Any event is incomplete without securing a good vendor. Imagine setting up your event without a caterer, any music, décor, or a venue – seems a bit senseless right?
As a planner, knowing which vendor is going to complement your event is an important part of having a successful one. Not only does this pairing help in building, and maintaining, vendor relationships, but it is mutually beneficial, overall, as an event planner.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to fostering relationships with qualified vendors:
Conducting your research is the first step to finding local vendors in your area and filtering out your search. While most online searches lead you to an outstanding website or two, you can’t be too sure of a vendor’s reputation, with other clients, until you look into their background. What are the reviews on the brand – what are people saying? Are there any obvious constraints? It’s important to compare values, pricing and packages, and location amongst contenders and to consider multiple sources for information on a potential vendor.
When your list of potential vendors is narrowed down, reach out and take note of your initial contact. How were you treated? While you weigh the pros and cons, logically sort through your list to secure the best vendor for the occasion and your client. In the end, the goal is to develop a lasting relationship.
While event planning is in the name of your title, it is important to remember that planning an event takes a team – you aren’t in this alone, the vendors are working hard as well! It’s your job as a planner to relay the client’s wishes to vendors in a timely manner. Vendors appreciate timeliness and working collectively to solve any problems that may arise (for example, an additional guest arriving or a caterer finding out that a few guests have peanut allergies).
Overall, it is important to remember that these relationships take time to develop. For instance, you wouldn’t marry a stranger you just met, the same idea can be applied to planner-vendor unions. You need to find balance with one another and respect boundaries and communicate clearly if there is an issue. The great thing about establishing an ongoing relationship is the mutual benefits – you can offer repeat business, with a variety of clients, and in turn, your vendor can recommend your services and potentially provide you with future clients. In the end, both of your business will improve and expand long-term.
After your event over, you have one more thing left to do! To uphold a good relationship with your vendor, make sure to follow up with them. Maybe inquire about their involvement in your event and how they felt about its success or what could be improved for facilitative purposes. Most importantly, be sure to express your gratitude – say thank you! If you appreciate their help, let them know and keep in touch with them for future events.
When it comes to solid relationships with vendors, it is important to:
- Do your research
- Remember that long-lasting relationships don’t happen overnight
- Make sure both parties are mutually benefitting
- Say thank you – it rarely goes unappreciated!
There’s so many things that come together to make a wedding planner’s job successful. Check out our video and see how the magic happens!