Tips for selecting the perfect vendors for your event

Choosing the right vendors to work with is one of the biggest decisions event planners make.  A single bad fish can ruin the entire pond; similarly, a single bad vendor can create a queue of misconceptions, a faulty image for the planner, a bad experience for attendees. Moreso, damage the relationship you have with a client or other vendors. In brief, the stakes are high.

Your success as an event planner depends upon your ability to hire the right people to help you shine. So, a  vendor who’ll provide top-notch facilities to an event planner for an upcoming event is an important and integral part of that event. Here are tips for choosing the best event vendors:

1. Narrow down the vendors you require

The first and probably the most important step is to understand your client requirements. A vendor can’t provide exactly what you want if you don’t know what you want. Before you begin your search, you need to lay down some groundwork.

Think about what kind of vendors you’ll need for your event;

  • How you want their services executed
  • What your expectations and goals are
  • Outline your budget and requirements

 

It’s important to give vendors specific instructions so they know what you expect of them. Experienced vendors can often provide extra insights that you might not have considered. Take their advice and if it fits into your vision, roll with it.

2. Consult other event planners regarding vendors

The best way to know if an event or wedding vendor will follow through on their commitments is to ask other planners about the vendor. With an active event planners network, you may get plenty of valid contacts of vendors that may be useful for future events too.

Whether that be personally or virtually, reach out to those connections for referrals. Typically, when a vendor does an outstanding job (or a bad one), people remember that and are happy to share feedback. Social networks are also beneficial in finding vendors. Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations.

3. Compile a Preliminary List

Once you have set your key requirements, gather a preliminary list of vendors and suppliers. Take a look at their websites, social media platforms, read reviews online and ascertain whether they have experience in the kind of event you’re producing. Then, send all the vendors the same brief so you can compare the quotes they come back with. Create a spreadsheet to document all of this information so you can easily eliminate ones that do not suit your budget plan. For example, list down the vendors according to the logistic sheet i.e. for catering, decorations, securities, entertainment and so on. The listing of all the pros and cons of the chosen vendors will help you out to choose the best ones for the perfect task.

4. Discuss Targets and Deadlines

A headache it may seem, but an essential chore of an event planner is to keep up to date with the deadlines of the vendor’s duties. Timely follow-ups will ensure the vendor that he is liable to complete his tasks. To follow the work of vendors through an event checklist is a simple task.

After you’ve selected the best vendor that suits the event, the next step is to decide the timeline of the events and how everything will fall in place. The deadline decision is vital at this stage as it gives the time to decide and make things work in that time span. Abiding by the time, vendors also display quality services and the event becomes a big victory. If the vendor is unable to agree to terms and conditions for the timeliness, better select someone else.

5. Open communication and transparency

Both Planners and Vendors appreciate total transparency and official responses rather than prolonged awaited replies that don’t guarantee any assurance.

Communication is the key to success. Apply it during the planning stages, the actual event, and even post-event. All the details starting from the requirements to the in-hand budget must be discussed with the vendor diligently.

Also, you’ll want to make sure that you have a positive connection with the chosen vendor and that your personalities mesh. Are they happy to talk to you? Enthusiastic about helping you? There to support you and answer questions whenever you need them? You’ll pick up on those vibes just by taking the time to talk to potential vendors.

6. Contracts are a must

Finally, don’t neglect the details. When you come to signing any contacts, be sure to read the small print. Do the vendors have the appropriate insurance or is that something you’ll need to provide (and thus factor into your budget)? Do they have a comprehensive cancellation policy? Do they have terms set in the instance that they don’t deliver what has been agreed upon? If all seems in order, then it looks like you’ve found a fantastic vendor.

Vendors are the foundation of many events, as well as the first (and maybe even last) impression of your event as a whole. A lot of effort goes into planning a successful event, and that hard work often begins with finding the ideal vendors. Finding and securing honest, passionate, knowledgeable, and engaging vendors will elevate the customer experience, and, in turn, make your event wildly successful.

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