Have you ever applied for a job where the position description didn’t tell the entire story? Once you were hired and started working you realized that you are now responsible for completing dozens of other tasks that has nothing to do with what you applied for.
Welcome to my world as a DC Event Planner.
From the outside looking in, most clients have little knowledge of what Event Planners really do. Sure, you might have general knowledge of the typical things like finding venues and gathering vendors. However, the non-traditional things really make for a valuable Event Planner.
To be honest, if all I had to do was, find venues and pull together vendors for a corporate event, I’m not sure what I’d do with myself.
Nevertheless, the role of an Event Planner has evolved into wearing an assortment of hats that you may have never thought of. Some of these things we are thrown into. Others we learn in school and are ready to navigate the event planning industry.
8 Hats You Didn’t Know Event Planners Wore
Event Planners Are Counselors
I get to use this hat more so when planning weddings. Couples come to the table with a variety of things they have to work through. They rely on me to give them sound advice about a variety of things.
Example: I don’t get along too well with my fiancé’s mother. How do I fix this before the wedding?
My fiancé and I are simply not getting along. We argue every day. I don’t know if I want to get married anymore. What should I do?
These and many other examples require us to see what has worked with couples in the past and provide some guidance to our existing couples. While we are certainly no marriage counselor, our couples do trust our advice.
Event Planners Are Mathematicians
Thankfully, while in school I had many math courses to help me with wearing this hat. Often times we deal with big budgets. It’s up to us to make sure our client’s budget can contain everything that they have asked us for.
The cost of things are forever changing. What was the average cost of a lighting package may have risen over the past 6 months. Maybe our clients saw a cool idea and now wants to see how that can fit within their budget. We are constantly calculating how much things cost and moving money from one category to the other so that it fits.
No matter how much money someone has, an Event Planner is constantly trying to make things work. The ultimate goal is to leave your clients in the black and not the red.
Event Planners Are Personal Assistants
Often times for high profile clients, we wear the personal assistant hat. Maybe we have a celebrity coming in town to serve as a Keynote Speaker. Planners have to make sure their transportation is sound. We make sure they are picked up and taken to their hotel. We make sure they have all of their favorite snacks and they are reminded about all of their appointments.
Even if it’s not a celebrity client, our regular clients need us to keep them updated on all important matters. We hold babies while moms and dads are trying on tuxedos and ball gowns. I’ve taught dance lessons and tied bowties.
It’s simply what we do when the need arises.
We Are Hostage Negotiators
Photo: Cytonn Photography
Well maybe not an actual hostage negotiator, but we spend a great deal of time negotiating. Our clients deserve the best and it’s up to us to make sure they get what they want. However, there are times when our clients ask us for the impossible. Like the time one client asked us to plan a reception and have several recording artist come perform all for $15,000.
In these cases, we have to let them know what actually can be done and find alternatives like booking a local band.
When it comes to contracts and getting the best price, our negotiation hat automatically find its way on our head. We know what our client’s budget is and we know how the industry works so finding a happy medium requires skill.
We Are Mediators
Not all clients force us to put on this hat. There are times where interesting dynamics take a role in the planning process and we have to step in to find a resolution. This normally happens when we have more than one client. Maybe a company is arguing over a decision on food. A couple is fighting over wedding colors.
There are many examples where we come in and serve as the sound voice while considering both sides.
We Are Psychotherapists
Events can be emotional. Weddings ARE emotional. Many factors come into place and may require us to provide guidance.
With our corporate clients, we are always talking about how we want employees and guests to feel. What behaviors should they showcase during an event or right after.
For a bride, maybe she’s having a meltdown because the mother-in-law who’s paying for the wedding wants all of the bridesmaids to wear black.
We provide a process to get through the challenges and get back on track to having a successful event or wedding.
We Are Hogwarts Master Magicians
Photo: Artem Maltsev
We’ve mastered timelines, moving crowds of hundreds and thousands, transforming rooms within minutes and much more. You spilt red wine of your white dinner coat? No problem I’ll be back in 5 minutes as if nothing happened.
Need to figure out how to seat 700 people at tables and make sure they all like each other? Got it!
Need help planning a retreat in another country in less than 3 weeks. Easy stuff I have this fairy dust I’ve been waiting to use.
We tend to solve the weirdest and most challenging requests as if we really do have magic. But that’s not your concern, it’s ours to handle it like Olivia Pope.
We Are Interior Designers
Photo: Volha Felxeco
Not every Event Planner has an eye for what looks good. That’s ok and yes it’s reality. Some are good at the logistical work.
For those of us who can do both, we have to make sure your event looks stunning. We pull together the perfect color palette. We make sure linen have the right texture. Lighting compliments the room. Oh and don’t forget about designing tables where you have to pull guests away from.
When people walk into a room, we want them to feel excited. That won’t happen if we aren’t constantly seeing what works well based on personality, time of year and what’s trending.
All of these hats allows us to be the Event Planner your need. Did you know we did all of this? While it doesn’t come with the initial job description, we want to make sure you have the perfect planning process.
Are you looking for a Magician in for your event? I just completed my Hogwarts master event course. I’m ready to use what I learned on your event. Click here to get started.