If you see potential benefits to hosting an event for your company or charity, but simply do not have the internal resources to organize one, then you will need to hire an outside event planner. While planning business events can give you a stable and lucrative stream of business, industry experts suggest you start out planning social events if you are a first-time event planner. Successful event planning must depend on having a firm or a team of individuals that has industry experience, especially in managing other companies and individuals that will be contributing to an event.

It is critical to find an event planner (or event planning company) that has legit credentials, which will give you a sense of not just the quality of events that they have planned, but also the kind of expertise that they really have. If you are a technology company, and your chosen event planner has lots of experience working with companies in the technology industry, then chances are that they will be well-versed in what you need. That is not to say the organizer needs to have lots of knowledge of your niche to be good at this, but it is worth asking whether they have organized events that are similar in style and scope to yours. That is not to say your chosen planner has to have a lot of experience in your niche area to do a good job.

To help you branch out to these types of niche events, they should have a solid knowledge about the specific industry, verticals in the business, and the sponsorship generating process. Seminars, workshops, office parties, company retreats, product launches, and annual trade shows are a few types of events that you will work on within that niche. Many event planning professionals pick social events as a niche, as they can branch into various types of event categories, like holiday parties, live concerts, food festivals, baby showers, and more. Experts say limiting your event planning niche to just one or two different types will make it easier for your business to market, promote, and grow.

For example, if you decide on children’s birthday party planning as a niche, you do not have to purchase complex event planning software designed for larger events. For example, if you need help coming up with a theme for your party or event, an event planner may be able to give you a list of potential themes, which they will be able to easily access tools and resources. Professional event planners and companies may be able to assist you in coming up with specific themes, or offer their ideas and showcase their past work to you so that you can envision them beforehand.

It is not always necessary to work with a local event planning company, but they might be the best option for you because they are likely to have better relationships with local vendors and venues. Before hiring an event planning company, you will want to ask how they charge for their event planning services; flat rate, per hour, per quote, per person. A good event planner or firm will be upfront with you regarding their fees, prices, and policies; a good event planner will also ask before taking actions that may raise their expected or agreed-upon pricing.

For example, the responsibility of an event planner is managing the time constraints of an event, but it is also managing vendors, caterers, performers, or distributors that would be adding additional services. When it comes to event planning services, you will want to ensure that the professionals you hire can help with whether or not you will need assistance with catering, audiovisual services, transportation, lodging, and staffing. Before your event, an event planning team will handle preparations and setting up of working schedules, managing finances and budgets, writing a script of your events, and sourcing and managing any vendors needed to fulfill all of your needs, from catering to technology requirements.