1) Size: Is the company a one- or two-person operation? Hiring a small business is great, but hiring one that’s too small can be risky. You want a big enough team to make sure the show goes on—even if accidents or illness interfere.

2) Trust: Whether you are spending $5,000 or $500,000, do you trust the company to handle your budget and your event?

3) Experience: The more, the better! Check credentials and references. No two events are the same but varied experience will ensure better results.

4) Vendor Relationships: Does the company have good relationships with all the suppliers you will need to make your event come alive? Check all the elements to make sure your event production company will be able to deliver everything.

5) Survival: How healthy is the company financially? How long has it been in business, and will it remain in business long enough to produce your event?

6) Trends: Does this company do its homework as far as being aware of trends and developments in the industry?

7) Technology: Does this company keep up with the latest?

8) Professional floor plan: Does the company have experienced planning staff to produce a professional floor plan to make sure the whole event will flow perfectly?

9) Green: Will this company consider your event’s carbon footprint and the ecological impact of your event? Sustainability is important to your company’s image.

10) Time: Is the company responsive? Do they return calls and e-mails quickly? You want to know they have enough time to understand your corporate culture and create a relationship, not just a one-time event.

Janet Elkins of LA's Eventworks heads a diverse staff of talented individuals that have been brought together to create award-winning, memorable events. Janet's work has earned SITE’s prestigious Crystal Awards, numerous Gala Awards and nominations from Special Events magazine, MPI Supplier of the Year, as well as the Lifetime Achievement Award from The Special Event. In 2012 she was inducted into the Event Solutions Hall of Fame.

This article was originally published at MeetingsNet in 2012.