In all my years of experience, I have definitely seen corporate clients make more costly mistakes than brides do. It makes me cringe every time, and I believe it is time that someone slaps them with some reality. I could write a list as long as Noah’s, but here are the top three that need to stop immediately.

1. Hire a local producer. You know what the first thing those big NYC event production companies do? They hire me. They know that to have a successful event in Miami, they need to have someone on the ground that actually knows the city and has personal relationships with the local venues and vendors. But they don’t pay me out of pocket. Somehow they add that expense into your budget. Did you hear that?! YOUR BUDGET!
2. Value transparency.Through twelve years of planning in NYC, LA, and Miami, I have seen many planning companies gouge clients. ALWAYS ask to see the original invoices from all venues and vendors. Not only will some planning companies upcharge every item on the budget, they will then charge you their fee, which is usually based on a percentage of the total budget. But wait, your total budget includes all those upcharges, so that fee will be even higher than it should be. A planner with integrity, that has your company’s best interest at heart, is worth gold.
3. Use local vendors.I have walked into events where clients spend a fortune on bringing in an out of town vendor. Now sometimes it might be necessary, but most of the time I could name two local vendors that would do that exact same job for ¼ of the cost. And many times these out of town vendors are brought in by out of town planners that feel more comfortable with that vendor, since they do not have local connections. This is another scenario where the client’s budget loses.

So next time you wonder why your six figure budget does not get you the furniture, catering or A/V that you want, make sure you are not making these three, costly mistakes. Make sure your money is actually going in to your event, and in making the impact that you are looking for.
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