Tips For Working with Event Planners

tips for working with special event planner

The reality is, planning for an event can take time and effort, so it can really be wonderful to have an event planner take the lead. Benefits of using a planner are numerous, including that he or she can help to maximize your budget. That’s because professional planners are experts at prioritizing available dollars to give you the absolute most for your money.

They can also help you to avoid budgetary surprises, because they know what costs you can likely expect. They can help to prevent other unwanted surprises as well, offering insights into lesser known planning details that can make a big difference in the success of your event. These can include (but are definitely not limited to) the following:

  • Is free WiFi available? If so, what is the password?
  • If a buffet is being offered, how long will the food be left out?
  • How are special dietary requests handled with the chosen caterer?

Experienced planners have connections with just the right vendors for your needs, and their expert negotiating skills can help you to, once again, get the most for your money. They can also help with reducing the stress so you can actually enjoy the event you’re planning.

If you decide to hire an event planner, here are a few tips to consider to maximize your partnership with them.

Tip #1: Clearly Communicate Your Wishes

Perhaps you know exactly what you want for your event, from the types of food you desire to how it’s served, plus how the room will be set up, and much more. In that case, it’s important to clearly communicate what you want to your event planner.

Or, you may know that you want an elegant corporate event, or a family-friendly one, but you aren’t sure of all of the specifics. If that’s your situation, then share what you do know and let the event planner use his or her experience and resources to come up with a plan for your approval.

Tip #2 Listen Carefully

To maximize the value of your event planner, it’s also important to listen well. For example, let’s say that you know exactly what you want, down to the speeches that will be made, music played, and so forth. In response, let’s say that your event planner is warning you that the event venue you’re considering doesn’t have high-quality sound and lighting options, and so your vision may not match the venue. The advice of experienced planners can be invaluable, so you don’t want to let comments like that pass by without addressing the issues.

Tip #3 Be Flexible

Using the example above, your event planner may suggest another party venue, one that has the A/V equipment and so forth that you’d need to pull off the event of your dreams. By being flexible about the specifics of your event, you can better take advantage of what your planner knows and can do to help.

Here’s another example. You may envision a class reunion with music and dancing, and know just how you want the tables laid out. Your planner, though, might be able to suggest another configuration at the party venue that will expand the dancing area, or provide more room between tables.

As yet another example, your planner may know of a different caterer, one who could provide better pricing or a wider menu. Ultimately, in each of these scenarios, it’s your party, and the planner’s job is to create something that works for you—but, by being flexible, you may discover options you’d never considered.

Special Event Venue Options at the Thrasher-Horne Center

holiday party venueWhen you book an event at our venue, you have the support of our on-site Rental Coordinator. We will happily work with you and/or your event planner, should you decide to hire one, to assist in creating a unique and enjoyable experience for you and your guests. We can provide assistance and suggestions for a multitude of tasks, including:

  • catering options, including:
    • a list of suggested caterers
    • use of warm-up kitchen
    • where to set up food/buffet tables
  • room configurations
  • equipment needs, including:
    • A/V equipment
    • multimedia presentation
    • sound and lighting
    • wireless network
  • room setup
  • room breakdown

Tables, chairs, linens and more can be provided to you, and you can make numerous other requests to make your event unique and memorable.

Ready to plan your special event? To schedule a tour or to request more information, contact us online or reach out directly to our Rental Coordinator, Ellen Hare, at (904) 276-6815, extension 2, or by emailing ellenhare@sjrstate.edu.

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Located at St. Johns River State College
283 College Drive
Orange Park, FL 32065
904.276.6815

Box Office Hours: Monday through Thursday from 11 AM - 3 PM
We are also open one hour prior to showtime on event nights.

Email us at boxoffice@sjrstate.edu