterers.
Scope of the project
The next task is to translate what you want into what that means for the project. This should be quite detailed but not finalized.
At the end of this, you should have a good set of requirements, an overall picture what services will be needed and most importantly you will be able to present the event company with your list, your budget and what you expect them to do.
They can then provide you with a quotation and show you what you can expect and where your dollars are being spent.
It helps if you like them
Remember the event company is there to do a job, but you and they are in this together, so it will really help if you can get along at least until the day after.