• Steve

How Many Ulcers Does It Take to Plan My Own Event?

Updated: Apr 27, 2020

You can book your own air travel these days – in fact, most airlines prefer it that way. You can sell your own home. You can handle your own divorce (I hear…no personal experience with that). We live in a DIY world. YouTube, Google, Pinterest – the resources are endless. So why can’t I plan my own event?

Well technically, you can. There are resources aplenty out there, and if you’re willing to spend some time on the phone, and you have average organizational skills – you can probably pull it off. I mean, let’s be honest, it’s not rocket science.

But, that’s not really the point.

It’s one thing to put all the pieces together so you can claim to have “done it” when it comes to planning an event. It’s quite another to plan a very creative event that delivers your marketing message while getting the most value for every dollar you spend.

You don’t think your event has a marketing

message? If that’s what you think, then you’re wasting your money. Every event has a marketing message. That’s why you hold the event in the first place. You want to deliver your message and strengthen relationships. That can be hard to do if you’re busy making sure the wait staff keeps the crudité fresh, or the DJ keeps the energy level up. As a planner, you may not have relationships with the event’s target audience, but you do have a relationship with your internal client and that, without a doubt, can use your undivided attention.

What follows are a few reasons we’ve heard over the years from our clients, as to why they partner with a company like ONYX on their events:

1. We let you shine. A good event company won’t be the star of an event. You will be. When a climber reaches the summit of Mt Everest, they don’t take a picture of themselves with their Sherpa – the guy who did all the heavy lifting. No, the climber is the only one in those selfies. Your events should be no different. To your client, you should be the star, not the planner. A good event planner is the Sherpa, making sure you get to your goal, but never claiming the spotlight.

2. You get to focus on what’s important to YOU. What you are doing is delegating the stress. Who wouldn’t want to do that? Your planner takes on the stress of making sure everything happens as it should, while you focus on…well, whatever it is that you need to focus on. Maybe it’s your internal client. Maybe it’s tomorrow’s General Session. Whatever it is, you get to take a breath and concentrate on other matters.

3. Expertise. Who would you want to remove your swollen appendix? The doctor who has removed hundreds of them, or the guy who just watched a YouTube video on the subject? The reality is, when you work with a company (or person) who does this day-in-and-day-out, they know what a good deal is and what isn’t. They know what things should cost, who should take responsibility for what, and what should happen when. Not because they’ve read a couple of internet articles, but because they’ve done it hundreds of times.

4. We do the dreaming. There are a lot of companies out there who say things like “If you can dream it, we can do it.” Really? We think that approach leaves the hard part all up to you. The dreaming, the creating, the imagining, is our department. We can only speak for ONYX, but we think it’s OUR job to know your organization and corporate culture so that we present the most creative, cutting-edge ideas…not yours.

5. Calm in the Storm. “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” Truer words were never spoken, than by Mike Tyson. Clients think we’ve earned our money when things go without a hitch, and for most events, that’s probably the case. We are always quick to add though, that when we really earn our money, is when things don’t go as expected. We’ve had any number of unforeseen circumstances occur over the years and our value has been in knowing how to make these challenges invisible to your attendees. Crazy bad weather, allergic reactions, power outages…we’ve seen it all. Our job is to make sure your attendees don’t see any of it.

I’ve always liked the idea of being a lawyer. Mind you, I never did anything about it. I just liked the idea. Fighting for the under privileged, righting wrongs in our system. Think of Al Pacino in “And Justice for All.” As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become friends with at least a half dozen attorneys. After observing them closely, I’ve determined what they do every day doesn’t really appeal to me. I still like the idea of being a lawyer though. It’s easy to get attached to an idea of being something, like an event planner. Then there’s the reality of the thing.

I realize that mine is not an unbiased opinion. But seriously, don’t let yourself fall in love with the idea of being a planner. Let the professionals handle it. I couldn’t be Al Pacino so you shouldn’t want to be…well, I can’t think of a famous event planner, so you’ll have to finish that thought for me. There’s no disgrace in using a professional.

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