Whether you are planning a small luncheon or a massive week-long sales meeting for thousands of attendees, selecting the right corporate event planner is the key to success. Taking over a corporate event is a major responsibility and requires professionalism, experience, and the ability to be nimble. But if you contract a corporate event planner, how can you be sure that they have these characteristics? You should to meet them in person before you award them the contract.
Meeting the team that you chose to run your event is mutually beneficial for both parties, and opens the door for building trust, undivided attention, open communication, and increased productivity.
Meeting your corporate event planner in person helps establish credibility and build trust that you normally wouldn’t be able to establish without meeting in person. Emailing back and forth and talking on the phone only goes so far, and building trust is hard without seeing nonverbal communication.
According to the 7%-38%-55% rule made famous by psychologist Albert Mehrabian, first impressions are made up of three parts:
- Words: Words account for 7% of the message
- Tone: Tone of voice accounts for 38% of a person’s first impression
- Body Language: The other 55% is made up of a person’s body language
Without going too much into nonverbal communication, body language makes up a large portion of a first impression, accounting for 55% of whether or not trust can be established or not. Meeting your event planner in person can establish this trust, and will allow you to sleep well at night knowing that you made the right choice.
Think about the last time you were on a conference call, or emailing back and forth with a client. Did they have your undivided attention? Likely the answer is no. More often than not, when I am not physically meeting with a client, I am trying to multitask to get everything done by the end of the day. In a face to face meeting, however, the client will always have my complete attention, and I am able to fully focus and commit 100% of my time and energy to the topic at hand.
Every good event planner knows that overlooking small details, no matter how small, can lead to mistakes that spell disaster, so it is important to know that the person in charge of your event is giving all they’ve got. If not, you may wind up running into unnecessary problems that wouldn’t have arisen had you met in person.
Meeting in person allows for open communication, giving both the client and event planner a chance to voice their questions, concerns, thoughts and ideas. Both parties will have plenty to think about, and it is important to put it all on the table before going into the planning phase. What are you worried about? What do you want to see happen at the event? What are some ways the planner can make the event memorable for attendees? These are all things that should be discussed, and meeting face to face will allow for an open dialogue that gets both parties on the same page.
When you partner with an event planning professional, you are probably in it for the long haul. Whether you know it or not, if your first event goes well and you trust your event planner, you will likely form a long-term relationship revolving around trust and friendship. And open communication is the key to forming this bond.
From an event architect’s perspective
Being corporate event planners ourselves, we understand the need and practicality of meeting in person. After an initial phone call, we almost always schedule a meeting to learn a little more about the client’s needs. Meeting the client is not only a way for the client to establish trust, but from our end, it is a great way to showcase our capabilities and assure them they made the right choice in choosing us as their trusted partner.
In my opinion, meeting in person is the most important step in the entire process, and it is definitely something that companies looking to onboard an agency should not overlook. Give it a try, I know you’ll be happy you did.