When looking for an event planner, there are a few things you will want to look for.
More $ does not always = better quality
A seasoned veteran in the business may set their prices high but this does not mean you are getting the best service, meanwhile a person new in the business may set a low price but this does not mean they will do a less than stellar job. Do your homework and ask to see some of their work in action.
Personalities must match
Since you must work relatively close to the event planner and for quite some time, you will want to make sure your personalities do not clash. You will need to get your ideas across and the event must represent you, your tastes and it must parlay this to your guests. Your event planner must be able to understand your requests and put them across in the event. Being the same page with the event planner will make the event a success.
Make time in your schedule
Some event planners also offer third party services through caterers, being able to call a venue for you and choosing a venue for you. These items are a la carte services that you have the freedom to choose. If you so choose to have the event planner do additional services for you, the event planner will be extremely busy. If you choose to free up some time and investigate these services for yourself, this will help the event planner in her duties.
Reputation speaks loudly
It is wise to consider the reputation of the event planner. Just like the reputation of a contractor, plumber or roofer is important, so is the reputation of the event planner. It is appropriate to ask the event planner for references. Do your homework and call the references.
Ziebarth, Bruce (December 3, 2009). Tips for Choosing an Event Planner. Yahoo Voices. Retrieved from http://voices.yahoo.com/tips-choosing-event-planner-4987974.html
When researching different venues, there are a few tips you should observe that will help with your decision.
Inquire about the amenities
When doing either on-site visits or over-the-phone inquiries, ask the sales manager to explain the limitations and availability of items such as display banners, signage or directional signs, shipping and receiving services, house phones, and concierge services. This will help you in your decision making.
Do on-site visits
On-site visits will give you the opportunity to view the condition of the grounds and the building. It will give you the visualization of what you can do with the space as it is. If the building is crumbling, if there is not enough parking, or if the rooms are not conducive to your needs, this visit will allow you to know first-hand that the venue will not work for your needs.
Inquire about audio-visual equipment
If you plan on doing a slide show presentation, you will probably need the help of the venue. You will need to inquire about projectors, hand-held remotes, screens, monitors, microphones or an internet connection.
Ask about catering
What makes the event is the food. No one appreciates an overdone steak or raw bakes potatoes. The most of your money will be spent on the food so it is wise to invest time researching and tasting different options. Your venue will most likely have a kitchen. If those options are not to your liking, ask to bring in other catering options.
Be budget conscientious
During the planning phase, a budget will be set. You must be wise to observe this budget and do your best to not go over the budget. There is no need to go over the budget for an event. Your guests will appreciate the effort you put into everything.
Hard, Rob (n.d.). How To Evaluate Each Venue. About.com. Retrieved from http://eventplanning.about.com/od/venueselection/ht/sitevisit.htm