With so many variables at play, planning an event can be challenging. Elements involved can include guest lists, venues, sound and lighting, music, catering and floristry. Every detail counts with planning and executing a great event. That’s why many people and businesses work with trusted event planners.
A professional event planner takes the stress out of organising events, large and small. That includes special occasions, launches, openings, celebrations and awards ceremonies. From start to finish, event planners design and run events without a hitch. They strive to exceed guest expectations.
In this article, we’ll outline the qualities to consider when choosing an event planner, and share where to find the best in Canberra.
What makes a great event planner?
With great planners, events run smoothly. Experienced professionals give you confidence that all details will be taken care of. Event planners can also save you time and money.
It can be helpful to keep the following in mind when choosing an event planner:
- Experienced. Experienced event planners have a competitive edge over industry newbies. They have reliable and established contacts and know how to overcome hiccups. They also deliver above and beyond expectations.
- Excellent track record. You’ll want an event planning company with an excellent track record. Check online to see how long they’ve been in business. Check for reviews. Ask for testimonials and referrals. Conduct a background check. These are great ways to gauge experience and reliability.
- Specialist expertise. You may require specialist planning expertise. If, for example, you’re hosting a major conference with hundreds of people, you’ll want a planner who has handled large events. If you’re launching a new product, you’ll want someone with experience in this area. The same goes for weddings and other specialised events.
- Trusted network. Quality event planners tap into their extensive, trusted networks. This includes the many suppliers and vendors involved. Examples are venue contacts, furniture hire firms, catering companies, lighting and sound experts, and florists.
- Well priced and insured. Event costs can quickly add up. This is why you’ll want a written, detailed quote from your event planner. This quote should itemise costs, including their fees. Also check that your event planner is insured.
The best event planners in Canberra according to you
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintained a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
Danielle Cleary Events is expert in event design management and model hosting. The team creates great ideas and implements with precision. Events are strategic, well-planned and dynamic. They include new collaborations, product launches, fundraisers and building awareness of products or services. They also include intimate cocktail events through to large charity galas.
The team has tertiary qualifications and experience in marketing, public relations, business management and communications.
Danielle Cleary Events covers all aspects of each event—venues, styling, production, staging, theming and catering. Founder Danielle Cleary and her team curate every event for an unforgettable experience.
Over the years, Danielle Cleary Events has worked with major clients like the Canberra Raiders, Nick Krygios Foundation, Red Robot Industries and GIO Stadium. The team also works with smaller local business and community events.
Shane McLennan, AFP Legacy President, wrote about Danielle Cleary Events, “They provide their services for our annual AFP Legacy Black Opal Race Day Marquee and annual charity ball. We were absolutely delighted and thoroughly impressed with the total event management experience.”
Visabel Festivals and Events is a full-service events management company with vivid imagination and creativity across the music, lifestyle, food and business sectors. With extensive experience in delivering large-scale events and multi-day festivals, Visabel creates memorable moments by taking care of strategy, marketing, operations and delivery.
The team at Visabel Festivals and Events knows that events are much more than the sum of their parts. That’s why they deliver on vision to get guests excited and talking about their experiences. Each Visabel event is unique, regardless of size, and each is executed with passion and precision to save clients stress, time and money. Just as important, Visabel’s events drive tourism and economic benefit.
Founded in 2009, Visabel has worked on hundreds of events in Canberra and the East Coast of Australia, for public and private sectors. In the capital, Visabel is behind stylish Bubbly Bars and the inaugural Canberra Writers Festival.
Visabel also manages ticketed events, large-scale conferences, expos, gala dinners and conferences.
Damsel and Sprout Projects has two goals. The first is to make event planning easy. The second is to ensure every event is one to remember. The multi-disciplinary team leaves a lasting impression on guests and audiences with all events they manage. No event is too big or too small.
On Google, Chad Croker wrote, “The best of the best! I’ve worked with a lot of event management teams over the last 10 years and these guys are at the top of the tree.”
Earlybird Events has a small, but highly experienced team of event-management specialists. The team works across all types of events, for both private and public sectors. Events include consumer brand launches, awards nights, gala balls, international conferences, and national music concerts. Earlybird Events understands that no two events are the same and so customise approaches. The team works with a network of established and reliable specialists to execute events.
Established in 1995, Consec manages meetings, conferences, exhibitions and events—locally, nationally and internationally. A member of the Professional Conference Organisers Association, Consec’s services include venue management, speaker management, audio visual and event production, marketing, communications, sponsorship, and exhibition management.
As Mark Rae wrote on Google, “As Australia's leading conference support company, EziTag Systems deals with more than 100 conference and event organisers. Our dealings with Claire at Consec demonstrated just how professional they are.”
If you’re looking for more information on event planning, especially if you intend to handle some components yourself, you might like our articles on the best function venues, best florists, best photographers and best kid’s birthday party venues Canberra has to offer.
Your experience with the best event planners in Canberra?
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Do you have experience with any of the event planners listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do event planners do?
They manage all aspects of an event, from planning and design to final execution. This can include designing a theme, setting budgets, setting schedules and hiring venues. It can also include arranging catering, transport and equipment. Event planners can also send out invitations and handle RSVPs. They can handle event administration and be the main point of contact for everyone involved.
What types of events do event management companies handle?
Different companies handle different types of events. With public and private sector organisations, this can include corporate launches, official openings, brand launches, conferences, exhibitions, marketing events and awards ceremonies. For individuals, this can include anniversaries, milestone birthdays, weddings and other celebrations.
Do event planners handle any type of event?
Not all event planners do. Some specialise in, say, weddings, large-scale conferences or brand launches. Some work only with large organisations, while others specialise in small organisations. Some event planners handle personal events, such as milestone birthdays or anniversaries. Others work only with corporate events. It’s best to check with your event planner to see whether they’re a match for your needs.
How much does event management cost?
This depends on the event. Smaller events cost less to run than do national events. It’s best to talk to your event planner and obtain a written, itemised quote covering all that’s involved.
Can I handle some elements of my event?
If you want to save money by handling some elements of your event, you should talk to your event planner up front to see what’s feasible. Some event planners are happy for you to take on some of the work. Others might feel this is risky and logistically complex. Remember that handling some elements on your own will take time and can be stressful.