How to conduct a client interview while planning an event?
If you want to plan a successful event you need to listen to your client. Understanding goals will help you stay focused and meet expectations.
There are several tasks that you have to keep in mind while planning an event and dealing with a potential client. Some of the basics are staying focused on what a client would want at their event. Asking the correct questions will help you focus on their needs while planning.
Here are a few questions you can ask during an interview to prepare for an event:
Where would you like the event?
- Who will be your audience?
- What type of event?
- What theme/setting would you like for your event?
- What is your overall budget for the event?
- How many people do you plan on attending?
- What are the major things you have to have?
- What are the things you can live without?
- What time frame do you have in mind?
Once you get the basic questions answered then the process starts. The approach and process that you as the event planner/coordinator should use is trial and error while meeting with a potential client. If there are too many negatives that you see right away while meeting with a potential client you can always decline your services. This sometimes happens and it is not bad to decline services to anyone, if you know or have a feeling it may not workout then decline services in a respectful manner. You as a planner need to see if the client is a good fit by determining if there are any discrepancies that you see within five minutes or so of meeting with conversation. There might be challenges in the future as well as a general conversation and knowledge of dealing with people on a regular basis. My advice is to be open as possible during the interview. Tell your client how you work and what you expect from them during the interview and let them ask you any questions or concerns they may have. Be open to ideas and suggestions that may come about during your conversation and question asking. This will help avoid negatives during the interview process and let alone the process of illumination to see if you’d like to work with the client or not.
Asking these questions and observing flaws during the interview will help you make the decision to work with the client or not. It’s also about making sure if your client is a good fit. These questions asked will help you with time management while planning other events for different clients. A successful interview allows the client to get to know you as a business professional and to see if you will work well together. Interviews are the key for a successful event. As an event planner you will always be on the go and you will not always be at one location during a business week. So the question arises: Where to meet for an interview with a potential client? I would say you can invite the potential client or clients to your business office (if you have one) or if you work from home you may want to meet in a public setting such as; a restaurant for lunch or a coffee shop. Some clients already have an idea in mind to where they would like the event to take place. So a good place for you to meet them would be at the venues location depending if the venue permits additional time or appointments to meet before actually booking the date of the event. Wherever you decide to meet always have something to offer your future client and let them be comfortable with you and the way you do things. As an event planner your job is to always be prepared and make sure you have somewhat of an idea of what your client would like before meeting them (this will help with the interview as well).
The interview will help you decide whether or not to work with the client. Once you agree to coordinate their event the process of planning begins. When starting the process of planning the event the client will sign an agreement/proposal on topics, questions, budget etc… discussed during the interview. You will acknowledge the proposal and begin arranging help if needed by your staff and begin organizing a schedule of times and vendors to attend at whichever venue was chosen. This includes creating a checklist of to do items and assign staff members (if any) to help accommodate your needs while organizing. Remember to enjoy planning the event that was assigned to you and keep in mind that there might be some flaws as you approach the official date, but keep calm and stay positive. By staying positive will help you get through difficult times and help you think fast for what we call Plan B meaning the next step. The next step can be thinking ahead of schedule to asking yourself: What if? Therefore think ahead occasionally and always have an alternative for back-up no matter what and this will help your event run smoothly and let alone out your mind at ease.
The above will help you become a successful event planner and will prepare you for the future by asking the correct questions in order to obtain the information needed for the event to take place. I find this information most helpful for event planners in all categories and areas. Enjoy this information and refer to the following websites listed below in reference to this post. Happy Planning and Best Wishes!