No matter what your event you will need a number of vendors to make the day go off without a hitch. So where do you start to find the best vendors for you and your special occasion. Once you have the venue established, that is usually a good place to start. Every venue normally has some kind of preferred vendor list whether it is published or not. You just need to ask to see it! But the question is are all preferred vendors as good as each other, and should you assume the quality of their work and product will be acceptable to you?
Vendors can get on a preferred vendor list in a number of different ways, so there are some points that should be considered when making your selections.
1. They can be invited on to the list by the venue compiling the preferred vendor list.
2.They can ask to be put on the preferred vendor list.
3. They may pay to be on the list. This is fairly usual for advertising in a venue’s on-line and print brochure.
Questions you should ask the Venue are:
- How long have you known the individual vendors?
- Do they offer consistent high levels of service?
- Would they use this vendor themselves?
- Are there other vendors that they know who are not on the list but would recommend (this can happen especially if a brochure is in print and a new vendor was not available when the brochure went to print)?
- Are any of your preferred vendors not going to be renewed when the list is redone?
- Have you received any negative comments or complaints about any of the vendors on the list?
Over time the quality of a vendor’s work and the level of their customer service may change for many reasons, therefore it is important to make sure that you ask the right questions, and also ask other vendors on your list who they would recommend, they can be a really useful source of information. Professional vendors will normally never say something bad about a competitor, but they will usually manage to convey potential problems that you should be aware of.
All reputable vendors only want to provide you with their best service for your event, it gives them an opportunity to showcase their abilities and hope for future work or referrals, so it is not in their best interests to recommend another vendor who will not perform at the same level as they do. Most vendors work very hard in order to be part of the preferred vendor list and offer something a little extra special for their clients, but do not assume all preferred vendor participants are created equal and that their services should therefore be hired just because they are on a preferred vendor list.
If you have had a great experience, or not so great experience let us know – we would love to hear from you!