15 Questions You Should NEVER Ask DC Event Planners
Warning – DO NOT ask event planners these questions. Under ANY circumstances.
You have been warned!
Event planners are like parents. They’re used to all sorts of bizarre questions and answering the same thing over and over again. So much so that some event planners are seriously considering adding “chatbot” to their resumes. But as patient as event planners are, there are still some questions that make them want to go screaming for the hills. If you care about event planning, for the love of all things planned and organized, do NOT ask them these things.
1. How Do I Get Paid Just to Attend Parties?
This is a very common misconception for people outside of the industry. Event planners do not get paid to attend parties. They get paid to organize them. That’s like asking the set’s makeup person what it’s like to be on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
2. Can You Book My Room?
Unless you are the client with signing authority, you can probably book your own room. While the event planner can happily tell you about room blocks, they really don’t have time to reserve the kinds of pillows you want.
3. Can You Tell Me Where the Nearest Bar Is? This Event Sucks.
4. Can I Take This?
Whatever it is, the answer is probably no. The event planner doesn’t drive up in a big van with their personal things planning on giving them out at the end of the night like Santa Claus. Most likely what you’re looking at is rented. Plus if there are several hundred people at the event, do you think grabbing an item or two will go unnoticed?
5. I have a Cousin Who Throws a Heck of a Party Every July 4th for the Family. Want to Hire Her?
Your event planner will handle this question with tact but what you’re really asking is that someone who puts on a blow-out party for people she’s related to is ready for event planning. Um-kay.
6. So, You Actually Get Paid to Do This? Who Would Pay Someone to Throw a Party?
Both of these questions sound innocent enough but after the poor sleep-deprived event planner hears this for the 32nd time today, it gets a little trying. Yes, event planners get paid and often very well. Some people can’t come to terms with the amount of work that goes into event planning so they think getting paid to attend a party is egregious or they assume you’re a socialite who just “makes a couple of calls.”
7. Know Anyone Famous? What Are They Like?
On a scale of 1-10, one being the worst question ever asked and 10 being the best, this is a solid five, not because it’s offensive like some of the others, but because a good event planner understands the importance of discretion. Sometimes instead of fielding endless questions about celebrities, local or otherwise, it’s just easier to claim you haven’t met any.
8. How Much Do You Make Hosting Parties?
First, event planners do much more than simply throw or “host” parties and it’s also never okay to ask what someone makes. In today’s age of transparency, if you’re that darn interested, just Google it and get in the ballpark.
9. This Is Some Good Food. Did You Get Any?
People have a misconception that event planners are the same as an attendee, basking in the events and enjoying all of the wonderful noshes they’ve so lovingly chosen. Sadly, the reality is the event planner is probably hoping that room service at their hotel is open 24-hours because then it might just be possible to squeeze in one meal during the day after the event is over and before sunrise.
10. Did You Come Up With This Idea on Your Own?
No, the event planning elves and fairies helped them. Or maybe it was that magic wand that turned the field mice into footmen. It gets so hard to remember and keep all the event planning magic straight.
11. Can You Introduce Me To Beyonce?
Some people think event planning is drudgery, while others assume event planners are connected to everyone in Hollywood. Sigh.
12. Hey, Can You Take My Picture?
Granted, this question gets asked less nowadays since selfies reign supreme and selfie sticks make panoramic shots more possible but there’s still the occasional clod who watches an event planner putting out fires and believes that person has time to capture his moment in front of the massive design installation.
13. Don’t You Know Who I Am?
The best way to answer that question is something that polite event planners would never say.
14. Didn’t You See That in the Contract?
Okay, this question is slightly different than the rest and it sends a chill down the spine of event planners everywhere. They manage a lot of clients and multiple contracts. When something comes up and the vendor or venue mentions it’s in the contract, until that event planner can get that paperwork and verify what it is they believed to be true, they’ll have a pit in their stomach the size of the Grand Canyon. This is a terrible question.
15. What’s Your Real Job?
Sadly, there are people out there who think of event planning as a hobby and something people only do on the side. A graceful event planner will simply smile when asked this question and explain they are fortunate enough to do this for a living. The other kind of event planner, well….
Finally, a bonus question that while tiresome, shows the event planner pulled off the event with skill and tact and no one saw the sweat and the worry they experienced. This question shows that no matter how difficult it was, the event planner not only made it look easy but fun as well. Unlike the other questions, this one has a deeply-embedded compliment and one that should make any event planner smile:
How Do I Get Into Event Planning?
Event planning is a magical career choice. Event planners provide amazing experiences that bring joy to people’s lives and help them to escape their world, if only for a few hours. But like all great professions, it comes with its share of trials and inappropriate questions. Maybe just maybe, there will be a day of amnesty in the future that will allow event planners to answer all the burning questions their clients and attendees have without worry about how they sound. We’ll let you know when that day comes.