Successful event planners work with a large network of vendors and suppliers in the industry. These vendors can make or break your event, no matter how great your event concepts are.
As event managers, we majorly allocate our work to vendors with whom we have established good ties, over the years. Sometimes, however, the need arises to look for a new vendor – which is not an easy task. The vendors you choose to work with must necessarily have a good reputation as you cannot afford to damage your own in the process. Your vendor network is not just a group of people you subcontract your work to – they are your team.
Here are a few thoughts from our side, on how to pick an efficient vendor in code red situations:
- A good way to find new vendors is to gather referrals from one of your existing vendors, clients or other planners. Do your research and talk to people who have an experience of working with them. It’s easier to trust a new person by getting assurance from someone you already know.
- Start small – give the new vendors a small portion of the work that you need to get done and judge their capabilities according to their response time and the quality of the work. Check if they can cope with your deadlines and standards of working.
- Compare costs with your other vendors – you might find that vendor rates differ with different factors. Some of them might provide the same services at reduced costs, but make sure that you do not compromise on the quality.
- Visit the vendors’ work station to get a first hand understanding by seeing samples of their previous work, before you hire them.
- Clarify payment terms with vendors and let them know about your company’s terms and conditions – whether they are rigid or flexible. Imagine promising something to your client and not being able to deliver because your vendor was a no-show.
- You know you have found a worthy vendor when he/she has a better knowledge than you, of what you require. Make a list of all your specifics and put it together with the suggestions that they have to offer.
There are a few times you have to blindly trust new suppliers, and it does take time to add them to your existing database. But event management, being an ever-changing, dynamic industry, thrives on trials & errors every now and then, and it’ll definitely be worth it in the end.