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FAQs

Hi and thanks for stopping by! We created this space for you to get to know us and answer questions we receive on a daily basis. So, have a read and give us a call or shoot us an email if you feel inspired to start a conversation. We’d love to hear more about your needs and how we can start making your life easier.

Do you plan events outside the US?

Our passports are full of stamps! The Strategic Meetings & Events Team has planned events in 54 countries and counting. We partner with local resources, leveraging their area knowledge and combining it with our industry expertise, allowing clients to experience the same SME-Quality experience anywhere in the world.

Who is your ideal client?

We work best with corporations that already have an event program in place but who want more. More audience connection, more tangible evidence that the event goals are being met and shortening the sales cycle, more for their investment, more cost savings, more staff to share the work. Whatever your ‘more’ is, we supply it.

We work with existing event departments, becoming extensions of their team. We play nicely with others and seamlessly integrate into your process, allowing you to focus on the countless other things you need to manage. We want you to shine and take the bow, as the happier you are, the more opportunities we have to work together.

We also work with organizations that don’t have a planning department and who need us to parachute in and fill that void.

Who isn’t a good client for you?

First, let’s make sure to be clear; it’s not you, it’s us. Our clients and their programs receive our uncompromised attention and commitment. That means selecting carefully as we won’t risk quality for quantity. Startup organizations, associations, not for profits and organizations that don’t view events as tools to drive sales but are instead simply, ‘checking a box’ are not good fits.

Is there a minimum size event you work on? We work on programs of all sizes, with the largest being part of a team that hosted an annual conference for 250,000! Events with a budget of $500k tend to be best suited for the caliber of our services.

Do you specialize in a specific industry?

We get this question a lot and the answer is, ‘no.’ We are industry agnostic.  We will learn who your audience is and what they expect but our skills translate to any industry.

We have planned events for over 53 industries including aerospace, automotive, beauty, construction, entertainment, fashion, financial, healthcare, hospitality, media, publishing, real estate, retail, sports, telecommunications, technology, and more!

With that said, we will never accept business we cannot confidently master. Our clients’ needs and our reputation are more important to us than money.

How do I know if SME is the right fit?

You need to respect, trust and enjoy the company that produces your events. You have too much riding on them for it to be otherwise. You’ll know if we’re the right fit after you meet us or have us in to discuss your goals and our ability to exceed them. Our reputation is stellar but it’s your gut about who we are and how we’ll work together that will let you know.

I don’t want to give up control of my event. Are you collaborative?

Heck yeah! You know your executives, your attendees, your corporate culture, and the product or services your company offers in a way an outsider never can. Without you, we can’t identify the meeting’s goals and have no compass. We don’t want your job. We just want to do ours, and that job is to help you. We’re genuine team players. It’s more fun that way. Stress is plentiful throughout life; we are here to alleviate your stress, not create more.

Must I work with your list of preferred vendors?

We never forget that we are guests in your corporate house, so we follow your rules and will absolutely work with your vendors. The preferred pricing we receive from our partner organizations will be offered for consideration and comparison but the decision is yours.

Will I have a dedicated staff person on my program?

We assign a lead strategist to your program who will be your dedicated point of contact. That person is hand chosen only after we understand your goals, have a sense of your personality and work style, your corporate culture and your event history. Both sides have to enjoy the process for it to fire on all cylinders. We all work too hard to not like what we do or with whom we do it, so we take great care in choosing your program lead.

How can hiring an event planning company make my job easier?

How do you charge? Our fee structure is based on a percentage of the spend we manage plus onsite fees. We do not charge by the hour and do not believe in billing for work we haven’t done, making the ‘percentage of spend’ method fair, easy to calculate and transparent. Surprises are good at Christmas, not when you get your final bill.

What aspects of the planning process do you manage?

We find that clients who allow us to partner on the entire planning process, from strategy to post-show realize the full benefit of our skills. In those instances, we start with a discovery session, build an event brand and identity, create the year-long marketing strategy to support the goals and message, identify measurement tools to measure against and define the process. From there we will manage everything from sending and scrubbing RFPs, venue analysis, site visits, contract negotiations, create a detailed line item budget, create menus, off-site events, ground and air travel and more.

On a technology side, we build out an online registration system, create a mobile app and a host of other fun wiz-bang things guests have come to expect.

When it’s all over we host post-conference meetings with the venue, our team, your team, survey guests, compile relevant data and hand it over.

Do you specialize in any type of events?

Only successful ones. 😊

Is all your work done in-house?

Our sister company manages onsite production (stage, sets, sound, lighting, etc.) They also push all the heavy cases into and out of the ballroom which makes us happy. There are some things we don’t need to collaborate on!

Our air travel is booked by one of the nation’s leading travel providers and some of our onsite technology is provided by third parties. Florals and décor, entertainment and other customary third-party services are handled by outside organizations. We hire the best in their fields to augment our skills and allow us to all focus on what we do best. And not to worry, we proudly introduce you to anyone we work with outside of SME. Transparency is an essential element of how we do business.

Do I need to be in the same state you’re in to work with you?

Our clients are all over the world, as is our team, so wherever you are is perfect.

Are you hiring?

We are always looking for exceptional talent! If you want to apply, click here. Be prepared to explain how SME will benefit from hiring you. When you interview, the best way to make an impression is to explain what you have to offer, not what you want as there are hundreds of people looking for jobs. Tell us what makes you stand out.

Can I pick your brain?

Absolutely! Christy is happy to partner with you as you invest in your future, start your career, build a business. Options are 30 minutes for $250 or an hour for $450. Please email Erin.Buckley@strategic.events to schedule an appointment.

How do I join the Strategic Planning Movement?

Your support in the form of your voice, ideas and enthusiasm are all essential! Click here for the ways you can join.

Do you accept content from outside sources?

We welcome content that is original and educational for consideration. Press releases and advertisements will not be used.

How do I hire Christy to speak at my upcoming event?

Christy travels globally, inspiring and teaching on a wide range of business, personal growth and event topics. For a copy of her one-sheets and pricing, please email Erin.Buckley@strategic.events.

Contact Us Today

 

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