I recently sat down with, the Director of Sales for Catering at Abigail Kirsch in New York, Carl Hedin.

When Abigail started her catering career 40 years ago she wasn’t permitted (because she was a woman!) to attend the culinary, but this pioneering woman pushed on and has built a catering and event management business that has gone on to work with US presidents, celebrities and some of New York’s finest, and oldest, institutions.

Do you ever wonder what qualities the best event planners have that set them apart? Do you want to know how you can be known as the best in the event industry too?

While some people seem to have all the luck; Carl suggests that communication and focusing on all elements of the event are key to the overall success of the event –and your reputation. Thankfully, by having the right mentors and through shared communication, you can learn how to communicate effectively.

Tips on How to Be the Best Event Planner

If you’ve ever wondered how to be the best event planner, this audio interview is for you.

>> Listen as Carl offers expert advice on working with event planners Listen as Carl talks about:
  1. How to create a guest experience (3:15)
  2. Creating relationships with event planners – who is coming to dinner? (3:40)
  3. Why communication is key to the overall success of your event – (5:28)
  4. How to learn to communicate effectively (7:19)
  5. What happens when you don’t share the event menu with the caterer (8:30)

(note: the zip file will automatically play in iTunes and other media players, depending on the settings on your computer)

Known for creating an incredible guest experience, Carl offers 4 Tips on How to Be the Best Event Planner:

  1. Hire the best event planners to help plan your event
  2. Listen to them
  3. Question them and know why they’re doing X, Y, Z…
  4. Read the proposals! Understanding each element of the proposal.

How to build a lasting relationship with the event caterer

Go to the caterer with the understanding of ‘who is coming to dinner’? Give them event details like:

  1. Hours of the event
  2. Guest profile – guest info like age range, culinary tastes, demographics
  3. Lay out details of the event – intent of the event, what kind of food of your guests want to eat
  4. Ask to review menu before it’s approved for printing and share it with the caterer so you’re on the same page.
Trends in Catering for 2014

Staying on top of current trends will also help you be the best event planner. In 2014, we’re seeing entertaining trends with minimized seating, smaller portions and a greater variety of food options. Now I’d love to hear from you. What’s worked for you, and what hasn’t? Share as much detail as you want. Thousands read this post so sharing your comments helps so many event planners around the world. As always, thanks so much for reading and commenting!


  1. Judith at8:34 am

    This is a great post and so helpful, I have been placed in a position to do some event planning and I know nothing about it so this is going to help me a great deal. I will keep this post bookmarked so I can return easily but I would also like to know if you happen to have any more posts like this. If you wouldn’t mind sending a reply that would be great.

  2. Matthew at11:46 am

    Event planning is a fun thing to do and I enjoy it a lot but being good at it is something I struggle with because I have fallen short many times. Thank you for posting this I am looking forward to putting these ideas and tips into practice though. I hope you will keep posting things like this because it seems like the events don’t ever stop coming.

  3. Marcus at6:18 am

    Everything is turning towards mobile. Websites need to be responsive, apps need to be web based (HTML5), and content needs to be shared from your phone. Everyone wants to share photos too, so you have to design your events to be photo centric. What can your attendees take pictures of? How can you collect all of those pictures and share them on social media so your attendees can experience your event? And, most importantly, how can you empower your attendees to share this info on social media?

  4. Curtis at9:28 am

    If your hiring an event planner your not being an even planner are you? I thought this was a good post but it really doesn’t tell you how to be an event planner. I also never knew that women were not allowed to be in the culinary schools before that is very interesting. Thank you for the work you have done here.

  5. Robert at11:38 am

    I think the time has come for all event planners, no matter how long they have been in the business or owned a business, or no matter how old school a person may be, the time has come for all of them to accept mobile marketing as a way to market their business. You have to accept the fact that most people operate through a mobile device and that is the way to reach them.

  6. Florene at9:34 am

    Every statistic I have seen during the course of this year underlines how crucial mobile is to the success of any event. It seems that there is a clear imperative for event and meetings planners to fully embrace mobile platforms over the next year. I think it is very much worth exploring and implementing into your marketing efforts.

  7. Ronald at7:17 am

    Whatever it is that you want to accomplish in life, a mentor is going to kick start you on the path to achieve it. By far the hardest part of accomplishing anything is getting started. We all have dreams and goals, but until we make a move to act on them, they will always remain just a dream or a goal. Even if you are a self-starter, you can still benefit greatly from a mentor.

  8. Jeff at10:15 am

    If I keep collecting things like this post and learning as much as I can from people like you then maybe one day I can call myself an event planner until then I am just a friend who can throw a pretty good party is all. Thank you for pointing out the differences here and making so I see through the cloud of pride I had built up.

  9. Karin at11:17 am

    I have seen a lot of posts about this lately and I know some event planners that this is going to help, you make a lot of sense when you are talking about event planning and making arrangements to become one. Keep up the good work and keep posting because this will help those in the process and hopefully keep them going.

  10. Warren at9:58 am

    I’m guessing part of the keys to being a successful event planner requires the same skills as a public relations pro needs to promote their business and cultivate relationships. At the end of the day, you still have to do all the things any business owner does to run and promote a business.

  11. Karin at11:01 am

    Warren you are right that is very interesting and you are right you have to be a public relations person and do all the work plus the marketing of your business. This is something I have been trying to tell my friends who have a business but they keep telling me they don’t have time. Are there people out there that you can hire for this?


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