As the popularity of dozens of TV programs illustrate, the “Do It Yourself” trend is more popular than ever. While the DIY approach is great for home remodeling, using the solo strategy for your corporate event planning might not be your best bet. For those with the event planning “gene,” the basics seem pretty straightforward, so the temptation to take on the project is natural. Even if you don’t have the knack, the temptation to save money might drive you to take on the job or delegate it to another member of your team. But before you take the plunge, consider these five reasons why hiring a professional could be the wiser strategy.
1. The Devil is in the Details
Successful event planning requires a complete knowledge of all the moving parts – logistics, contract negotiations, food & beverage, entertainment, content/speaker management, registration, marketing, and more. If you lack experience (or sufficient time), it’s easy to overlook important details—perhaps even larger chunks—of the planning. You may also be tempted to take shortcuts. Shortcuts are risky. They can seem to save you some time, but often come back to bite you, sometimes jeopardizing the success of a carefully planned event.
2. Time is Money
Organizing and managing an event takes a great deal of time and effort—much more than most people realize. If you attempt the DIY approach, be sure to calculate the time you’re spending into the cost of the event planning. In the end, even if you succeed at planning a successful event, the cost could be great. Consider the opportunity costs associated with repurposing internal resources to event planning. What areas of the business will be impacted by diverting human resources from their regular day job—customer service, sales and marketing, product support, revenue cycle management?
3. Stress Reduction
Event planning has multiple phases. First, the preparation stage and all its intricacies can be overwhelming. Missing a detail up front can result in big costs down the line. The live-event phase is wrought with stress for amateur event planners –dealing simultaneously with onsite logistics, vendors, participants, missing materials/people—and inevitable complications that arise. A professional brings years of experience, contingency plans, and a level of calm that is essential to a positive participant experience and solid impression of your brand. Finally, the follow-up stage is crucial, but often mismanaged by inexperienced planners. Dropping the ball on post-event feedback opportunities or being slow out of the gate with follow up can send a lasting negative message to attendees.
4. A Fresh, Engaging Approach
In the DIY approach, the tendency is to replicate the previous event, yet that is seldom your best option. A professional planner can provide unique and creative suggestions that wouldn’t otherwise occur to you. A professional team will offer more than just time and energy to complete the necessities—they will help you identify and achieve your goals for the event (business development, education, reputation, goodwill, or others), suggesting ways to make each event a memorable experience for key stakeholders. Fresh content and activities will provide an engaging experience for your attendees, distinguishing your company’s event from competing event
5. Happy Budget = Happy Client
Don’t think you have the budget for the event you really want? This is where the experience of a professional can make all the difference. A professional planner is dedicated to successful budget management, while being a trained negotiator. Planners know what concessions are easy/not-so-easy to get—and know what to leverage and when. They may also suggest alternative ideas that achieve your goals at a lower cost.
Event planning is not easy – and even the smallest event takes more time than you think. Unless you have a team member with considerable experience and a great deal of bandwidth, hiring a professional is likely the way to go. You’ll benefit from a dedicated person/team to offer fresh ideas, handle all of the details, save you time and money, and reduce your stress levels –all while producing a unique and memorable event within your budget.
To learn more about how Quantum Age can help you plan a cost-effective and memorable event, contact us.