Professional Insight On A Deeply Personal Level
What goes IN to your event is what you get out of it.
Event service providers are springing up everywhere these days. How do you know what or who is right for you? This is where doing your due diligence is key. It IS a lot of work but you'll be thankful you did it.
Anyone can look good on paper (regardless of the atrocious spelling and deplorable grammar...sorry a pet peeve of mine), their reviews can even be glowing, but are they prepared and armed with a good plan, insured against mishaps or even seasoned enough to be a good source of knowledge?
-How long have they been in business?
This should not be the deciding factor, as there are some vendors who are the
epitome of professionalism and have only just opened their doors. While the
other side of the pendulum is a polar opposite.
This IS the deal breaker. You'll want to be certain the business you use, is insured, but even more importantly is their staff or sub-contractors insured? Putting up lights is not just a plug and play responsibility. YOU could be faced with a major
liability if something goes wrong.
Most venues don't permit uninsured vendors on site. To discover the day of your event that you have hired an uninsured vendor, and they won't be given access to your site is already too late to do anything about it.
-Familiar with venues?
Knowing the power need and areas that require special attention or preparation, is vital to the health of your event. It's not in your best interest to hire a vendor with a just wing it attitude.
-Are they educated/experienced?
There is more than one way to skin a cat, so to speak. While traditional education means going to school, there are other ways of learning and perfecting a trade. Pay close attention to the continuing efforts of the vendor.
Any business who's been around long enough, has had their fair share of bad reviews. In my best Abe Lincoln voice "You can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time". THEN there is the time when a business really DID mess up. YES it happens to the best...ALL of them. No single business is immune. The question here, would be how did they handle it.
Ask the tough questions, your event (although kind of cliche) is a once in a lifetime event. You don't have the luxury of lessons learned. Paying close attention from the get go will help you find and TRUST the right professionals for you.
The short answer is YES!
Not everyone can afford a really good one. So make a list of what you have the capacity to do yourself and what you need help with. Next, make some calls.
You should check the reputation of your planner. Read posts about them, check their Facebook and Pinterest pages. See what education they have or years in the biz. The Better Business Bureau can give you insight as well. Look at photos of actual weddings.
I attended a planning session with a bride and her family a while back, and overheard the bride say (as she walked away), "they just don't get it".
Can't say no? A strong planner will help you smooth ruffled feathers and step in to tactfully deny or accept "help". Unfortunately there was no planner and the wedding night ended with a lot of regret.
Today's planners offer a whole lot more than they used to. Chances are you can tailor a package to fit your needs.
...but it can sure ruin your vision
What would YOU do in case of rain? No doubt about it...HAVE A BACK UP PLAN! It is extremely stressful when the skies open up, and all you have planned for is sunshine.
A good...NO... an experienced planner, will have plan B just as tight as plan A. Something we do at HIE