The fun part! Before you even contact a supplier, you should think about what you want your event to be like. This is where you can let your imagination run wild—allow your event to start as a blank canvas and begin painting your ideas and desires on it. This is also something that you can get your friends, family or partner involved with. When planning with others it is important that you all allow and are allowed an equal voice and input.

Once you have come up with the theme and general feel of the event with your dream set up, it’s time to talk money…


This is a delicate area as events can become very costly affairs. A good guideline for setting your budget is to decide what you are happy spending on each guest per head. It is then wise to add 10% to the amount, and always prepare to go a little over budget. Once you receive your quotes you will be able to see how realistic your budget is for your ideal service, and you could then either increase or decrease the budget or adjust your idea for the event.

The right event company will work with you and your budget and can often make you so many savings that they end up covering the costs of their own services.

The search

When we search online the search engine will decide which companies should feature at the top of their results, but this should by no means deter you from looking a little deeper down. Please consider that bigger is not always better—for those special events a smaller events company might be a better fit and provide a more personal and attentive service. Always seek three quotes from reputable companies and enquire with all three using the same details so you can compare the price, response time, service level etc. When choosing the three companies to enquire with look at their website—what bar services do they offer (for example, Shaker Events offer dry hire, bartender only, cash bars and all-inclusive bars), look at their events photos, reviews, and the companies mission statement. Another good method to find an events company is by word-of-mouth. Has a friend or colleague thrown a fantastic event recently? Ask them who they used. The ideal company is one which has a proven track record with the kind of event you are planning.

Response to enquiry

The response to your event enquiry can tell you a huge amount about what to expect from your prospective supplier. If you have emailed you should receive a reply within a day, even if the reply is to let you know they will be in contact. A phone call as opposed to an emailed list of questions is also an indicator of professionalism. A phone call shows they want to ensure the details they use for the quote are as precise as possible—they are laying the groundwork for a communicative and efficient operation. It also demonstrates their commitment to their clients. It is crucial that your supplier should be available to chat when you need it as events are ever-changing entities and communication is the key to success.


Quotes can be long and confusing documents. You always want the quote to be itemised by what you are receiving and what you are paying for it. The quote stage can also tell you a lot about your prospective supplier. Two questions you should ask yourself are:

1) Did they follow up on the quote?
2) Was the follow up via phone or email?

The answers you are looking for here are: Yes, they followed up and yes, they called. A call allows you the chance to ask any questions that pop into your mind, it also allows you to probe your prospective supplier as to their pedigree—how many of this specific event have they done etc.

If at this stage the budget you set for the event is exceeded you can discuss with the event supplier how to decrease the offering or seek a discount of some sort. If your budget has not been reached (lucky you!) you can also discuss how to increase the offering to make your event even more spectacular. This secondary quote or discount will also give you an insight into the capabilities of the company you are dealing with. It shows their experience when they can tailor the costs to meet your needs and expectations.

Remember: The only stupid question is the question that is never asked. A good events provider will want to answer any queries or concerns you have about the quote.

The decision

After all the calls, quotes, chats, changes and more chats…it’s decision time! This tends to be the toughest part, but after following the advice above generally one company will stand out for you. The final and one of the arguably most important questions to ask yourself are: Do you have a connection and understanding with the person on the other end of the phone? Does that person understand your vision for the event? Does that person seem to care as much as you about the outcome of the event? If there is anyone else involved with you in the event (family, partner or friend) make sure to include them in the process and take their advice. Ultimately it is important you are happy and comfortable with the choice you make.


Remember that this is about you and the event—a moment that you get to shape and enjoy and a time when you can share a little piece of yourself with others. Always remember to have fun with it, and even when things get stressful remember that mistakes happen, and chances are you are the only one that will notice.

Planning a milestone event is like life: It’s not all about the destination but the journey as well.

Shaker Events could be the right provider for you! Contact our events manager Tristan for a chat and a quote.