4 tips to hire the BEST vendors for your event planning business

October 24, 2017
Steve Jobs, one of the greatest business wizards, once quoted, “Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.”
It most certainly rings true in the business of event planning as it takes multiple vendors with different expertise coming together to pull off an awesome event. So it wouldn’t be wrong to say that you’re only as strong as your weakest link in any event. Hence it is very important that all your vendors are A-players, reliable and have the capability pull off a flawless job within the deadlines you have.
So how does one go about selecting top vendors to collaborate with? Here are few quick tips that can save you time in identifying the best vendors for your specific needs and requirements.
Referrals from other event planners
If you are well-networked in your industry circles, your peers in the event planning business can be one of the most reliable sources for recommending trust-worthy vendors. Since your peers would have experienced the services of the vendor, you can prepare your background information on each of the vendors by simply listening to the peers’ experience. Details like the the vendor contact information, their area of expertise, their price points and discounts or packages offered, their USP, areas of improvement etc can all be understood from the peers. These details will arm you with tonnes of information even before you can speak to the vendor themselves.
In fact it also makes sense to ask your peers for vendors who they would never want to work with again. It’s as important to understand who NOT to work with as it is to understand who to work with. Ensure you create & update both these lists on a regular basis so you have ready data accessible at the time of need.
Past Work
Once you have a vendor referral, it’s very important to go through their past work. For instance, if you want to hire a photographer or a videographer ask to see their portfolio of work. If you want to hire a caterer, get some food tastings done.
You could also look at any awards or certificates that your vendor has won for the services they have provided. It may not be a national level award but even local recognition which works as an endorsement of their capability is a great way of assessing the quality of work they can deliver.
One of the best ways to assess them is to see them in action at an event (if it’s public, of course!) where they are providing their service. It will give you a live demonstration of the quality of the service they can provide, how they manage last-minute crisis, the audience response to the vendor etc. 
Networking Events & Trade Fairs
Attending your industry events and trade fairs is one of the smartest ways of meeting multiple potential vendors under one roof. You will not only meet multiple vendors who provide different services but you will be spoilt for choice among different vendors providing the same service. You can understand details from each of these vendors- the kind of services they provide, the clients they have worked with, their pricing, etc. Ensure you make a note of the vendors that particularly appeal to you so that you can meet up with them on another date for a more detailed conversation.

Two-Way Reliability

We only attract who we are! Therefore to attract and onboard the A players, it’s important that you build the reputation of being an A player yourself. That means treating your vendors as business partners, making payments on time, passing business referrals to them and most importantly demonstrating your appreciation by doing something special for your vendors. Every organization invests resources in making their clients feel special through thank you cards, gifts or festive hampers etc. Remember to do the same and more for your vendor partners too! The better your reputation, the better your chances of attracting the best vendors in town for your events.
So start with creating your vendor list using these simple tips! And hopefully you will land with a team of professionals who will go out there and win championships together!!!