SME Club – Pro Manchester
Finding the right event planner is like playing the dating game. It’s not just what’s on the surface that counts, but the deeper connection that will maintain the relationship.
From ensuring your company philosophies are aligned to examining their portfolio with a fine-tooth comb – the process shouldn’t be just about seeking out the company that ‘looks good’ or puts the right figure on a tender document – but finding the perfect fit for your event and your company values.
Set your objectives
Events come in all shapes and sizes – so do event management companies. Whether it’s an employee recognition event to celebrate achievements, a staff Christmas party to boost morale or a customer event to generate sales or launch a new product, the first step in any event is to define why you’re holding it in the first place. Draw up with a list of measurable objectives covering exactly what do you hope to achieve and why. Only then can you begin to hone your list of potential suppliers and see how they hold up against your aims.
Go by word of mouth
I’m a firm believer in recommendations. It’s how I’ve grown my business and built my reputation. Reach out to individuals and organisations within your professional network for their advice, introductions and honest opinions. You can also do this via LinkedIn and via other social media outlets. If you’ve attended a particularly memorable event, then contact the organisers to see who was behind it.
Unpick their Portfolio
Once you have a shortlist, research a company’s testimonials and case studies. There’s no harm in contacting some of the companies they’ve worked with to gauge their experience. If they’ve done repeat business with recognisable brands, it’s a good indicator you’re on to a winner.
On the other hand, don’t just opt for the company that shouts the loudest, that’s always appearing in the media or who has scooped all of the top awards. Accolades may highlight that an event management company has achieved great things, but they can’t tell you if it can do great things for you. Which brings me to the next point.