Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Secrets to Selecting Your Event Vendors

Okay, a few things triggered this post today, but I won't go into that spiel...

Choosing vendors for any special event can be challenging or super easy.  It really depends on what recommendations you have received and who you might have already worked with in the past.  But, if you are a recently engaged couple or are new to the game of event planning, I am going to give you some very important things to keep in mind when you are working through the selection process.  Use the following as a checklist after meeting with each potential provider...

Were they.....

Accommodating.  Did they continue to insure you that they will work to create exactly what YOU want? If they kept diverting back to how they have done things in the past, this might be a red flag.

Budget Conscious.  It really doesn't matter how large or small your budget is...they should be cognisant of it in any regard.  If they over quote you or under quote you, they simply were not listening to you speak and are not respecting your time or money.  

Friendly.  Were they smiling, happy and generally of a good disposition?  If not, what you saw was likely what you will always get with them.  Energy is important in this field, and without it your vendors won't get far - with your event or any other.

A Good Listener.  They are the professional, but that means they have to listen before they can accurately speak to your desires.  So, if when you steer the conversation in one direction they divert it in another....not a good sign.  It should not be about them.

Stable in their business.  Do they seem successful and stable at what they are doing in their business?  Are they full-time professionals?  Feel this one out...you don't want someone who could go under soon.  You want someone who is humbly good at what they do and has plenty of business coming their way.

And, check out these things before making a decision...

Reviews.  Do your homework.  Read the reviews and make sure you check the BBB if you can.  You might be shocked at what you find!

The Small Print.  Once you receive a proposal or contract to review, read, carefully, the small print.  Not because you will find anything terrible, but because you want to fully understand any up charges, services that fall outside their realm, etc.  

This post seems harsh, even to me, but it is vital to your special event that you have the right team by your side.  Without it, you will inevitably have something go wrong.  Trust me.

On a lighter note, coming up against someone that doesn't get a perfect score on this test is highly unlikely.  There are hundreds of terrific vendors right here in Indy!

I promise not to make EVERY post as serious as this one...but we all need a good kick every once in a while. :)

Boldly Yours,

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