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Event planning 101: What is your WHY?

By Ginger Felder Cook

You find yourself in charge of planning a large-scale event, but you don’t know where to start or what the first steps are. The first and most important question to ask is a simple one: Why?

Whether the event is a wedding, corporate event, fundraiser, gala, social party, business launch, festival, business meeting, store opening or brand launch, knowing what is most important to the host(s) always should be paramount.

Start by asking yourself why you are having this event. What do you hope to achieve? Are you trying to raise awareness for a cause you are passionate about? Are you trying to raise money for charity? Do you want to honor a hero or someone of significance?

By knowing what you hope to accomplish before you start planning, you are setting your event up for success. It also helps your event planner have a clear understanding of how to best develop your overall vision.

Here are my top three tips to get you started!


Take some time to sit and write down your reasons for wanting to host the event. Think about the goals you are hoping to achieve. If it’s a long list, write it all down, then narrow down your list to your top five goals.


Events are all about the details. Hiring a professional from the beginning can save you time and energy and ensure you stay within budget. Experienced event planners know what to expect, making them a tremendous asset. Delivering high-quality events with your event goals front and center is always the number-one priority for a professional planner. To create a truly unforgettable experience, you’ll need to rely on a seasoned professional to get you there.


Establishing your event budget is one of the most important things you need to do from the start. One of the first steps for every seasoned event planner is to discuss your budget with you and to help determine what things will cost. Without a functional budget, you won’t be able to effectively plan for your event’s expenses, so you could end up spending more than necessary.

While creating an event budget can be stressful, your planner can help you navigate those waters. Their expertise gives them knowledge of where to allocate the right amount of money to create the event you imagine.

Now that you’re armed with this advice, you can confidently take the next steps toward creating a truly successful event. Happy planning!

Ginger Felder Cook is an award-winning event planner and designer with over 20 years of experience in events, interiors and design. Reach her at and learn more at

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