Party Planners and
Event Management Companies

What are Party Planners and Event Management Companies?

Party planners and event management companies specialize in bringing people together for a common purpose. They do this for life celebrations as well as corporate and social events. They arrange for the location, transportation, communications and all of the details related to an event or meeting.

Consumers spend months, even years planning life events such as birthdays, weddings and births. When it comes to end-of-life celebrations, we can give it the same attention by hiring a professional event planner.

How to choose a Party Planner or Event Management Company

Do you know someone planning a wedding or other special event? Did you attend an event or wedding you thought was well planned or had exceptional details? Like most word-of-mouth professions, start by asking friends or family members if they could recommend someone. You could also post the question on your Heart2Soul Community.

Party planners usually have at least a bachelor's degree and some related work experience in planning. Some event planners receive a bachelor's degree in hospitality management. Party planners are not required to have a license issued by their state though many are members of one or more event planning industry organizations. These include ISES (the International Special Events Society), MPI (Meeting Professionals International) and ADME (Association of Destination Management Executives) and some of these organizations do offer a certification program. The most compelling credentials are personal references. A catering manager at a venue or country club, a hotel group sales person in the nearest city or a chamber of commerce or visitors' bureau will know the resources available in your area.

What to expect from a Party Planner or Event Management Company

A party planner will act as a liaison between the client paying for the event and all of the vendors and service providers. They will sit with a family to determine the theme or tone of the event, research the venues and service providers and present options back to the family. A party planner should have previous experience.

According to Faith Moore, President, Faith Moore & Associates Events, and author of Celebrating a Life: Planning Memorial Services and Other Creative Remembrances, "If you have time to plan a memorial (and even if you don't) event planners will know what space will be available, how to find the best caterer and the right way to personalize the service". Ms. Moore offers great tips and suggestions to plan a memorial or end-of-life celebration in Heart2Soul's Funerals, Memorials and Celebrations of Life and Reception sections.

Below is a list of some other qualities you should look for when hiring a party planner:

  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Creative personality
  • Strong organizational and office skills
  • Ability to manage budgets
  • Familiarity with locations for event
  • Will negotiate rates and get bids from vendors and service providers
  • Coordinate all details of the event such as food, invitations, hotels and transportation
  • Attend event and monitor activities to ensure client and attendees are satisfied
  • Review bills and approve payment

What does it cost to hire a Party Planner or Event Management Company?

Each party planner is responsible for setting their fee, which could be a flat fee, an hourly fee or based on a percentage of the overall cost. If they charge by percentage, a fee in the range of 20% would be reasonable. Variables affecting the price could be geographic area, event considerations and time to plan. Most party planners will meet with you at no obligation so they can learn about your needs and explain their services.

We encourage you to confirm pricing, ask for references and interview any funeral professional you are considering hiring. Carefully consider quality of service and references when making a decision., Bureau of Labor Statistics