Everyday we're working on tasks - super important tasks - that you don't see in an instagram feed or facebook picture. This week, while Emily and I negotiated back and forth (and back and forth) with various venues and hotels for several clients, it occurred to us that there is little recognition in the world of social media for this important part of the business. There are no "likes" for the hours of tedious fine-print type work that is so crucial to a successful event; no little hearts that pop up in instagram when a venue agrees to add in the language I want to a contract; no re-tweets for balancing a client's budget with realistic estimates to match their priorities.

Photo Oct 19, 11 01 40 AM

We can't add these clauses to our website gallery for prospective clients to ooh and ahh over. That's not sexy. And don't get me wrong, we're all guilty of wanting to see the pretty pictures (we love pretty!) but lately, I'm struggling with how to accurately share why and how experience matters.

In our industry, there's a low barrier to entry.  Anyone can plan their friend's wedding, put a Pinterest board together, stage a few pretty pictures and call themselves an event planner. At first glance, it may be hard to tell the difference between those with true experience with the hard stuff and those who have a surface-level understanding of the business.  In fact, just this week I saw another company list a combined "years of experience" by calculating the years of each of the assistants added together. Here's an example: 30 interns with one year of experience each is different than a planner who has been in business 30 years. Makes you think twice, right?

Here at Karson Butler Events, before we ever get to the "fun stuff" - the pretty, personal, glamourous details that hopefully you'll see in a magazine or grace the galleries here on our site, we focus on the foundation. We're standing on over 12 years of complex event planning experience all over the world - working in various markets, various currencies and protecting & educating our clients. When you're making a decision on your planner, you'll want a seasoned professional who understands why those language nuances in your contract are important. Because, although rare, there are times when a hotel might walk your guests when they oversell. Your venue might up and cancel on you for a more attractive piece of business. An extreme weather event may stop air travel or significantly damage your event site. And you'll want to feel confident that your planner, your advocate in this process, has thought through all of those situations and knows how to contractually protect you to the best of their ability.

So friends, my planning tip for you today is: EXPERIENCE MATTERS. Find those vendors whose galleries and social media feeds you're drawn to, but don't stop there - ask the tough questions about real-life experiences, challenges and obstacles they've overcome.


Amber Karson, CMP



  1. Carlene: Healthfully Ever After/ Reply

    I really, really like this post. I definitely had the soul sharing on my blog this week- on why I do what I do, but that like you said, it goes beyond ‘pretty’. http://healthfullyeverafter.co/blog/2013/10/16/why-i-do-what-i-do

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