Understanding the Value of an Event Planner

Event planners are often looked at as a “luxury item”. By this, I mean that they are only hired when times are good and finances permit. If an event can be handled in-house by the company office manager or HR expert, often times they are. But the true cost of handling an event in-house may be costly in more ways than one.

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Opportunity cost is always something to consider with every decision made. If you’re spending money here, not you’re not spending it there. If you’re spending time here, you’re not spending it there. With every allocation of resources – both financial and human – there is an associated cost.

Companies can often be short-sighted and only see the financial cost associated to a planner without seeing the bigger picture. This is dangerous and can actually lead to a more costly event with a less than favourable outcome. With that in mind, here are some questions to consider before making the decision to plan an event in-house or outsource to an external planner:

  • How much time will it take our team internally to plan this event and what’s the cost associated with that?
  • Does our in-house team have the necessary experience and expertise necessary to be able to plan and execute this event at a level we expect?
  • Do we need to focus our time and attention on company priorities?

These questions should help provide some clarity. The advantages and benefits of hiring an event planner include:

  • Less stress and anxiety on your support staff
  • Less overall work internally
  • Seamless event planning and production
  • Better overall guest experience
  • Smoother communication with event suppliers
  • Budget control and costing; possible discounts with suppliers

In other words, there may be a very clear ROI if an event planner is hired. The result might actually be a cheaper event with a better overall outcome. This may be hard for some to believe but there is simply a lack of education with respect to the event planning industry. Determining your goals and what you’re looking to achieve with your event must be an initial discussion. Clearly outlining expectations will ensure that the answer to the “in-house vs external event planner” dilemma becomes more apparent – either way.

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