While going through the process of starting up this business, I have spent so much time reflecting on how I can be helpful. Most days I have a ready answer, clearly I will save you time and stress when it comes to planning your events, and assist you in making sure your event goals are met. It is a pretty broad statement, and I've done some thinking on how to narrow it down.
Planning: I have heard rumours that there are some people out there who (gasp!) DO NOT ENJOY planning things! I don't know who those people are, or why they cant see the beauty in a well-thought out plan coming together and making people happy, but whoever you are, I. AM. HERE. FOR. YOU. Seriously. I LOVE LOVE LOVE planning. I have often said I am a "recipe learner". I made this up, but it is really true! Think about a recipe, all the ingredients, all the steps laid out so neatly. And it isn't just the recipe for me, there's also all that possibility in there. Like, when the recipe calls for milk, but I only have sour cream? Or I'm all out of red peppers. Or something else. There's the fun of making substitutions, thinking creatively, and still having something amazing happen in the end. And speaking of the end, that feeling of not knowing, and then having tangible proof that the hard work paid off? Maybe I'm crazy, but I see such a connection between the process of following a recipe and the process of planning an event. (Have I mentioned I also LOVE LOVE LOVE to cook and bake?). Because I look at the event planning process as a recipe process, I love to lay things out for my clients in a clear and cohesive way. From the initial burst of ideas, to the "to do" lists, to the day of the party, I strive to help organize and communicate what is required to create the most successful event possible.
Time: Another area where an event planner is incredibly helpful is when it comes to time management. My clients have Lives. Family, work, kids, pets, friends, commitments, sports, volunteer work, cleaning, cooking, eating, sleeping. There are not enough hours in a day for most of us to add more. But we do. And then we add a little extra. So who has time to work for their fun? Because that is exactly what planning a party is. Work. And when we don't give something our full attention, we stress, because we know we cut a few corners here and there. So here's the coolest part, for me and for my clients, event planning is my JOB. All those hours you are spending at work? I am spending them planning your party. Awesome! Now you can just sit back, relax, and let me take the wheel. I always include my clients in the decision making process, after all, the party is for them and the people they love. But all those phone calls, and reservations, and research into what napkin is the best or which venue has best hamburgers or dessert or whatever it is, I do that. And if something falls through during the planning process, or some "emergency" comes up, don't worry, because I've got that too. I offer creative solutions to the challenges, so really, you don't even need to think if you don't want to.
Stress: Which leads me to stress. I save my clients stress. Something goes wrong? Don't worry, I've got this. The forecast calls for rain the day of your event? I've got a detailed weather forecast and six backup plans. Granny broke her leg and needs a wheelchair for the party? I'll find one. You went for a brow wax and things got a little too... waxy? I know a great makeup artist. I will help you to stay calm in the face of what can pretty stressful. It is my job.
Money: Okay, now I know that in this "luxury" service industry, you are not expecting me to save you money, especially when this is my job, so I must get paid somehow, right? It is true that I have a fee, however, I believe that if the above points don't convince you, this might. I will help you not only stay on track with your budget, but will help you see that you have one. And sometimes knowing you have an event "budget", even an informal one, is the first step to keeping your event on the right financial track. I'll give you an example. My mother, her husband, my sister and my brother-in-law were at my house visiting this past weekend and the plan included a birthday supper for my mom. NOT an event. NOT a party. A dinner. and a fairly informal one at that. I went shopping, I got the "planned" groceries, the things we knew were on the menu, and I even got some on sale! I had no budget in mind. And then my husband picked up a few extra things. And then we went to the market and there was fresh corn, so I decided to make an extra side dish, and I got some cider because my brother-in-law likes it, and it's local, so why not show off? And my sister suggested we go to the Alpine Cheese Company for a tour and tasting, so I bought some cheese for an impromptu cheese plate. And then a few more bottles of wine from the local winery we visited for a tasting. And by then end of it all, I actually do not even want to know what we spent. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining about the cost of a meal, I know I go overboard for these types of things, and that's just a part of my household budget. What I want to demonstrate is how quickly and easily the costs can increase. One of the tools that I provide to my clients is a budget tracking sheet, with estimates and final costs. Because having that visual sometimes makes it a little easier not to just keep grabbing one more thing before the party. I'll be that little angel or devil on your shoulder (depending on how you see it) asking you if you really need those balloons, or those adorable gold-dipped bamboo cutlery sets (I need my own little devil on my shoulder to remind me I do not need those, since they've been in the drawer untouched ever since I bought them).
Advice: As your event planner, I have your best interests in mind, but I am not emotionally tied to all of your decisions. Another way an event planner is helpful is for advice. Do I think your friends will like a ballerina themed birthday? Maybe, tell me more about them. Will your shy wife appreciate the billboard announcing she's turning 60? Not a chance. Sometimes having that person to bounce things off of is such a great thing. I want you and your loved ones to have the best time, and I will give you the best advice I am able to meet that goal. And if you don't take it? Not a big deal. I am not emotionally invested like your (insert friend/family member/co-worker here) might be. I'll be honest with you, but don't expect you to use every single piece of advice or idea I give you, that would make it my party, not yours.
I have event and party planning packages to suit most needs and budgets, but if something needs to be specialized, I am totally open to that. I love planning events. I love being helpful. I love having fun. So let's get the event planning recipe out and plan a party!!
Amanda, along with her team, coordinates, facilitates and creates awesome events in and around the Creston Valley. Through her business, AM Event Coordination, she strives to create awesome experiences and memories through the creation and execution of quality events.