A Third Party, Not a Three-Ring Circus

Posted On: July 10, 2017

Event planning can be stressful. Planning an offsite event for your employees can be like herding cats while juggling plates. Given the delicate balancing act of planning and managing offsite events and meetings, doesn’t it make sense to have some help?

Third party planners like Docherty Incentives & Meetings specialize in organizing corporate events and managing meetings for a wide variety of companies, so they know what it takes to plan and manage unforgettable events.

Third Party vs. In-House Planners

Finding the best way to manage your upcoming event is the first step in making sure your company’s event is a success. For some companies, smaller less critical events can get by using an in-house planner, but for large-scale, critical events and meetings, third party planners can be the distinct difference between a stressful and a stress-free event.

While in-house planners may know the intangible culture of your company, the potential downside of having an individual planner on staff is the cost of having a salaried employee versus spending that money on several events or meetings throughout the year. Many in-house planners are not formally trained planners, but instead have full time jobs that don’t include “meeting planning” in their job description, plus there’s always a risk your in-house planner will quit during planning or managing an event.

Working with third party planners offers many benefits, including not worrying about losing an individual planner right before a big event. Third party planners have established nationwide and even worldwide networks. These networks can often equate to stronger hotel contracts (concessions, discounts, room upgrades, etc.) for example, than an individual planner could obtain. By working with a variety of clients across all industries, third party planners offer perspectives and ideas that someone inside your company may not consider or know about. We can often offer deals on hotels and meeting sites because of our repeat business so the savings can be passed to you.

Third party planners like Docherty Incentives & Meetings can take care of everything from site selection to managing the roster of event attendees to sharing updates of your party or meeting via social media. By focusing on off-site events as well as incentive travel, third party planners can effectively match your company’s needs with facilities that help you achieve your corporate and employee engagement goals. Using a third-party planner is not only cost effective, but it also allows your internal staff to focus on the micro-level details of their employee’s specific and individual needs.

What to Look for in a Third-Party Planner

When you’re choosing a complementary events company like Docherty Incentives & Meetings, it’s important to have a checklist of things you’re looking for in a third-party planner.

  • Ask for client references
  • Look for a company that helps you clarify your goals, expectations and needs.
  • Work with a third-party planner who will plan a customized event for your company and not offer you a repackaged itinerary they planned for another client.
  • Make sure the company is clear about their resources, experience and expertise.
  • Find an event planner who has worked with a wide variety of companies so they can offer you a broad perspective and many options.
  • Ensure the third-party planner clarifies their costs and how they’ll charge you, i.e. per project vs. hourly.
  • Is the planner a good match for you in terms of the size of your company and its mission?
  • How many staff members will the planner dedicate to your event?
  • How well do these staff members work together?
  • How effectively do they work under pressure?
  • How effectively does the lead event planner communicate?
  • Do you feel comfortable working with this company?

Working with a third-party planner can help put your mind at ease and allow you to focus on internal details that are best handled within your company. Instead of worrying about finding the right site, planning activities for your staff, booking a keynote speaker and scheduling transportation, let a dedicated third party event planner manage these for you.

With over 30 years of experience as a global event management company, Docherty Incentives & Meetings has organized events for an array of variably-sized companies with a variety of budgets. Contact Docherty today to learn how we can complement your next big sales meeting or corporate event planning.