Choosing a Corporate Event Planning Company: Do It Right the First Time

When you hire a company to plan your corporate events, you put the success of the event in someone else’s hands. That means it’s important to be thorough when it comes to finding the right group of people to work with. You need a company that understands what you want and has the ability to deliver it. Wondering how to vet a corporate event planner? This will help you get started.

How to Choose a Corporate Event Planning Company

1. Understand Your Needs

Before you can start talking to event planners, you need to evaluate your own needs. Make a list of the essential points, so you understand your event and what you need from an event planner.

What is the purpose or goal of the event? For instance, is it an executive retreat, an education-based event, a day of team-building activities, a fundraising gala, or something else? Figure out the main purpose and any secondary goals you have as well, like gauging interest in a new product or even making sales.

A few details will also help, such as:

  • The approximate size
  • A tentative date
  • Some idea of where you want to hold it – You don’t need to have a specific venue in mind, but it’s helpful to know the city or state.
  • Some sense of how much you’d like to be involved in the planning

Once you know what you need, you can start looking for event planning companies that fit the bill. Thanks to the internet, it’s easy to find plenty of possibilities. Do you have a colleague or contact who has worked with an event planning company on a corporate event? Ask them for recommendations. The hard part is whittling down the list to find those corporate event planners that best meet your needs.

It can help to define your search by location. It’s not always essential to work with a local event planning company, but it may be a better fit for you, as they’re more likely to have good relationships with local vendors and venues.

3. Narrow Your Focus

Your next step is some quick research for each company on your list, to find out more about them and what they can do. For each company, check out their website to see if they look like a good fit for your brand and what you have in mind. Read their About Us page to learn about the team, check out their portfolio, and scan their services pages.

You can immediately eliminate any that don’t do corporate events and may be able to eliminate any that don’t operate in the right location. Some corporate event planners also specialize in certain kinds of corporate events; if that’s not what you want, you can cross them off your list.

You can also eliminate any companies that throw up obvious red flags. If the company’s website lacks essential information or if they have no portfolio, pull them out of your main list and put them in the “maybe” pile. You can always go back and take another look if your shortlist doesn’t have what you need.

4. Make Your Final Choice

Once you’ve been through this process, you likely have a list of three or four possible choices. At this stage, you can make your final choice based on the information you already have. But you’re likely to get even closer to the ideal fit if you request a proposal from each company and use that to help inform your decision. Either way is fine, as long as you feel you have enough information to make your choice. If you have any lingering doubts or questions, don’t hesitate to ask! Keep digging until you’re satisfied you have the information you need to make the right decision for your event.

Questions to Ask a Corporate Event Planner

Once you get to the stage of evaluating companies on your shortlist, you’ll need to have as much information as possible to inform your choice. Here are a few great questions to start with:

  • What experience do you have with the kind of event I want to hold?
  • What level of creative talent can you assign to my event?
  • Can you provide references from previous clients who have held similar events?
  • Does your team hold any leadership positions in event associations, such as the Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA)?
  • What aspects of the event do you do yourselves, and what services are outsourced?
  • Do you have liability insurance? What amount are you insured for?
  • What kinds of contacts do they have in terms of venues, vendors, and entertainment?
  • If there are any specific “must haves” for the event, can you make them happen? For instance, if the plan is for a specific speaker or entertainment act at your event, do you have the contacts to provide it?
  • Do you have any in-house production capabilities to generate structures and signage?
  • Do you have the ability to run a hybrid event that offers great experiences for both in-person and virtual attendees?

Avoid Companies That Wave These Red Flags

Along with the list of attributes to look for, there are some red flags to avoid. Red-flag issues don’t automatically mean the company will do a bad job if you hire them. But these issues are often a sign of low standards or a poor track record:

  • The website is sparse and lacks information about the company and the services it offers.
  • The website lacks photos of previous events.
  • The company won’t provide references or a portfolio of previous work when you ask.
  • The company does provide references, but testimonials from previous clients don’t match up with what the company claims it can provide.
  • You start discussing what you want from the event, but the event planner isn’t asking questions or doesn’t seem interested in understanding your needs.
  • The event planner is more interested in pushing their own ideas than listening to yours.
  • You get proposals and estimates from your shortlist, and one company gives you an offer that’s much lower than all the others – This may be a sign that they’re cutting corners or that they’re not providing essential services that other companies do offer.

Take Your Time, Make the Right Choice

Choosing the right corporate event planner is an important decision, so take your time. It’s worth it to do the work to pick a company with the skills and experience you need. It will pay off with a great corporate event and a good relationship with a company you’ll be happy to continue working with for future events too.

The team at ProGlobalEvents has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience over our years of corporate event planning. We can help produce the event you’ve been dreaming of and be as involved each step of the way or take a more hands-off approach. If you’re interested in hearing more about what we offer, contact us today.

Jack Connolly

Executive Creative Director

As an experiential creative director, Jack prefers to draw outside the lines. He tells stories with original content and impactful design to ignite meaningful conversation.


Jack brings 20 years of event industry knowledge to ProGlobalEvents. He specializes in building live & virtual platforms for audiences to connect, engage and immerse themselves in the power of a shared experience. His skills range from ideation and concept development to defining an attendee journey through storytelling and design.

Jack understands the creative process is not linear, but a collaborative process between agency and client. He manages teams of designers and technology developers to pioneer impactful brand experiences. His diverse skillset and leadership ensure for award-winning results and memorable impressions.


In 2019, BizBash named Jack one of the top event designers in North America. SXSW awarded his work the “People’s Choice in Innovation” in 2021.

Jerome Nadel

Chief Marketing Officer

Jerome Nadel is Internationally experienced design-led marketing executive (CMO and GM) with a track record of improved market position, revenue growth, and M&A. He is an advance degreed psychologist and user experience product/service design expert, board member and advisor.


Prior to joining ProGlobalEvents |ProExhibits |XtendLive, he has had a variety of chief marketing officer and chief user experience officer roles at companies including Rambus, BrainChip, Human Factors International, SLP InfoWare, Gemplus, and Sagem. He started his career in the IBM Human Factors Labs.


He is also an avid cyclist with National and multiple California State Champion titles.

Ivan Fujihara

Chief Financial Officer

Ivan brings 25+ years in senior level management experience from a variety of technology industries.  His background includes accounting management, analytics and audit management for technology companies.  He has worked with companies such as THX, Ltd, Recruitology , Double Click, Creative Labs and more.  Ivan has also served on the board of Lincoln Families, a non-profit that supports East Bay children with the objective of disrupting the cycle of trauma and poverty.

Matt Rulis

Vice President of Sales

Matt is a marketing professional and has been managing marketing strategies, campaigns and environments for a diverse client base for over 15 years. From a service perspective, Matt and his team of Account Executives focus on fostering relationships to uphold a greater than 99% customer satisfaction rating year-over-year. Additionally, with extensive experience on the client-side of the industry, he understands that alignment between expectation and budget is paramount to a successful project. As a result, ProGlobalEvents' clients can expect a competitive advantage paired with top quality products and services. Matt is an avid fly-fisherman, enjoys most outdoor activities and is a true college football fanatic.

Tom Foley

VP of Operations

Heading the fabrication side of ProGlobalEvents is exhibit and event industry veteran, Tom Foley. For over 35 years he has been responsible for building amazing exhibits and environments for clients. Tom started out in the production area and has broad experience in project and operations management. He currently oversees production, warehouse, graphics and project management departments. Tom studied machine tool technology and welding before entering the industry. As a true "builder" he also enjoys restoring and modifying classic American cars.

Dick Wheeler


Dick serves as President of ProGlobalEvents and President of ProExhibits and is a board member of CEMA (Corporate Event Marketing Association). At ProExhibits he has been nationally recognized as an innovator and driving force in the fast-growing trade show exhibit and event industry. Under his leadership in 1997, the firm received INC magazine’s INC 500 award as one of America’s fastest-growing companies. His informative articles on developments and innovations in the trade show exhibit and event industry have appeared in national trade publications. Dick has a B.S. degree from Wittemore School of Business & Economics at the University of New Hampshire and has completed the Entrepreneurial Executive Leadership Program sponsored by MIT, YEO and INC. He is actively involved in Vistage, an interactive group of over 20,000 CEO’s and presidents worldwide and is a member of CEMA and EDPA.

Jody Tatro

Chief Executive Officer

In addition to being CEO of ProGlobalEvents, Jody is also the CEO of ProExhibits. With Jody at the helm, the company has been recognized repeatedly as one of the Top 50 Women Owned Businesses in Silicon Valley. She has set the outstanding client service standards for which the firm’s account management team is noted. Jody is a recipient of the YWCA’s Tribute to Women Award, the Junior League Community Volunteer Award and is listed in Who’s Who of Women in Business. Following her graduation from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Jody held various sales positions in several technology companies.