Three Best Practices for Planners; an Event Manager’s Perspective

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By Sabrina Cristiano, Event Manager at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre

The Metro Toronto Convention Centre proudly welcomes over 500 events each year, and similarly we welcome almost the same amount of planners. As Event Managers, we work very closely with planners, and along the way, we discovered a few best practices of top planners that produce the most successful events:

1. Make your venue Event Manager your partner in crime

Events happen fast and furious, and sometimes you may feel as though there is no time to build a partnership with your Event Manager. Within this lies the industry’s best kept secret… Your venue wants you to be just as successful, if not more, than you want to be. Building a partnership not only means creating a rapport, but also asking for your Event Manager’s feedback, opinion, or simply asking what trends they have seen lately. Consider them an extension of your team and do not lose sight that your success depends on them as well.

2. Share your expectations from the beginning

Some of the best relationship building has been when discussing expectations with our clients.  This opens up a door to sharing truthful and honest communication that carries through to all stages of planning an event.  It helps us as a venue understand every event’s unique needs, and in turn sets everyone up for the success of meeting those expectations.  This can be in the form of sharing your budget information, or to what type of experience your attendees may expect.  On the flip side, some of our most successful clients aren’t afraid to tell us when something hasn’t met their expectations almost immediately after it happens. It gives us a chance to rectify a situation before the event has even left the building. This is a win-win situation for everyone.

3. Ask A LOT of questions… we really don’t mind

There’s that old cliché that says “there are no stupid questions”, but there’s also no such thing as asking TOO many questions. It is nearly impossible when planning events.  Before even signing your contract, ask your team if they have any questions about the clauses in the contract. A large majority of unexpected occurrences or costs could be avoided by asking as many questions as possible about the contract and any documentation affiliated with the contract.

So you’re a third party planner and not the contract holder?  Ask your Event Manager to go over what you should know in your first conversation. We know that there are so many pieces of documentation to read, and setting aside time upfront to have a dialogue about this will surprisingly save triple the time at the end.

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