Infrequently Asked Questions That All Event Planners Need to Consider

Are you forgetting something? The contracts are ready, budget is approved, guest lists checked. But before you go making everything official, consider these infrequently asked questions to make sure you have all your bases covered. You might save yourself from an unexpected mid-event fiasco. Or save some money in the future.

“Are there any additional taxes, fees, or gratuity that I should expect?”

Don’t get surprised by hidden fees! Truth is, many vendors will quote you a price that isn’t all inclusive. You work hard on your budgets so make sure no one else is undermining that diligence by sneaking in a hefty cleanup fee or forgetting to mention tax.
The novice event planner asks how much a venue costs. The master event planner proactively unearths all the hidden costs. You too can be a master and throw memorable events while staying under budget.

“What are the best transportation options for your venue?”

Picture this: you plan an incredible offsite that has the entire office hyped. You’ve nailed down every detail and you’re at the event eagerly awaiting your team’s arrival. But they’re late. Ten minutes, whatever. Half an hour and you worry. Time keeps dragging by and you get an email, “Parking suckkkssssss.”
And parking does suck. Coordinating how to get your guests to an event as painlessly as possible is often overlooked, but dramatically affects people’s enjoyment and long term perception of the event. Ask the venue how they recommend organizing transit and save your attendees the headache.

“How should our guests dress?”

Yeah, you set the dress-code for your events, but maybe the venue runs hot or cold. And if it is an event with any sort of physical activity it becomes especially important to check with the experts. You can play Skeeball in anything, but at Joey the Cat we give reminders about wearing something you can move in and layers you can shed as your game gets more intense.
Make sure you communicate any important information to your guests. It doesn’t help if only you know that people should pack a sweatshirt.

“Are there special accommodations for me, the event planner?”

It’s your event so you’ll probably be the first one in and last one out. Why not see if the venue can make that easier for you? Make sure you can arrive early to set up if needed. See if you get a designated parking space. Or maybe you can load out extra supplies the following day, rather than at 1:00 AM.
At most reasonable venues, just asking will give you a bit more flexibility with the logistics. And it can help avoid any logistical surprises. Always make sure to ask though since some venues–especially during busy seasons–may not be able to accommodate every special request.

“What is the best way for me to spread the word about you?”

If you had a great time working with a vendor, pay it forward and help some other event planners avoid headaches. Leaving a good review on Yelp, OrgOrg, or just passing a venue brochure to your friends is a great way to spread the word. You’re helping your peers find quality vendors and rewarding outstanding companies with more business. Leaving reviews kind of makes you a superhero.
And asking this question lets your vendor know that you’re looking out for them, which is super nice and generates warm fuzzy butterflies in their bellies. Everyone wants to know if they’re doing a good job.

“Do you have additional offerings so we can use you again without having the exact same event?”

You planned the event so obviously it is going to be a huge success. Your guests are going to love it and they’ll be clamoring for similar events. But you can’t do the exact same thing, right? It will get less exciting, less special, less successful. For example, Joey the Cat offers Skeeball tournaments and Arcade Olympics in the same venue. We know breaking the routine keeps the relationship fresh.
So plan ahead and see what options are on the table for future events with established partners. Long term partnerships are where the deals and perks start rolling in.

“Special load-in access?”

If you have an event with a special add-on or a ton of catering to be delivered, make sure the venue can accommodate that. Sometimes the front door won’t cut it, so always ask about what the best way to set up is. Maybe they venue has double doors in the back entrance or a roll up door to provide easy load in.