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Before you sign a contract with an external event planner or event management firm, there are some obvious questions to ask, including:

  • What will you do for us?
  • How much will you charge?
  • What other events have you managed?

But, don’t stop there. Before you entrust your organization’s event and its brand identity to a professional event planner, you’ll want to dig a little deeper. Ideally, the person or firm you choose will be highly qualified, easy to work with, and will always protect your organization’s bottom line and best interests.

Following are seven questions you should ask in order to get to the heart of the matter.


  • How long have you been in the corporate meeting and event business?

IMESevents, a division of IMES Marketing, LLC has been in business since 2006.  We began in the corporate and non-profit segments.  In January 2016 we branched out to include weddings and private parties.

  • What professional certifications do you hold/professional education have you had?

The owner of IMESevents, Carol Lathrop, holds a Certified Meeting Professional designation.  She has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Hospitality, Travel & Events with an emphasis in meetings from Metropolitan State University of Denver, Colorado.  Additionally, she has earned certificates in Medical Meeting Management, International Tour Management and several hotel management functions.

Others on our team also possess years of experience, various certifications and educational degrees.


  • Who will be my key contact?

The key contact for your account begins with the sales person.  Once the contract is signed an event coordinator will be assigned to your account.  The sales person will remain in the loop throughout the planning and execution process.  All activities are will be under the supervision of the Chief Events Officer (CEO).

  • What is your project management process?

At IMESevents the process begins the proposal.  A proposal will be developed to include all the parameters of your event. Once that is agreed on by all parties concerned the contract is created and executed.  Work begins when the deposit is received.

The pre-planning process includes regular communication, timeline of deadlines, budget, task delegation, progress tracking, vendor/venue search and negotiations, invoicing.

During the event the successes will be documented with pictures for use in future events and marketing.

After the event we will send out a post-event survey and produce a post-event summary report.  We will also send thank you cards to the sponsors, speakers and VIPs.


  • What procedures do you have in place to effectively manage my budget and ensure my organization will receive the best pricing from industry vendors?

IMESevents will negotiate with industry vendors utilizing our skills, network and quantity buying power on your event’s behalf.  All of our accounting, including your event budget, will be managed via QuickBooks.

  • What insurance do you have in place?

IMESevents is insured through Town & Country Insurance in Denver, Colorado.  We carry $1 million of general liability insurance.

  • What is your on-site crisis management planning process?

IMESevents in partnership with your organizational leaders will create an on-site crisis management plan to address emergencies from all angles and specific to your organization and the social/political environment occurring at the time of your event.


If your event is annual, there is an eighth key question you should pose:

“Do you offer discounts for repeat business?”

IMESevents offers corporate and non-profit organizations discounts on multi-year contracts.

This document originally was produced by Special D Events, Inc. ©2011
1229 South Washington Avenue, Royal Oak, MI 48067 - p 248.336.8600 - f 248.336.8610 www.SpecialDEvents.com