I’ve heard many parents say “Why do I need to hire a Mitzvah Planner? I have a contact at my venue who will do everything that you do.”
The planner at your venue and a Mitzvah Planner/Coordinator like Pop Color Events have two very different roles. It’s important to understand what the contact at your venue (who might be a salesperson, catering manager or have a similar sort of title) will and will not do for your event. Assume nothing and read your contract to see if these sorts of responsibilities are spelled out there. Otherwise, ask!
Downsides of relying solely on a Venue Planner
Venue planners are often most likely to say that they’ll help with planning at a venue like a hotel or a restaurant where they’ll provide multiple services (catering and food related items like dishes, furniture like chairs and tables, and maybe even lighting or other A/V equipment). Don’t let that fool you! There are many pieces that they will not handle–vendor communication, event timelines, sourcing materials, etc.
Your venue contact could leave the position at any time. Let me repeat, YOUR VENUE CONTACT COULD LEAVE THE JOB AT ANY TIME. You are contracted with the venue, not with that specific person. There is a HIGH turnover in the hospitality industry and it is unlikely that the venue planner that you start with will be the venue planner on the day of your event, especially if you book 2+ years in advance. If that person promises that they’ll help with X, Y or Z, the person who replaces them might not have the skills to help with those items. If it’s not in your contract, assume it’s not gonna happen. In addition, your venue coordinator may not even be the contact from the venue who is contractually required to be there. A banquet captain or some other person from their staff might be the lead the day of your event.
Your venue coordinator could have multiple events in one day, especially if the venue has multiple event spaces. How much attention will they be able to devote to you on your event day, if they have so many other things going on?
Their focus is the services that they will provide, not the other vendors you’ve hired. Your venue may have a list of preferred or suggested vendors that they’ll provide to you. Ask them why are the vendors on this list. Sometimes, vendors pay for the privilege of being on such a list, so be wary!
Importance of hiring an independent Mitzvah Planner
When working with an independent Mitzvah Planner, you are likely contracting with a specific individual who will be with you every step of the way (for a partial or full service planner) or help you wrap up the final details (for a month of planner). They will become familiar with every aspect of your event–every vendor, every detail. Depending on the level of service that you contract for, the planner can help you with everything from finding the perfect invitation to hotel room blocks. S/he has personal relationships with vendors in every category and will recommend the best vendors for your event based on their complete understanding of what you’re looking for.
S/he will oversee your entire event from start to finish, load in to load out. A Mitzvah Planner should only have one event per day (unless their company has multiple planners). I would NEVER book two events in one day because I would not be able to give the level of service necessary to multiple clients.