An event is only as good and as profitable as those you hire to direct, design, and strategize it. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs have tried and fail to cut-corners by hosting their event solo. Ultimately, this leads to DIY disaster and thousands of dollars lost. But none of that has to happen when you know how to hire for an event.
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Strategizing and planning an event is a multi-tiered process that usually requires a team of experts. In an era of DIY, there are incredible opportunities to develop skills simply through a tutorial or printable cheat sheet. Considering what an event can cost, this is not the place to attempt to YouTube your way through it.
Being an expert event strategist, I have developed a unique set of skills to make magic out of chaos and turn an event idea into a well-executed vision. But, I too rely on a team and set of resources that are equally as valuable and skilled–mostly because I know what’s at stake and understand the way a successful, profitable event can impact a business and brand.
The Cost of the Wrong Hire
It wasn’t until recently that industries started paying attention to the cost of a bad hire. According to a CareerBuilder study, 50% of candidates misrepresent on their resumes and 30% tell blatant lies on their resume. On average, across multiple markets, a poor hiring decision can cost in excess of $40,000.
However, hiring incorrectly (or not at all) for a profitable event will cost you much more.
A lot of the benefits and revenue generated by a successful event comes after the events actually happened. Beyond cash, here’s a little bit of what a bad hire for an event can cost you:
- Dampened Morale– The first person that’s going to feel let down by a poor event is you, then it’s your attendees/target audience and clientele.
- Reputational Damage– The idea is to generate good press and brand recognition, not getting slammed on social media for hosting an epic fail!
- Brand Damage– A reputation is easier to fix than permanent brand scarring. From the social level to the big leagues, you could lose business and network opportunities that are meant to scale your business.
- Financial Loss– Yes, I have to mention it again. If you don’t hire the pro’s, your accountant is going to shame you then leave you.
On the bright side–these risks can easily be turned into what you gain from a successful event with the help of an expert.
So, who exactly do you need to hire?
Teaming With Sponsors
Even though you don’t hire sponsors and technically they’ll be paying you, it’s still important that the vetting process be just as concise.
Remember, everyone who participates in the planning, creation, or is even part of the event entertainment, is representing your brand. Therefore, your event sponsor is an extension of your event goals.
Here’s what to consider before selecting your ideal event sponsor:
- Research and discover any negative PR that could impact your brand or event-similar to doing a background check on a potential business partner, at the event they represent your brand too
- Have an unwavering awareness of the objectives of your event and how your sponsors influence the goals of the event.
- Will they boost industry cred, aid in the developing parts of the events, bulk up the customer/attendee base, expand brand reach, or need media coverage–know the purpose each sponsor will serve.
- Do you share a target audience?
- Resources to find your sponsorships: Know your industry well, create a list of leads using social media, websites, and LinkedIn for direct contact.
- Track your experience with each sponsorship “lead” including who is the company decision-maker, what contact was made, and meetings booked, proposals submitted, follow-up meetings, and outcome.
- Establish and nurture a business relationship with potential sponsors “hot leads”.
Sponsors are more than important representatives that you have to choose wisely. They’re also temporary business partners who will notice any corners you’ve cut in your hiring process.
As part of my event strategy, I’ve developed a sponsorship onboarding plan that nurtures your experience with sponsors, lands serious $$$ in event sponsorships, and provides direction for the sponsors on the day of the event.
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Every event planner will have their own set of specialties but remember, you usually get what you pay for.
Things a Professional Can Do Better Than You
If you want the best results you have to seek out the best in the industry–from the servers to the speakers, entertainers, and even the catering company you hire.
But, the most important investment you’ll make is the strategizer you hire for an event.
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Here are the telltale signs of a strategic event coordinator that has their sh*t together:
They Never Miss a Detail
A good event planner will draw up a plan for your event based on an in-depth consultation. In order to achieve this, your event planner will carry you along in the planning process, sparing no detail. Expect a game plan that is specific to your brand and collaborated vision. If an event planner sticks you with a “one size fits all” agenda, tell em to kick rocks.
A Resourceful Wizard
Planning an event requires funding and a good event planner should be able to draw up a budget for your event and maximize its use. The best event planner is good at managing resources can go a long way in planning your event. Resource management truly is the trick of the trade. The best event planner is a master of planning (duh), organizing, prioritizing, flexibility and can manage complex interactions including negotiations and sponsorships.
Bossy & Badass
A good event planner is assertive and knows what you expect from the most important hire for an event. When coordinating everything it takes to plan a successful event requires a leader with a firm hand and artistic touch.
They also need to be able to help others see their vision for the event. When an event planner gives out a task, they should be able to follow up to ensure that the task is accomplished accordingly and take responsibility for the overall outcome.
Other noteworthy traits that separate the amateurs from the expert include:
- Apparent preparedness
- Endless creativity
- The ability to negotiate
- Incredible listening skills
- Marketing experience
- Comes with a team!
Candidate Red Flags
Now that you know what the best looks like and refuse to settle, here’s how to spot red flags amongst your candidates.
Credentials Don’t Pan Out
It can be easy to overlook credentials when their experience seems so appealing. But be careful, there are technical skills that can’t be jeopardized and can cost you your bottom line.
Seek Evidence of Experience
It’s easy to describe an event that never happened. The event planner you want will have copious amounts of evidence regarding the events they’ve planned including highlight reels, event website and landing pages, and tons of marketing material. An organized portfolio is ideal.
They Aren’t Asking the Right Questions
A professional will always position themselves as such. Therefore, they are often aware of the right questions to ask regarding what you want for your event and your overall business goals. An amateur is often just hoping to get hired.
You can’t afford to teach anyone how to do their job. An expert who can own an interview can run the show.
Coach Your Way to Successful Event Planning
Want to be the next hire for an event? Are you an event planner that’s ready to access serious clients? I help create and guide event planners who pursue 6 figure events and continue to raise the bar in our industry.
I turned my passion into profit by never selling myself short and reaching far beyond what they told me an event strategist and planner could do.
Now I sip Moroccan Mint tea in Marrakech and walk the beaches of Bali while sharing incredible event experiences with my clients.⠀
So many event planners believe you have to create hundreds of events before you can approach a client who wants to go international… False! Even your very first planned event can be on the other side of the world!
A competitive event planner is equipped with the strategic layout to land client sponsors, develop their event message, and create a masterpiece. You can fulfill your client’s most exotic location dreams.
I work with beginners, professional DIY’ers and competitive event planners who are sick and tired of settling for less.
Seek out a progressive mentor who makes it their business to grow your business with the power of a profitable event!