8 Interview Questions to Ask When Hiring an Event Planner

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Asking the right event planning interview questions lays the foundation for a successful event. Here are eight great questions you can ask your event organizer to help you plan your next event:

  1. What are your areas of expertise?
  2. What types of services do you offer?
  3. What is included in your service fees?
  4. Do you have a team? Who will be working on my event? How do you vet employees?
  5. What vendor contacts do you have? Which event venues have you had relationships with? Do you receive special discounts?
  6. What types of technology do you use to manage your events and attendees?
  7. What is your cancellation and refund policy?
  8. How do you measure an event’s success?
  9. Can I speak with one of your prior clients to talk to them about what it is like working with you?

Here’s more about the purpose of each of these event planning interview questions and what to look for in an answer.

1. What Are Your Areas of Expertise?

Asking this question can help you decide whether an event planner is a good fit for your needs. It can also help you determine what they can help you with.

Event organizers may have different skill sets. For example, some may be adept at planning the logistics of events. Some may be exceptional event promoters. Others may be experts at the technical side of event planning such as creating an event website or setting up online registrations and payments. 

Event planners may also specialize in different industries. For instance, some work exclusively at planning workshops, while others handle business conferences.

When asking this question, listen for a match between your prospective event planner’s skill set and the areas you most need help with. Additionally, seek an event planner who has experience in the industry you serve or a similar industry.

2. What Types of Services Do You Offer?

This question drills down into the specifics of what your event planner can offer you. Services may include:

  • Event concept planning
  • Location scouting
  • Logistics planning
  • Coordination of contracts with vendors
  • Event promotion
  • Online registration processing
  • Day of event coordination
  • Follow-up activities

Find out exactly what your provider can help you with so that you know whether you’re working with the right planner and what you can expect.

3. What Is Included in your Service Fees?

Asking this helps you itemize exactly what your event planning dollar will be going toward. This provides transparency about what you’re paying for. It can also help you plan your budget, letting you know whether you need additional funds or whether you’ll have anything left over for items such as event marketing.

Make sure that you’re clear on exactly what you’re being charged for and what isn’t included. Top expenses typically include food and beverages, venue rental, lighting, and audiovisual equipment. If you’re not sure about something, ask. Be on the lookout for overlooked or hidden fees that can inflate your expenses, such as room drops (gifts left for guests), onsite printing, tips, and taxes.

4. Do You Have a Team? Who Will Be Working My Event? How Do You Vet Employees?

This set of event planning interview questions clarifies just who you’ll be working with when planning and running your event. It also helps ensure that you’ll be working with qualified personnel.

When asking these questions, seek clarity on who your contact person or persons will be, what their responsibilities are, and which aspects of your event will involve third-party contacts. Ask whether they vet workers themselves or through a staffing agency.

5. What Vendor Contacts Do You Have? Which Event Venues Have You Had Relationships With? Do You Receive Special Discounts?

This set of questions can help you determine which resources your event planner can put at your disposal. It can also help you reduce your costs and comparison shop.

Look for providers who have experience with established vendors and venues. Also, seek to identify planners who can save you money on major expenses.

6. What Types of Technology Do You Use to Manage Your Events and Attendees?

In today’s digital environment, choosing the right technology for your event can be critical. This question can help you determine whether your provider is experienced with the technology your event requires.

For instance, if you’re going to be hosting your event online, you need a planner who knows what makes a memorable and engaging virtual event. If you’ll be accepting registrations through your website, you’ll want a planner who is experienced with event ticketing technology.

Ask your provider to be specific about which event registration solution they use. If you need help with a specific technology area such as videoconferencing or digital event management, ask them to elaborate on how they can assist you.

7. What Is Your Cancellation and Refund Policy?

Asking this question lets you know what to expect if you have to cancel, postpone, or reschedule your event. It also lets you know what will happen if your provider cancels on you.

Savvy event planners will include a written cancellation and refund policy in their contract with you. It should specify items such as how much notice is required, whether there is a cancellation fee, and under what conditions you are entitled to a refund. It may also indicate whether you can receive credit towards a future event.

You should also ask about what steps your planner will take in the event they have to cancel due to an unforeseen event such as an illness or a vendor issue. Will they be able to secure backup planning services? Will they provide a refund? How much notice will they give? Seek clarity on these types of questions to avoid unpleasant last-minute surprises.

8. How Do You Measure an Event’s Success?

Asking this question helps both you and your planner focus on your event’s goals and how you will measure your success at achieving them. To quantify this, you can use a number of key performance indicators (KPIs), including:

  • Ticket sales
  • Event check-ins
  • Attendee satisfaction ratings
  • Social media likes and shares related to your event
  • Lead acquisition resulting from the event
  • Sales revenue generated by the event
  • Return on investment

Find out how your provider measures event success and whether they use any KPIs to track performance.

Ask Good Event Planning Interview Questions to Plan for Great Results

Asking the right questions of your event planner can help ensure that you choose the right provider and the right strategy for a successful event. Part of a successful event formula includes the technology you use to plan your event. The Event Espresso WordPress registration plugin makes it easy to promote your event, accept registrations, and create tickets right from your website. Try a live demo now to see how we can help you make your event a success.

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