Planning an event takes a lot of time, effort, and energy. But when executed well, the payoff is always worth the hard work. With some help, event planning can be a fun, stress-free, and magical experience.

If you want to host an event but can’t quite plan it yourself, you may want to consider bringing in an expert to shoulder the stress and organize the details to ensure that things fall into place smoothly. Whether you need a birthday event planner, a corporate event organizer, or a wedding planner, there are five red flags to keep in mind when choosing a professional to help you with your upcoming event.

Red Flag #1: Nobody Has Heard of Them

If you’re looking for an event planner, word of mouth is always a good place to start. Talk to people in your surrounding area to see who they’ve hired and what their experience was like. Every event planner has to start somewhere, but it may be a red flag if they don’t have a reputation or following.

If nobody has heard of them, they better have a good reason or an outstanding portfolio of work to showcase. Make sure to ask pertinent questions before hiring a planner you’ve never heard of. Ask to see their work, ask if they have references, visit their website, and ask about their experience in the events industry.

Red Flag #2: Lack of Communication

Communication is a make-or-break part of any relationship, including your relationship with your event planner. When paying for an event planner, you pay for their time, attention, and skills. Good communication should be their top priority. This ensures that they’re looping you in on every step of the process.

Part of an event planner’s job is to reduce stress to help you enjoy your event. Lack of communication will likely cause you more stress. Ask them how busy they are and how quickly they will respond to your questions and concerns.

If they are a poor communicator from the get-go, that is a red flag. It may mean they have taken on more clients than they can handle, or they don’t care enough to make you and your event a priority.

Red Flag #3: No Website or Reviews

We are living in 2022. If your event planner doesn’t have a website or Instagram to show off their work and provide essential details, write them off and find someone else. Furthermore, if they have a website but no reviews anywhere, including their website, Google, or social media, that may also raise a red flag. You wouldn’t buy a toaster on Amazon without seeing some positive reviews. So why would you risk hiring an event planner unless you can see feedback and ratings from past clients?

Red Flag #4: No Gallery of Their Work

Pictures reveal a lot about an event planner’s work. If they don’t have a gallery showcasing their work, you don’t have a lot of evidence to base your hiring decision on. How do you know they are creative? How can you assess their attention to detail down to the last centerpiece or party favor? How do you know they can make both big and small events look fabulous?

We recommend looking through a planner’s portfolio to get a feel for their execution styles and abilities. If they claim they’ve organized many unique events but have nothing to show for it, run away.

Red Flag #5: They Rub You the Wrong Way

Trust your instincts when it comes to feeling out an event planner. There should be good chemistry, and you should both feel that it’s a right fit. Choose someone you enjoy talking to and someone respectful, kind, understanding, and good at listening. If you can’t pinpoint why you don’t like them, but you don’t, go your separate ways.

You should make sure that you can identify with their work style. Are they a last minute Larry but you love planning far in advance? Are they larger-than-life but you’re understated?
Ask about their priorities. If you’re a big foodie but they’re far more into decor than menu items, that could present some problems.

And it doesn’t hurt if they share your sense of humor. You’ll be spending a lot of time with them, either in-person or on the phone or by text or email. You might as well enjoy it!

Hiring an event planner is a great idea to help make your event everything you want it to be and more. Just make sure you do your due diligence and figure out if the planner you’re considering has a good reputation, communicates well, has good reviews, has a wow-worthy portfolio, and gives you a great first impression.

Pay attention to the red flags and find a planner who will work with you and make the planning process stress-free and enjoyable. It’s not a good sign if your planner is causing you more stress; they’re supposed to do the opposite!

At Andrew Roby Events, we limit the engagements we accept so that we can make each one a top priority. Contact us to learn more about our event planning services in DC, Los Angeles, and Dallas.