An event is only as strong as its vendor team. If you are looking to create successful and seamless events, smart organization and keen awareness are key to success. However, efficiency is another hugely important aspect of your event business that often gets lost in the shuffle, costing you and your team unnecessary time, stress and money.
At AllSeated, we have worked with experienced event professionals to understand how to help improve the way we collaborate and bring more efficiency to the event industry. We have seen that no matter the size of your team, certain changes in how you structure your team’s collaboration are almost guaranteed to improve your team’s efficiency and with it move your company to the next level.
Here are four things to consider that will help you efficiently collaborate with your vendor team:
1. UNDERSTAND VENDOR ROLES
A successful event often relies on the vendors understanding their role and the role of all the other vendors on the team for that specific event. Vendor responsibilities can vary from event to event, so it isn't safe to just assume that everyone knows what they’re doing. Instead, it's important to clarify and be aware when assigning tasks. Knowing your role and the roles of the other vendors will help avoid duplicate efforts and prevent stepping on each other’s toes.
2. KNOW YOUR TIMING
All too often, the event timeline is overlooked by vendors, which can lead to last minute stress and additional labor costs. Timing affects all parties involved from delivery and setup to event space access, so understanding the timeline from the very start of the planning process will help you minimize misunderstandings and scheduling issues.
The loading and unloading times are often the biggest source of headaches, as they can cause an avalanche of timing errors. It's essential to check with the venue to ensure that you understand all that is involved. The more information you have ahead of time, the higher level of control you will have over your event.
Remember that timelines have a pesky tendency to change and get updated frequently. In order to lower the risk of mistakes, it is important to make note of your changes as they happen as well as to pay attention to the changes of the other vendors on the event.
3. DON’T SKIP THE WALKTHROUGH
Arranging a walkthrough of the venue is a great idea even if you have worked there in the past. By doing a walkthrough, you not only get more familiar with the intricacies of the layout (I bet even if you worked there last month, you can’t remember which walls have outlets), but also have an opportunity to meet the other vendors working with you on your upcoming event.
Most venues are happy to assist with scheduling your walkthrough as they know that the more familiar their vendors are with the event space, the easier things will go on the day of the event. And if you’re looking to get referrals from the venue in the future, this is a great opportunity to establish a closer relationship with the venue managers. Which leads us to…
4. EXPAND YOUR NETWORK
Knowing the people you are working with is a great opportunity to expand your network and grow your brand. Building relationships with other vendors helps bring awareness to your company and assists you in expanding the scope of your business. The other vendors can generate more business for you, so we recommend viewing and treating these vendors as your clients.
Once you build your core vendor relationships and begin to refer business to each other, your circle of referrals will grow exponentially within your specialization vertical or geographical service area. You will start getting more and more repeat business, which is a crucial step in decreasing the amount of time and money you need to spend on marketing. Teaming up with vendors and working together can also create better pricing for your client, making you more competitive.
With the rise of social media, expanding your network and building in person relationships with other vendors can translate into having more hands sharing your work online. It is common courtesy for vendors to mention other people on their team – a win-win for everyone as you can gain more followers through this digital cross-pollination.
The more efficiently you work with other vendors, the greater the chance that you will be able to grow your brand and increase your revenue.
Sandy Hammer is the co-founder of AllSeated, a free collaborative event planning platform that helps planners, venues and vendors create a successful event. With offices in New York and San Francisco, AllSeated has tens of thousands of users including The Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons and The Plaza, celebrity event planners Harriette Rose Katz and Arthur Backal, as well as the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.