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:
- The Rule of 3’s
What exactly do we mean by these? Let’s delve a little deeper then, shall we!
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
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!