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A special event planner is one who works with clients to create and execute plans for special events, such as weddings, birthday or anniversary parties, meetings, or corporate events, among others. An event planner may be self-employed and own his or her own business, she may work in a group with other special events planners, or she may be employed by a business such as a hotel or casino where large parties are common. A college degree is typically not required to become a special event planner.
To begin, a special event planner will meet with a client to discuss ideas for the event, and any necessary requirements. They will discuss budget, fees, and ideas for the party or corporate event. An event planner may charge an hourly fee, a set fee depending on the size and scope of the event, or a percentage of the final cost. Some special event planners hire additional staff for assistance in planning and executing the event.
The special event planner will ask questions regarding the nature of the event, the location, the type of foods and beverages desired, decor options, and the size of the guest list, just to name a few. If a location has already been chosen, the event planner may visit the location with the clients to take measurements and receive information. If not, he or she may suggest potential locations.
Once all of the details have been settled, a special event planner may then be in charge of sending out invitations, ordering food and beverages, and working with any other contractors who need to deliver items to the party, such as linen delivery or a bakery. The duties of special event planners vary depending on the needs of the clients; in general, the planner's fee will continue to increase based on the amount of work he or she is expected to do.
The clients may contact the special event planner any time with questions or to make changes, such as to modify the guest list. On the day of the party, the event planner will be in attendance to supervise everything, and make sure all of the plans are coming together. He or she will then likely stay behind after the event is over to supervise the clean up, and verify that everything is returned appropriately, as well as to pay any extra contractors.
A special event planner will need to keep careful accounting and bookkeeping records. She might need to create advertising and actively try to find new customers. In addition, special events planners need to know local laws regarding the obtaining of permits for special events. After an event, the event planner might contact a client to see if they are satisfied with her work, or if they have any suggestions for improvement. Happy clients are more likely to give repeat business, as well as to recommend friends and family.