We get it – it can be hard to convince your company to hire an outside organization to plan your annual event. After all, isn’t that your title? Your job? Wouldn’t hiring externally set the tone that you can’t handle your position, or even worse, expose you to being obsolete?
We understand. But we are here to tell you that we aren’t your competition and we aren’t after your job. We are your partners and we are here to turn you into the superstar. Here are the top five reasons you should consider hiring a third party for your next event:
An Entire Team of Planners
Hiring a planning company means you have access to an entire team of event planning professionals – people who eat, sleep, and breathe events and have likely been doing so for many years. And they are the ones who have seen it all.
By having a team who will have had lots of event exposure and experience by your side, you now have a huge resource to whom you can delegate tasks, keep you organized, ask for insight, and support you to figure out those head-scratcher moments.
Even better than just having a team is having a robust, specialized team. Because events are so complex it is likely that professional event planners will have developed a particular area of expertise. Taken collectively, you may now have specialists on registration, event design, travel and logistics, VIP experience, and food and beverage all working on your event.
Dedication to Cost Savings & Avoidance
It can be tough to swallow a seemingly large line item on an already packed budget, especially one that at the outset seems superfluous. But most planners aren’t there just to charge you a management fee, round up all the elements, and leave. Most are there to work with you to truly get the most value out of every dollar so you can maximize your budget and put on a stronger event. This is beneficial not only to keep you happy as their client, but it also gives them an opportunity to add better events to their portfolio.
But how could they possibly add enough value to cover their costs? They work closely with the A/V team to ensure that each piece of equipment is necessary, great quality, and at a fair value. They work with hotels to discover concessions, negotiate better rates, and confirm that the accuracy of the BEOs. They partner with rental and décor companies to bring to life an impactful vision that is at or below market rate, not doused in mark-up fees. They touch every aspect of the event, always aiming to be one-step ahead by anticipating areas to avoid incurring costs and find savings to keep the budget in check and you on track.
Contract Negotiation Experts
When you see and work with hundreds of contracts per year from venues and suppliers you gain a deep understanding of industry standards, exceptions, and non-negotiables. Having a third party who has run the gamut can be an immense resource ensuring you are protected and being treated fairly. Thorough and experienced contract review can help to ensure necessary clauses, (force majeure for instance) are included, attrition and payment terms are reasonable, and concessions are received. Clean and comprehensive contracts make it easier for legal teams to review and approve and lend to an
easier planning experience overall with fewer surprises and stressors along the way.
Access to a Tried & True Partner Network
Third party planners often have vast networks of resources, suppliers, and partners simply due to the volume of events they produce. Being a well-connected third party planner is a tangible asset as they are able to leverage their relationships and history with vendors to secure better deals, better product, and better service levels for any given project. Keep in mind that it’s not just your company that third-party planners are hosting events for – they may have done several other programs this year within a certain hotel group or A/V provider and you will get to reap the benefits (and discounts!) because of their other programs that have come before you.
Additionally, since they have many trusted partners in the industry, the working relationships are already established. You won’t have the pain of learning a new provider – you save the time of establishing rapport and
learning expectations and instead you can get right to planning the event.
Ability to Focus on Your People, Content, & Mission
Events are not just thrown without reason, particularly in the corporate arena. Events are always aiming to achieve a larger goal. With a team to handle all the nitty-gritty details, logistics, and management of the event, it frees you up to truly connect with your event stakeholders, attendees, and your overall message and goal. And this is the proverbial cherry-on-top, you have a team taking care of everything external that you are ultimately responsible for, but you have the time to focus and craft the experience and outcome internally.
This internal insight is not something that the third party planner has intimate access to, it’s something only in-house planners have. You are the translator between where you want to go and how you want to get there. It’s a special position that third-party planners are happy to support because it leads to more meaningful programs, continued trust with clients, and ultimately greater events. And in the end, the spotlight shines on the in-house planner and the success of the event.