18 Sep Selecting Vendors Article
How to Select the Perfect Vendors for Every Event
Picture this…you are in the midst of executing the plans for a beautiful all white gala for a very important client with a budget that’s out of this world. You know that if you ace this event, it will open doors for many other lucrative events for your company. You’re waiting outside for the catering vendor to arrive and in horror, you watch a dirty unkempt van recklessly pull up to the loading dock. With all of your finger and toes double-crossed, you pray this this is NOT your vendor. You stare in disbelief as the owner (wearing a filthy apron and somewhat smashed and tilted chef’s hat) approaches you with an extended hand. Your memory immediately takes you back to the conversation you had with a friend where she raved about this vendor’s food, however, she failed to mention that this vendor lacks professionalism, punctuality, and cleanliness for that matter. You snap back to reality and realize that the vendor’s stained hand is still extended and awaiting your acknowledgment. You smile and accept his hand shake in spite of the cringe you feel inside. You then wonder, “What went wrong here?”
This is a common problem that many event planners face when they fail to thoroughly research vendors and rely on someone else’s words. The above vendor may have been great for your friend’s BBQ, but for a special event, you want to make sure you have your ducks in a row. Today, I’ll pass on some tried and true tips that will help you weed out the vendors that could ruin your event as well as your reputation as an event planner.
Tip #1: Research, Research, Research!
I can’t stress this enough and there are tons of ways to research a possible vendor for your event. You could start with a simple Google search. Google will pull up most, if not all, of the info the company has to offer. The Better Business Bureau is also a great resource for checking the status of a vendor. Check out the vendors website and read it thoroughly. Read about their vision, policies, pricing, services, etc. to get a feel of how they conduct business.
Tip #2: Ask Yourself, “What do their past customers have to say about their food or service?”
Once again, Google provides a great (and free) app called Google Plus. With Google Plus, you are not only able to read more information about the company itself, but you will have access to customer reviews. Customer reviews have become an essential part of business in this technology driven world we live in today. They can really make or break a company because it affords the customer the opportunity to voice their honest opinions and experiences to the world…and that includes potential customers. Websites like Facebook, Instagram, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Yellowbook, and Twitter will also shed much needed light on a vendor’s current standing with their customers.
Tip#3: Reach Out to Other Event Planners
One of your best resources on the validity of a vendor is to reach out to fellow event planners and ask questions about their experience. Event planners will remember a bad vendor faster than Usain Bolt running a 400 meter race!
Most importantly, listen to your gut. If something you read, see, or hear about the vendor doesn’t sit well with you, then DO NOT PROCEED. Your business will be better off in the end.
As always WE would like to wish you the best in all that you do! If you have questions or comments please feel free to post them below or shoot me an email.
This is Allyson Wynn signing off and may all your events be a “Wynning Experience”!