Things to Ask Your Debut Coordinator Before You Hand Over the Reins

Before you hire a coordinator, know what you're getting into. Ask him/her these questions.
  |  Jan 19, 2015
Photo from Project JDG, from Maxine's debut
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Planning a debut may seem overwhelming, and so some debutantes opt to hire a debut coordinator. The coordinator is tasked to make sure that everything goes according to plan. If you're thinking of booking a coordinator for your debut, remember to ask these questions. 

1. What kind of debuts are you comfortable handling?
While coordinators are used to servicing different clients, it won't hurt to ask about the events they usually handle. Are they used to out-of-town affairs (and do they charge extra)? Moreover, if your coordinators usually do corporate events, make sure that they know the ropes of planning debuts as well. 

2. Can you cite specific instances where you encountered a major setback? How did you handle the situation?
While you'll do your best to have a perfect debut, some mishaps are really bound to happen. Your coordinator should be able to think on her/his feet so that when a problem arises, s/he can take charge. Ask for anecdotes so you'll get a glimpse of their problem-solving skills. 


3. What is the largest debut you've handled?
On your debut day, your coordinator will be dealing with lots of people: you, your family, the suppliers, and the guests. Make sure that your prospective coordinator can manage a large crowd, and that s/he won't be overwhelmed by a large debut. 

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4. How involved will you be in planning the debut, and will your team be discreet on the day of the event?
Most coordinators offer different services like full coordination, semi coordination, and on-the-day coordination. Ask the coordinator what each package entails, so that you'll know which tasks will be expected of her/him. Some coordinators are only comfortable with delivering full coordination services to help them stay on top of things. Also, make sure that your coordinator's team can work discreetly at the event. You don't want guests to be distracted by their team running around.

5. How many debuts do you organize in a year, and how many of those are close to my debut date?
Debut coordination is no easy task, especially if you're doing more than one at a time. Other debuts might also fall close to your debut date, and this means that the coordinator will be preparing for several events at once. Check how OC s/he is with details so that s/he won't confuse your requests with that of her/his other clients. 


6. How many people will be handling the debut?
For a large gathering, your coordinator needs a bigger team to make sure that things run smoothly. Asking about the number of team members will give you an idea of how things will be handled at your event. Moreover, asking about the headcount also lets you know how many sets of meals would have to be prepared for them. 

7. How do you communicate with your clients and other suppliers?
A coordinator should be easy to get a hold of during the preparations. Are they comfortable with phone calls, text messages, or email? Are they able to get back to any messages immediately? 

8. How would you describe your working relationship with other suppliers?
Your coordinator should be able to work harmoniously with other suppliers as well. S/he should be able to communicate your requests to your suppliers, and make sure that everything's according to plan. They should also initiate to follow up in case things fall behind schedule. 


9. What time will you arrive on the debut day?
Your coordinators will be directing the flow of activities on your big day, and so they have to be among the first ones to arrive as you get ready. They should be punctual and ready to meet an early call time.

10. Can I trust you to make transactions on my behalf?
For debutantes who get full coordination services, their coordinator may attend meetings--or even sign contracts--on their behalf. With these tasks, your coordinator should be street smart and detail-oriented--you want them to be discerning with the transactions they make. After all, they'll be spending your money. 

11. What services will entail additional fees?
Coordinators will do everything within their means to make sure that you get your dream debut. While your coordinator can accommodate special requests, these things may also come with an additional cost. 

12. What won't you help me with?
Given that your coordinators will give their best effort in pulling off a beautiful affair, their services also have its limits. What some debutantes fail to recognize is that coordinators are not personal assistants. Prepare a list of tasks, and go over each one together. Clarify which tasks fall under their to-do list, and which ones you should do or delegate to someone else.

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