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Creative Company Conference 2011

The subject of DIY events vs. professional event planners is something that you may have heard from a potential client – ‘Why should I hire you when I can do it myself?’

Clients may wonder why there’s a need to hire an event planner when it’s ‘easy enough’ to plan an event themselves or have their assistant plan it. Now, I agree that for something like a small family party it’s usually easy enough to plan a DIY event, as long as the invite list is limited. For events on a larger scale though, there are so many things to think about that a DIY planner might end up missing one of the essential elements. There are some people, the super-organized types with a great eye for detail plus creative flair, who might pull it off, but there are a number of things for potential clients to consider in the DIY events vs. professional event planners scenario.

We all know how much work and effort goes into organizing a fabulous event, and here are the main benefits of using a professional event planner if you ever have the need to explain it to client who’s asking the question.

Differences between DIY Events and Professional Event Planners

  • The Cost

People might assume that planning an event on their own will work out to be less expensive, because of course our event planning services don’t come for free, but there’s more to think about than just the initial outlay when you hire an event professional. A seasoned event planner will have working relationships with venues and suppliers, so can get discounts and special pricing that just aren’t available to the general public. A professional event planner also has the experience of which are the areas where cutting costs is appropriate, (and any areas where it isn’t), so is likely to save their clients some unnecessary expense.

  • Knowledge & Experience

As well as having great knowledge of the logistics of planning an event, a professional event planner will have built up a great network of suppliers that they can call on, whereas with DIY events the planner is likely to struggle to find just the right supplier for their requirements. Plus, a professional will know what the areas that have the highest risk of going wrong are, and also know exactly what to do to prevent them from going wrong.

  • Stress Levels

Out of all the factors in the DIY events vs. professional event planners debate, I’d say that this is the most crucial. A professional event planner will take all of the headaches that come with organizing a big event, (hey, we’re used to it!), leaving their client and guests to enjoy themselves. Even if a potential client doesn’t have any major issues at their DIY event, they’ll still be worrying about what could happen instead of just enjoying the occasion

  • Time

In the run up to any big event there are so many things that need to be arranged, confirmed or checked, and a professional event planner will be dedicated to doing just that. If a prospective client is planning a DIY event, it can be hard to find the time to fit the planning stages around their normal life, work and family.

  • Marketing the Event

Now, for a private event for family and friends such as a birthday or engagement party, there’s no need to worry about the marketing side of things. But for events where the guest list is a lot bigger, like charity events or promotional events, how can a potential client make sure that they market the event successfully if they’re doing it themselves? A professional event planner will have all of the tools, knowledge and connections to make sure that any event they plan is a success, not a flop.

This is a guest post by Melanie Woodward. Melanie has managed events with over 30,000 attendees and is on a mission to arm aspiring event planners with tools for success.Ten years after successfully starting her own event company with less than $500, Melanie is now in a position to share her expertise with others. Her extensive knowledge of event planning is complimented by the experience she gained at Strategic Coach, where she worked closely with entrepreneurs to help them build and improve their businesses. This unique skillset has made her a sought-after guest speaker on radio shows and a regular contributor on About.com. In addition to sharing her knowledge on-air and on-line, Melanie is also helping aspiring entrepreneurs start their own event planning business with a set of invaluable tools she calls Event Planning Blueprint™. 

“Image source – Flickr , usage under Creative Commons license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)”

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