We were recently hired to cater an event for an event production company. The event happened two weeks ago and I still haven’t met the producer. It was the weirdest thing. We spoke on the phone a few times, she signed a contract, I did the walkthrough with the end client, reported back to the producer, and executed an amazing party. The event was absolutely perfect sans event producer who controlled every detail of the event from Los Angeles. Go figure!
Needless to say, the event planning industry is evolving. It seems as though production companies are popping up all over the place! And apparently the producer doesn’t even need to attend the event. With today’s marketing, stunning brochures, and cutting edge websites, it’s tough to tell the pros from the wannabes!
Here are 10 questions to ask when choosing the Best Production Company for your event.
Do they have a good reputation?
The BEST way to know you’ve chosen the right Event Production Company is by talking to people who have worked with them. Event Producers LIVE to protect their reputation.. it’s that drive that makes them work 20 hours straight to deliver a job flawlessly, as promised! You can get a great unbiased opinion from the various venues. Ask them who they’ve worked with and who they would do business with again. Some people go click happy on linked in, so don’t go by online recommendations alone!
Do they specialize in what you need?
Each production company usually has its specialty, be it décor, custom staging, large scale, corporate, weddings, concerts, AV.
Do you need a Creative Genius to build a 1950’s beach inside a warehouse? Or a Thai Garden complete with thousand gallon fountain and ancient statues inside of a tent?—then Raul Rodriguez from 2rProductions is the man for the job. Ask him to do a wedding, and he might vanish before your eyes!
Do they have resources needed for your special event?
You may not need a layered CAD rendering of your event, but the production company you hire should have software to produce a to-scale floor plan. If you wait for weeks for a rendering and then receive hand drawn circles on a piece of paper, you may want to keep shopping.
Are they priced fairly?
Notice, we’re not asking if they’re cheap! If you want to hire the cheapest producer, stop reading now.. and go review your events.. you’re probably missing a generator or something.
You want the best services your budget can withstand at reasonable prices. As Guerdy Rejouis, Event Designer says some people “are out-of-control!”
Are they familiar with the area where your event is taking place?
Unless it’s a major production company that trucks their gear across country and does absolutely everything in house, a production company is only as good as the vendors it hires. So being familiar with the locale is a MUST! After all, they are the ones who know where to go to get the best service at a fair price.
Do they have adequate insurance?
They should either carry General Liability Insurance and Worker’s Comp year round, or at least be able to produce a certificate naming specific entities as additional insured at limits requested. Period.
Are they willing to create the event that you or your client envisions?
They need to listen, be able to understand you, and be willing to create what is best for the event being produced. NOT what they’re dying of creating next. Be sure the event is being built to the client’s specifications, instead of the producers.
Do they have the time to devote to your event?
A production company is a sales driven company. If you’re hounding them for a call back before you’ve signed the contract, they’re too busy for you! Move on. It’s only going to get worse after you confirm. Let’s face it, it can be hard to say no and turn away business.. people over extend themselves in hopes of figuring it out later. Don’t let your event be their case study.
Are they REALLY a production company?
Note… a rental company is NOT the same as a production company. Neither is an AV Company.
Be careful not to hire a rental company who likes to play producer. A good way to tell the difference is by confirming their basic overall event building knowledge. A producer will know how many square feet are needed per person for a cocktail party with soft seating VS a seated dinner with rounds. How many bathrooms are needed per person. What the power requirements for the event are. How much time to budget for load in and strike. They’ll know when special permitting is needed. A seasoned event producer will also ask the right questions. What is the purpose of the event?, tell me about your guests, tell me about what the group enjoyed or would change from last year’s event?
Do you like working with them?
TRUST YOUR GUT! It’s important that you enjoy working with your event producer or team of producers. It’ll make your event and overall experience so much better!
There’s nothing greater than doing a killer job on an event, and then running around thanking and celebrating with the ones that made it all possible. More than likely, it won’t be the last time you guys work together.
That’s all for now! Happy planning!!
Director of Sales
Bill Hansen Catering