FAQ for Event Planners

If you’ve never worked with us (or any event planners for that matter) you might be wondering how this all works. Here are answers to the questions we receive about the event planning process or what it’s like to have Alchemy Events on your event planning team.

Should I hire an event planner? If so, why? You should hire an event planner because we’re here to make your life easier! Our goal as event producers is to is to make the planning process as pleasant as possible by removing hundreds of tasks from your plate and hopefully reducing any/all stress you feel related to the event. Parties are meant to be enjoyed, after all! Our team has the relationships, systems, creativity, enthusiasm, and resources to make bringing an event together feel like a breeze.

What is it like working with your team? We might be slightly biased, but we think we’re pretty fun! We honor a work hard, play hard mentality and find that getting things done with a sense of humor is the best way. So while we’ll send you structured weekly progress updates, you can also expect witty rapport, an occasional gif, and to catch us dancing during teardown.

How do we know what has been done on our event? We live and breathe organization systems. In addition to a weekly email update and call, we offer transparent management of our project flow through shared documentation on Google Drive. If you desire, you can follow along with the working documents we create to manage action items, timelines, budgets, etc.

We have a specific vision for the event, how do we ensure you understand and execute this? During our initial onboarding meeting, we’ll spend significant time making sure we understand the goals for your event as well as the demographic for your audience. Everything we line up will have that larger vision and purpose in mind, and with regular check-ins we can continue to ensure we’re on the right path towards your concept.

What will we need to do for the event? What does my event planner do? Alchemy Events does most of the heavy lifting and will manage all of the necessary pieces from A to Z. You are welcome to be as involved in the creative process as you prefer, and depending on the size of your organization and the terms of our contract, we may work with your internal team to coordinate elements such as graphic design and or external communications. We’ll work to establish clear roles and expectations up front so everyone involved knows who is doing what.

What if we want to make changes to the event after we’ve started? Change is inevitable. With most edits, we can go with the flow, though it is necessary to understand that in some cases this will mean additional fees with vendors who may have already purchased or subrented supplies. Major changes such as the event date or venue fewer than thirty days before an event will incur a fee, but we are absolutely willing to work with you to implement any and all necessary modifications to the original plan.

How do you manage the event budget? We build out a detailed high-low budget during the initial planning phases and will keep estimated and actual costs updated as we move through getting bids and signing contracts. Similar to the other documents we’re working on, this spreadsheet will live in a shared google drive folder so you can check the status of expenses at any time. We always ask for approval on items coming in significantly over budget, but prioritize sticking with the numbers we’ve discussed.

Who pays the vendors? Typically, this works in one of two ways. Our clients either securely share their credit card information and grant us permission to make approved payments on their behalf. Alternatively, we can work with your accounts payable people to pass along contracts and invoices that are ready to be paid. We’ll set up your preferred system during our onboarding meeting and either way, we are diligent about collecting and storing receipts in our shared Google Drive folder so you have access to them for your records.

What if we want to use some of our own local or national event vendors? Great! We’re happy to work with your preferred vendors in a addition to the wonderful people we’ve established trusted relationships with over the years.

Who do we contact if we need something asap or have a big update? Your assigned event manager or team is here to help with any and all event needs. Please understand that our job is mostly communication, which means we get a lot of messages from clients and vendors all day long. It helps us greatly if you can batch your questions, keeping most of the necessary communication within our thread of weekly updates. Of course, if you have a major or urgent update such as a date or venue change less than one month before your event, please feel free to reach out immediately to your event manager’s cell phone.

A side note on “urgency”...

It may be hard to imagine when you’re in the throngs of pre-event stress, but as pressing as some of your concerns may feel, we’ve found that very few emergencies are actually life or death and can be resolved with some creative action, which we happen to be pretty good at.

Let us know any potential issues or worries, but please also trust that there’s nothing we can’t handle. We’ve literally dealt with category 5 hurricanes on event days and rerouting semi trucks moving containers full of event materials across the country. We got this. :)

How do event planners get paid? The Alchemy business model works similar to most service businesses. We bill based on the value and results we provide: a beautiful, well-executed event. Unlike some event planners, we do not charge a markup on any vendor fees and are committed to keeping event costs as low as possible while still achieving the highest quality result. Similarly, we do not assess an hourly fee, instead, we are dedicated to providing our clients unlimited access to the time and resources required to complete the project at hand.

What happens if we have many more or many less RSVPs than expected? This happens occasionally, so don’t sweat. Typically we require a final guest count guarantee one week before the event to allow caterers and other vendors time to order and prepare their part of the even. If the number of guests at your event changes significantly within that last week, we will hustle and work with our vendors to make sure we can accommodate the count.

Have another question not answered here? Feel free to reach out to us. We’d love to hear from you!

Richelle Ouellette