6 Things to Keep in Mind When Selecting a 3rd Party Event Planner


Don’t have an in-house professional event planner or team of planners solely focused on executing your conferences and events? Well, you’re not alone. More and more companies and associations are leaving the planning to industry experts who can come in and run the show from conception to post-event de-briefing.

The question is, how do you narrow down your search for the perfect event planner? Here are a few things to keep in mind that will simplify the selection process and help you make the right choice!

There are different types of event planners. If you’re planning a wedding, you need a planner that eats, sleeps and breathes all things bridal. Similarly, if you’re planning a conference or corporate function, you’ll benefit most from working with an event planner who specializes in executing the type of event you’re putting on.

A wedding or “party” planner won’t have the same extensive contacts with the venues, vendors and keynote speakers that you’ll need if you’re planning a large conference.  At SGP Conferences and Events, we specialize in producing conferences and events for associations, and benefit from close relationships with our extensive network of contacts.

The matter of experience. When you interview potential planners to execute your upcoming conference or event, be sure to find out what experience they bring to the table. Are they new to conference planning or have they been planning professional conferences for associations throughout their career? At SGP Conferences and Events , we have decades of rich experience. Having learned many lessons over the years, clients benefit from their industry expertise and ability to both prevent issues from arising and swiftly resolve any problems that do present themselves. Put your event in the hands of SGP – an outside organization you can trust.

Certification Counts. Is your event planner “certified”? Holding a Certified Meeting Planner (CMP) or Certified Meeting Manager (CMM)) certification is an asset, but make sure that your planner of choice has more than just textbook knowledge. Experience is key in enabling planners to trouble shoot problems as they occur and take quick and decisive action to rectify them. Susan Phillips of SGP Conferences and Events is currently studying for her CMP to enrich her 24 years of experience. She also spent 10 years as an officer in the Canadian Armed forces, a experience that “armed” her with sharp problem-solving skills and the ability to think fast on her feet.

Giving Back. It’s worth while taking a look at your prospective event planner’s professional bio. When they’re not on the clock, are they actively involved in their community and invested in its growth? A planner that gives freely of their time to organizations like CSAE, MPI, CanSPEP and SPIN is likely to go the extra mile to execute your event or conference to perfection.

Through their various volunteer engagements, event planners like Susan Phillips. have an extended network of contacts that will come in handy when planning your event. And you know what they say….if you want something done well – give it to a busy person!

A Team Effort. Does your event planning prospect have a great team behind them? Does your quote include just one planner or will you have access to multiple planners, marketing experts, web and social media specialists as well as administrative support? If there isn’t a team in place, when your head event planner isn’t available, nothing gets done. Beyond that, some tasks are best left to the resident experts!

The Whole Truth: References. When you’re searching for the perfect event planner for your conference or corporate event, don’t forget to ask for references. A person may deliver a shining proposal, but until you speak with someone who they’ve worked for in the past, you can’t get a real idea of how well they perform. Do your due diligence and you can have greater peace of mind that you’re in good hands and have made the best possible choice.

To simplify the search for a trusted association and corporate event planner in Ontario, turn to SGP Conferences and Events Ltd. Contact Susan Phillips and her team today and benefit from their decades of experience. They’re also a pleasure to work with, which can make a world of difference when you work closely with an event planner.

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