When choosing an outsourced planning partner—much like committing to a personal relationship—you want someone who “gets you,” who is open and honest, and who thinks about the long-term benefits to both parties. This partnership should be based on solid communication, trust and the mutual desire to accomplish goals together. To ensure the perfect match, here is a checklist of attributes to look for in an outsourced planner as you would in a partner or spouse.
Get to know each other. This goes beyond a Google search. Potential partners should communicate, share about themselves and learn who you are, what you do and why you do it. Make sure you understand each other’s values and beliefs. Spend time ensuring expectations from both sides are aligned, such as the ways you’ll communicate, the responsibilities for each partner, how each will be held accountable and who makes the final decision in which areas.
Outsourced partners are an extension of your existing staff and are charged with executing your objectives. Therefore, you should expect them to dig deeper to understand the fundamental purpose of your organization and its meetings. They should analyze your historical information and any emerging topics in your industry; get to know your organization’s stakeholders; and fully understand the value your the organization seeks to provide, the needs of your attendees and whether the event is delivering on both.