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Special Events Blog
Heather Jones

Attention, Venues: 4 Tips for Working with Partner Vendors

Here's how smart venues can create a dream team of partner vendors.

Everyone knows that the day of an event is extremely busy, so the better prepared everyone at your venue is beforehand, the better off not only you but all your partner vendors will be.

Being the venue means that a lot of the coordination responsibility falls on you, so you’ll want to make sure that you have a system in place that puts everyone on the same page. Be sure to:

1. Reach out early.
This should really go without saying, but as soon as you receive the vendor list from the client, go ahead and reach out to everyone. Introduce yourself to the people you haven’t worked with before, and say hello to those you have.

Ask for any of the information you may need regarding their business and the event so that you can get it on file as soon as possible.

This is also a great time to send out your Vendor Agreement Policy and Rules of Conduct, so that everyone understands your policies and requirements upfront. It will help answer any questions about arrival times, pickup, insurance and on-site conduct.

2. Remember that communication is key.
As with everything else in your life, having good communication with all the vendors is key to the success of the event.

After you initially reach out to everyone, find out what they best ways are to get in touch with them, and then create a system around this information. This will make it much easier when the time comes to distribute time lines and other materials such as proof of insurance and inventory lists.

Be mindful of their time, just as you would want them to be of yours. 

3. Have a walk-through.
Scheduling a walk-through with any vendors who are not familiar with the property before the day of the event will save you headaches. It gives you an opportunity to put a face to the name, and gives them a chance to see the place and have a better understanding of how everything will look day-of.

We usually schedule this about one to two months prior so that the vendors have time to ask questions, and vice versa.   

4. Stay in touch.
After the event is over, reach back out to everyone and thank them for helping to make it a success.

This is also the perfect time to ask them for feedback. Getting different perspectives from everyone involved on how they felt throughout the process can be invaluable information that will help you improve your services and client experience in the future.

Always remember that the vendors are your partners from beginning to end, and having them as your friends and allies will help grow your reputation among other industry professionals, as well as increase the likelihood of referrals and recommendations.   

Heather Jones is the catering sales director for Wente Vineyards, a family-owned property in Livermore, Calif., that is home to a winery and vineyards, a golf course, restaurant, and a handful of unique facilities for hosting weddings and special events.


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