Teamwork makes the dream work—isn’t that what they say?
When it comes to events, vendor collaboration—aka teamwork—is everything. From the planning process to the day of event execution, to increasing brand awareness and booking more business, collaborating with vendors is the key to making it all possible.
Nurturing an ongoing relationship with your vendors can be advantageous and valuable beyond what event pros initially think. While event pros always work together in some capacity, taking those relationships a step further could mean better business and communication for everyone involved, including clients—a common goal shared by all event professionals.
Here are five reasons why it’s important to build deeper relationships with your vendors, as well as the best ways to collaborate.
Double The Knowledge
Two heads are better than one! When you have two event pros working together, you double the knowledge, which assists in so many areas of planning an event.
On a creative level, combining forces brings more ideas to the table. Working with vendors who offer different inventory or complementary services allows you to brainstorm (and even surprise yourselves with what you come up with!), likely exceeding client expectations when bringing them the event vision.
The more information you can gather from your network of vendors, the better equipped you are to help clients in the long run.
Widen The Selection
Collaborating more closely with your vendors will also offer clients a wider selection of inventory. For example, if you are working with a client who is looking for custom or inspirational linens they saw on Pinterest, having quick access to your vendor colleagues can help you find designs that meet the needs of clients. Rather than having to tell a client you don’t have what they are looking for, it’s easy to reach out to your network and collaborate to widen your offerings and make the client happy.
Scheduling client meetings at each other’s warehouses or showrooms can also widen your offerings. It's also a great way to show sample setups together and sell your products and services. Clients make decisions best when they can visualize; seeing a florist set up a beautiful centerpiece on top of the rental company’s tabletop decor shows the client how the look comes together.
Excel in Customer Success
Working with other vendors automatically upgrades your company’s customer service. The knowledge you offer goes deeper and the experience broadens because you can easily work with other vendors to complete a client’s vision. When you build strong vendor relationships, it’s easy to send texts and make quick phone calls to figure out table layouts with venues, get counts for plates from a caterer, and learn more about the florals from the florist.
Clients will not only be impressed with your relationships, but the ease of communication and knowledge you bring as a network can only improve your company’s reputation for excellent customer support.
Better Flow For Event Communication
When you have a good relationship with your vendors, communication flows easily throughout planning, which leads to a seamless day of the event setup, execution, and breakdown.
Digital tools allow for online collaboration, which makes it easier than ever before to work together. For example, working with a digital floorplan during the planning process allows each company to communicate the event layout as well as each vendor’s setup needs and details all in one place. A collaborative timeline is useful as well, so that all vendors are aware and on the same page, ensuring a smooth process for their operations teams.
Communicating all the logistics behind the scenes throughout planning allows you to arrive with confidence on the day of the event. One less thing to worry about!
Stronger Social Media Presence
Building relationships today means using social media as a way to keep the lines of communication open and conversations constantly going. Collaborating with vendors expands your network which can also expand your social media presence. You will want to tag all vendors involved in an event in the images you share on social media. This gives credit where credit is due and allows each vendor to then share your post to their own platforms too. When clients research your company on social media (because hey, we know that’s what they do before hiring a new vendor these days!), they will see very clearly that you work with the other vendors, which automatically gives you more credibility.
When trying to build a stronger social media presence, interaction is an important part of this strategy. Engage with content and leave comments on other vendors’ posts, even if those posts don’t include your work—supporting each other is what counts.
Building deeper relationships with vendors should be part of all business strategies. Collaboration is an important component in not only connecting with your network but helping to grow the business and enhance the client experience.
Heather Rouffe is the Managing Partner and Director of Sales of Atlas Event Rental, a full-service event rental industry serving the Southern Florida market for over 30 years. Named one of the top 30 rental companies in the US by Special Events Magazine, Atlas provides high-quality merchandise and unparalleled customer service to each and every customer.