What You Need To Know
As of late, I have been noticing more and more event planners popping up – especially for tradeshows and markets – only to find out that they are inexperienced and unreliable. Ultimate, these planners are doing damage to the event planning industry.
I want to do my part to help this stop! The event industry is tough enough to have a successful growing business within; we do not need the added battle of overcoming negative opinions due to these “frauds” who are posing as professionals.
If you’re a business owner, it’s important to be able to identify an inexperienced and possibly unreliable event planner. Further, becoming involved in an event in such a situation may give you a negative impression about tradeshows and events – which is unfortunate, as they are an excellent marketing tool where you can connect directly with your potential clients.
Why does this happen?
At one point in time, many of us have taken part in an event that maybe didn’t meet our expectations. This leads us to think “I could do better!” because “how hard could it be?” And sometimes, they can do it better – but for the most part, they are better off not attempting it.
Planning an event takes a great deal of time, dedication, and a skill set to handle all the behind the scenes details that come with any show. Some considerations are calculating the number of vendor spaces, how many of each category of vendor to allow, venue location, fees to charge, layout, advertising, and so much more. When you’re not an event planner many of these key aspects slip through the cracks and in the long run the event suffers.
How do I choose which events to participate in as a vendor?
If you want a GREAT event, then you must choose a GREAT event planner. The event planner should take care of all aspects of the event. So how can you separate the great planners from the questionable ones?
Here are some tips for you:
- The first is to know exactly what type of event it is you’re participating in. Is it a 1st time event? How did you hear about it?
- Ask the organizer why they are doing the show? A planner is usually doing it because they want to provide an outlet for you their clients to showcase yourself/business.
- Does the fee seem a little low? Sure we all have a budget, we all like affordable events. However, fees collected for the event are what pay for the costs of the venue and other costs. Things like venue, advertising, tables, etc. A $20 or $30 dollar show has likely not considered the costs beyond the venue expense.
- Are there conflicting events on the same date? An experienced planner researches all upcoming and ongoing events in their area. They want the event to be a success, not a competition or popularity contest.
- Research the Organizer. Be it an individual person, or an event company, do your research! There are a lot of inexperienced planners out there. They think events like tradeshows are a quick and easy way to make some fast cash. However it also appears that they make money so fast they forget to actually plan the event.
- Sign a contract. Contracts are there to hold both parties accountable. You know what you’re getting for your fees paid, and the event planner also knows you’re committed and will fulfill your end of the agreement too. Planners who take your cash without any documentation of what the cash is for should alert you to possible fraud.