Figuring out whether you should risk planning your event by yourself or engage the services of a professional. Deciding the matter of DIY event planning vs. hiring a pro planner is one tough question to ask yourself for but we could make this easy if your are familiar with the pros and cons of each option.
The first question people ask nowadays when a huge event is in the works is whether the person throwing the event is planning it himself or relying on a professional planner to do the job. While there are those for whom the immediate (perhaps even only) answer is one of the two, there are others for whom the choice is not that easy. It might be their first event, or they might be unfamiliar with what exactly event planning professionals bring to the picture that makes them an option. Either way, it is important for these people to be able to get the data they require to make an informed decision on the matter, and we cover the essentials of that topic here.
To begin with the DIY option, one should ask the question first: “Do I have time and energy to put into planning this event?” Event planning is not easy, even if it may sometimes be simple; these are two different things, after all. Consider the matter of a small dinner party. If you want to treat this as a proper event, you shall have to cover not only the menu (which includes catering or cooking arrangements, food tolerances, allergies, and even cultural considerations), the invitations (which covers scheduling and communications), the seating arrangements (which can sometimes make all the difference when you want a cordial or lively party), the lighting (if you want to set a specific atmosphere for the event), and even the winding down (which includes dishwashing, location cleaning, garbage disposal, and so on).
Now, some people truly are up to these tasks, in which case the DIY option would be a good idea. If you enjoy organising such things and have the contacts and resources for it—remember, smaller events require less effort and fewer resources—then by all means plan the event yourself. If done right, this would likely lead to savings on your part, as you would no longer need to cover the fee for a planner. Indeed, that is often what puts off people from hiring a planner: the cost of their services, especially the more experienced and established ones.
Another potential advantage to doing your own event planning instead of getting a planner is that it affords you the chance to be as hands-on as possible, i.e. you are provided the sense of having more control over the event and its details. To be sure, most event planners will still give you all the control you actually require if you hire them for the task, but there is a perception of greater control when one does all the work oneself. This may be more reassuring than the other option for some people, and thus ultimately the less stressful choice, despite the work it may seem to involve initially.
Finally, doing your own planning can be rewarding if you have a talent for it and intend to cultivate that talent. Each event you plan can then be another occasion of you honing your organisational and planning skills, as well as building stronger relationships with your event planning contacts, e.g. caterers you favour, service companies, event suppliers, and so on. In fact, this is how a lot of event planners get started in their careers.
But if you do not enjoy planning or have little skill or few resources for it, engaging an event planner may be the wiser choice. Doing your own planning is very often tiring, and even if one enjoys it, there are many occasions where it leaves the planner so drained that he or she has little energy or joie de vivre to bring to the event itself.
An event planner is the answer, in the other words, for those who cannot be bothered to do their own planning or who find the present event they are facing beyond their planning abilities. A planner can save you time if you are in a rush—many of them are experienced at operating under extreme deadlines, after all—and can even save you money in several occasions, by virtue of being more experienced at budget-setting and financial management, at least when it comes to event prep. He will still incur a fee, though, and you may still feel some loss of control over the situation as he manages it for you, but on the whole, he will usually spare you most of the effort and trouble involved.
Photo Credit: helmuthess