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The Top 4 Questions to Ask Before You Plan an Event

11 Jun 13 By: Lene McGuinness

“Ask the right questions”, this could be said for just about any job or task, however it’s vital when you find yourself having to plan and execute an event for a client. Having a clear, concise understanding of your clients’ needs enables you to efficiently handle their expectations – a key component of every successful event planner’s process.    

Go back to basics before you begin with these essential questions. 

WHAT – Often, you don’t even have to ask what the event is about. A client will come to you with a brief that outlines the basis of the occasion, maybe it’s a wedding, a birthday party, an anniversary or a year-end function. Still, it’s imperative that you have a solid basis of understanding before you ask the other, equally pertinent, questions. 

WHY – Nine times out of ten, a client will brief you on an event and although it’s fairly obvious, the reasons, the justification, the WHY isn’t clear. For example: you’re asked to plan a year-end dinner party for a small internet startup. Easy enough, but what touches, theme or mention could you add to take that event from ordinary to extraordinary? Have they won awards? Should there be a guest of honour? Are they hoping to invite potential investors in which case, would they consider showcasing some of their work in creative ways? Getting to grips with the intentions behind the party allows goals to be set for the event, and maybe even find an interesting theme. 

WHO – Who are the attendees? Are they prominent businessmen and women? Are there people with children or pets? Does the space need to be wheelchair friendly? By understanding a little bit about who the guests are you’re able to select an ideal location, table and seating setting as well as select the right menu from drinks to deserts. A little bit of research goes a long way to ensure that your guests are comfortable and well catered for – after all, a happy guest is a happy client.   

WHERE – You’ve heard it before “Location, location, location!” After you’ve found out what type of event you need to plan, you’ve gotten to grips with the inspiration and you’re aware of the audience, you need to combine all of your information to help you understand WHERE the perfect place to host should be. If it’s a couple’s 40th anniversary, maybe a light luncheon al fresco is ideal – a warm, welcoming and family-friendly atmosphere where children can play while the adults sip cocktails beneath the summer sun. If the event is to celebrate the successful merger of two companies, perhaps booking out a restaurant at the top of a building with breath-taking city vistas (subtly implying that the sky’s the limit) would be perfect.    

Once you’ve discovered what your four Ws are, the next step is to browse Allens range of catering equipment hire and get the party started.