The 7 Questions Event Planners Should Ask Every Client

As a professional Event Planner, when sitting down with your clients for your first consultation, how can you possibly know which specific questions to ask to ensure you not only know exactly what they want, but how to deliver it as expected for the big day?

In the beginning, this can be a little daunting. But never fear!  We’ve narrowed things down and hand-selected the top 7 most important questions you should always ask every client.

These questions are both the basics and the fundamentals when it comes to planning any event. And the best part is, they’re easy to remember! All you’ll ever need to consider is:

  1. Who?
  2. What?
  3. When?
  4. Where?
  5. Why?
  6. How?
  7. The Rule of 3’s

What exactly do we mean by these? Let’s delve a little deeper then, shall we!

event planner client consultation questions to ask

Who will be attending?

Is this a formal and/or corporate event, or a private one (such as a wedding or birthday party)? Will the guest list be predominantly made up of people closely linked to the client, or is the event about what is being offered, not who is throwing it?

By knowing what sort of people will be attending and what their relationship to the client is, you will get a clearer indication as to the type of event this will be.

Don’t forget to also ask for the approximate size of the guest list, too – more people will naturally equal a bigger event!

What is the budget?

This is arguably the most important question you need to ask as an event planner. Everything costs money. As an event planner, you’re not only charging for your time and services, you also need to determine whether or not your client can realistically afford everything they want. If the client’s expectation exceeds their budget, it’ll be your job to work with them to see where compromises can be made.

When is the event taking place?

Obviously, to make your job as easy as possible, a specific date would be the ideal answer – but not every client will have that figured out yet. That’s okay! Even simply knowing the time of year (or even the time of day) they’re interested in can help you begin to envision the theme and tone for the event.

For example: if your client is celebrating their wedding, the theme, color scheme, flowers, etc. may be completely different in the summer than they’d be if the client wants an autumn wedding.

event planner questions to ask every client wedding sign

Where is the event going to be?

It seems like common sense, but establishing the location early on is one of the most important fundamental steps. After all, the event can’t happen if there’s no where to hold it!

Things to consider are:

  • Is it local, or will travel be required?
  • Are they picturing the event taking place indoors or outside?
  • Do they already have a venue picked out?
  • If they don’t, where ideally would they like their event to be hosted?

Why is this event happening in the first place?

Not to get all philosophical here, but this is a very overlooked question that actually has a lot more impact than you’d think. If this is a corporate event, the focus could be on things such as branding, marketing, networking, etc. The importance of the event for the client is predominantly business-related, as it relates to their career.

For personal events, the reason behind the why is often to celebrate a special occasion or milestone.

Either way, knowing why this event is taking place – and therefore, why it’s important to the client – will better help you understand who they are as people, and how you as their event planner can best achieve the result they’re looking for through customization.

event planner questions to ask every client business meeting happy clients

How will the event be run/set up?

Aside from the budget, the how is probably the next most important thing. It’s an umbrella question that you can use to figure out exactly how all the individual details will need to work in order for the event to come together successfully. Think of it as the meat and bones of your Event Planning To-Do Checklist.

Examples of the type of info you’ll be inquiring about here:

  • Decorations
  • Flowers
  • Entertainment
  • Food and drink
  • Timeline/schedule for the big day
  • Whether anything needed for the event will need to be transported to the venue, and more!

The goal is for you to be able to see in your mind exactly how your client wants it to all come together, so that you can then book/work with the best possible vendors.

event planner questions to ask every client beautiful flowers and table

The Rule of 3’s

Everything just sounds better in threes, doesn’t it?

This is the final question, and the one where you can really learn about your client, while also letting them know that you genuinely care about their input. Ask them to provide three must-haves for the big day, and three nevers (things for you to absolutely avoid at all costs).

By asking this question, you can do your job while explicitly knowing what your client considers the most important to them, and what they 100%, no-doubt-about-it do not want to see.

The very nature of your profession is to take your client’s ideas and make them come true. In the beginning, especially during the first consultation, it can be tricky to always know exactly what you need and don’t need to be asking. And while you can always use a more elaborate checklist, so long as you ask every client these seven questions, you’ll never fail to provide them exactly what they’re dreaming of!

Interested in Event Planning, but don’t know which specific field you’re best suited for? Learn more about the differences between event planning vs. wedding planning



4 responses to “The 7 Questions Event Planners Should Ask Every Client”

    Nicole says:

    This article was very helpful thank you! I never thought about using the rule of 3’s before and I think it is a great way to gauge the clients likes and dislikes (and it is easy to remember!). I am going to add this to my client questionnaire form that I use for my initial consultations with clients in my own event planning business.

    Sarah-Lynn Seguin says:

    Hi Nicole,

    It always makes our day when the information in our articles is particularly useful for the reader. 🙂 Let us know how adding the Rule of 3’s into your client questionnaire impacts the initial consultation, and if it helps at all when creating the event concept! xx

    All the best,
    The QC Team

    Shawniece says:

    Asking clients the right questions not only during the initial consultation but throughout the planning process is very important. It is the only way to ensure that you are on the same page with your client as well as execute the event that your client envisioned. I love that the Event and Wedding Planning course materials provide you with questions that you should ask your client and that the course assignments challenge you to use what you learned from your readings into real life scenarios that you will likely run into as a planner.

    Sarah-Lynn Seguin says:

    We absolutely agree: the client consultation is a MAJOR part of the planning process. After all, you can’t deliver your client’s dream day until you first sit down with them and gain a proper understanding of the type of celebration they want! We’re excited to hear that your Event and Wedding Planning Course has been teaching you so much about the consultation process, Shawniece. Thanks so much for sharing! xx

    All the best,
    The QC Team

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *