We all plan events in the industry, and in doing so, we interact with various vendors and personality types. Whether it be the band leader, hotel staff, restaurant owner, or caterer, building and maintaining healthy relationships with your vendors is key for a successful event. Probably the most important thing to remember is that although different paths are taken to get there, both you and your vendors are working towards the same end goal: a favorable outcome.
Listed below are a few things you should always keep in mind when working with your vendors.
Be up front with your expectations. People aren’t mind readers. If you expect the buffet to be set-up 30 minutes prior to the scheduled dinner time, then tell your caterer. Both parties will benefit in the end when expectations are clearly laid on the table in the beginning of the planning process.
Be available. It’s frustrating when you can’t get in touch with your key point person the day before the big golf tournament, right? Make sure you aren’t the one frustrating others! Always try to respond to email and voicemails within 24 hours, and even quicker when it’s right before the big event.
Be honest. If you’re unhappy with the service being provided to you, be sure to let your vendors know. You should also alert your vendors ahead of time if you anticipate things not going as planned on your end. Honesty builds trust, which leads to positive future interactions.
Be appreciative. A simple ‘thank you’ can go a long way. Always be sure to recognize when people go above and beyond. Superior customer service should be commended.
Be genuine. Just be yourself! It’s impossible to immediately click with every single personality type, but hopefully you’ll be able to build rapport throughout the process.
It’s no surprise that events don’t always go 100% as planned, but hopefully by putting the above into practice you’ll have an exceptional planning experience!