We all know that person in the office – the one who is the life of the party, but doesn’t get carried away. He or she may be someone who is well dressed and exhibits a personal sense of style. You may overhear them at parties making comments such as, “The mini quiche were delicious, but they ran out too soon!”
Most businesses don’t have the budget (or need!) to hire a full-time party planner, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make party planning the responsibility of someone at your office. Are you looking for an in-house party planner? Here’s how to pick the perfect person:
Are the candidates fun?
Perhaps the most important not-so-secret ingredient at any good party is the people there. A corporate party planner, even someone who only does so on an as-needed basis, should be a person everyone likes to be around. Why? Fun people know how to have a good time! An outgoing person can get shy people on a dance floor, introduce colleagues from different departments and start conversations between the CEO and administrative assistant. A strong personality and outgoing nature is required of a party planner who can show everyone a good time.
Do they know the ins and outs of company culture?
One of the benefits of hiring an internal candidate for party planning is their ability to know the culture of the company. It would be inappropriate to have loud rap music at a party for a group of quiet accountants. Likewise, a simple wine and cheese happy hour might seem boring for a bunch of raucous salesman. Someone who has their finger on the pulse of the company, knowing everything from which TV shows people are watching to what music employees are talking about at the water cooler will know how to throw a celebration where everyone feels comfortable.
Does the candidate exude composure?
Being able to succeed under pressure is one of the core components of a successful party planner. People who get anxious around crowds or loud noises, or those who become stressed under pressure, will not be able to handle the pressure and exposure of planning a corporate event. A good party planner is not phased by any unexpected occurrence, and if they are, it won’t show. Hosting a large event requires having control of multiple factors, from music and atmosphere to food and drinks. Even the guest list needs to be carefully observed, as a true party planner knows that half of those who say “yes,” will come, and even fewer “maybes.”
Is the candidate organized?
One of the few things that can ruin a party is poor planning. When the guests keep drinking but there’s no more food left, havoc will certainly ensue. If a DJ bails at the last minute, is the solution to panic and hide in the bathroom? Absolutely not! Hook up an iPod and get the party started. Organized people can prepare for worst-case scenarios and the unexpected. This is absolutely a requirement of a good party planner — attention to detail is crucial for throwing a soiree without any hiccups.
Do they have the ability to listen?
This question is very important. Party planners who don’t listen to the wishes, needs or requirements of the host typically don’t get repeat business. The best party planner in your company will listen to you. Is the CEO allergic to shellfish? Maybe opt out of the shrimp cocktail. Does work-sponsored alcohol consumption clash with the values of the company’s investors? Perhaps a daytime barbecue would be more appropriate than an after-work open bar. An excellent party planner will act autonomously while following directions.