Event “Planner” vs. Event “Producer”

Living in DC, one of the first things people usually ask is “soooo, what do you do?”. When I respond with “I’m an event producer” that usually is met with “Oh! You mean an event planner?”. Well, kind of. There are a couple significant differences here that I think distinguish what I do on a daily basis from the work of an event planner. Now let me be clear, I love and respect my event planning sisters and misters in arms, we just do different things. Let me elaborate:

Think of an event planner like JLo in “The Wedding Planner”:

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And think of an event producer like Quinn from “Unreal” (minus the crazy...sort of):

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In “The Wedding Planner”, Mary knows all of the micro-details of her clients’ events. Food allergies, who can sit where, who needs to be kept away from the bar, how to get a spot out of a shirt, etc. She manages these details with grace and poise so that her client can enjoy their event. With some clients, this is exactly my role as well! I’m managing guest lists, printing place cards, strategizing over seating charts, and taking the little details off my client’s plate so that they can relax and enjoy their event.

In “Unreal”, Quinn does meddle in some of the smaller day-to-day details of the show, but for the most part, she is more focused on achieving the overall goals of the network. Quinn strategizes over how to increase viewership, improve ratings, and garner more commercial sponsors for the show. This is what I do in my role as event producer. I’m constantly thinking about new and creative ways to express the client’s mission/brand through their event, how to surprise guests who may have attended the event before, and how to increase revenue from an event while keeping total event costs down.


When clients come to us at RJ Whyte, they get the benefit of a planner AND a producer. We’re able to customize our offerings based on client needs, and offer basic planning services that focus on the smaller details of an event, or full production services, where we work more closely with our client to help them conceptualize their event so that is best achieves their organizational goals.