14 Questions to Ask an Event Planner

14 Questions to Ask an Event Planner

What factors do you consider when choosing an event venue? As an event planner, making the right venue decision is critical since it’s often the largest expense and sets the scene for an unforgettable guest experience. Ask this question to get a feel for a candidate’s ability to balance location with factors like capacity, amenities and venue policies while staying perceptive to the client’s priorities and desires. What to look for in an answer: Attention to detail Research skills Ability to prioritize Example: “To choose the perfect venue, I build a list of possible venues based on factors like the event’s target audience, budget restrictions, size and capacity, reputation and other special criteria, like parking options and technical needs. I always personally visit each venue before presenting a short list of options to my clients, making sure they are part of the decision-making process.” What are your strategies for dealing with irate clients? Event planning is a high-pressure job that requires a level-head and the ability to stay client centric during stressful situations. This question will reveal if a candidate has the people skills and adaptability needed to appease demanding clients. What to look for in an answer: Stress tolerance Flexibility Customer service skills Example: “I always put my clients first and look at things from their perspective. Since the lead-up to an event can be overwhelming, high emotions can sometimes make my clients lash out. I never take this personally and instead suggest different ways of doing things until I find the solution that makes my client’s eyes light up. I pay close attention to their wants and needs and balance them with my professional recommendations.” Tell me about a time you had to deal with a last-minute change or unexpected situation when planning an event. Spur of the moment changes and unexpected circumstances – like inclement weather and adjustments to guest-lists – have the power to blow an entire event off course, impacting the budget and risking your company’s reputation. An exceptional event planner doesn’t let last-minute changes blindside them and instead has Plan Bs and Cs (and Ds and Es!) in place to prepare for the unexpected. What to look for in an answer: Problem-solving skills Resourcefulness Communication skills Example: “During my previous job, I was in charge of planning a corporate product launch event. To prepare for the unexpected, I wrote down possible scenarios – like the tech crew not showing up – and formulated plans to deal with them. One day before the event, however, my client asked to have a vegan option available for the buffet. I sat down with them, explored different strategies and set expectations. In the end, I brought in a small number of pre-cooked vegan meals from the grocery store at a low cost.” What are some of the ways you measure event success? Determining the success of an event is the key to improvement and continued success. Ask this question to determine how a candidate uses data and feedback to boost their performance and plan better events. What to look for in an answer: Desire to grow as an event planner Specific metrics Data-driven mindset Example: “Since I’m always striving to improve and become a more efficient event planner, I’m constantly tracking KPIs and benchmarks. I analyze client and attendee satisfaction surveys, monitor monetary outcomes and take into account the number of event check-ins to determine success. I’ve also recently been paying more attention to social media buzz.” How do you keep your event budgets on track? Event costs can quickly add up and spiral out of control. This question will let you know how a candidate sticks to a budget and thinks creatively to avoid overspending. What to look for in an answer: Organization skills Budgeting tactics Attention to detail Example: “My budget sheet is with me at all times and I update it daily, keeping meticulous track of everything I’m spending money on from the very beginning. With every event I plan, I also keep a small contingency budget of 10-20% that I only touch in an emergency.” Have you ever planned multiple events at the same time? How did you prioritize your time and resources to meet critical deadlines? Planning memorable, highly-visible events and juggling the demands of multiple clients while meeting important deadlines is no easy task. Ask this question to find out if a candidate knows how to manage a heavy workload without sacrificing quality. What to look for in an answer: Ability to multitaskAbility to multitask Time management skills Ability to think on their feet Example: “When I’m planning multiple events simultaneously, setting key milestones and prioritizing my time based on deadlines is essential. I pride myself on my time management skills and use to-do lists and productivity tools to keep everything running smoothly and satisfy all of my clients.” What event planning tools and software have you used in the past? From online registration and e-ticketing to seating chart software systems, leveraging innovative technology to streamline the event planning process is more important than ever. What to look for in an answer: Fast learner Tech-minded Specific event planning software

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