What does an event planner do?

I’m not going to write today about why you ought to hire an event planner – you can check out my May post on “What is the hardest part of planning an event: Answers and Tips” or my post on “Why hire a wedding consultant if you’re on a tight budget?” for some insight there. Today I’m going to talk about what we do, because I feel like most people don’t know unless they’ve used an event planner before! People I speak to usually think of wedding planners, corporate event planners or the event planners that come with a site or a catering company. While all those are perfectly legitimate coordinators, there are so many more!

Event planners can typically offer a broader range of services than a wedding planner or any other type of coordinator because they are open to any type of gathering; that is a huge range of expertise and ways to help you, the client, if you think of everything that could mean! Small birthday parties for kids or wedding-like anniversaries; reunions that require coordination across the country (or the world) or dinners for eight; weekend-long events or two-hour events. I’m sure I could list events forever. Although not all planners offer every different type of event, and each has a specialty, the idea is that if you are a host/hostess, over the course of your lifetime the range of events you’ll cover is vast – and that’s why an expert in the specific job of planning an event is useful.

Also, the nitty-gritty of what they offer can be up to each planner. Most will offer budget creation/tracking, vendor/site research and procurement, organizational help (for guest list, seating, calculating food and beverage amounts), and general oversight of the event day to make sure everything flows as it should. But what makes event planners helpful no matter who you are is that we can offer levels of help and service, starting with simple consulting (Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events offers hourly consultations to simply assist you with our expertise), going all the way up to taking the event off your hands and creating a production, booking everything from start to finish.

Check with the event planners you research to see how they structure their services, if they have a minimum guest count or event cost, or what services they will or won’t provide. The way we do it is to offer three different pricing structures, depending on the level of help needed and complexity of the event. Then, in addition to the “packaging” structures, you can contract us just for “A La Carte” services, such as those hourly consultations or just to target the areas you need the most assistance with. For example, we’ve put together packages that are a “grab bag” of services: budget creation, vendor referrals, invitation creation, RSVP tracking and that’s it!

Event planners that are willing to be flexible in how they charge (most charge as a percentage of the total cost of the event) can be especially helpful in taking something as time-consuming as planning an event off your plate!

If you would like more information about us, or about event planning in general, please do not hesitate to contact us and we’d be happy to answer any questions!