Putting together an all-star vendor team is important for every event. The professionals you choose to work with have a greater impact on your event’s success than many realize. Here are five etiquette tips to keep in mind while searching for your perfect vendor team.
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Only reach out to vendors you’re truly considering.
Before you contact a vendor, regardless of which vendor is it (venue, photographer, caterer, music entertainment, etc.), be sure it is a business you are genuinely interested in working with or learning more about. Start off by doing research online and on the professional’s website. Many times most questions are asked by these resources. Additionally, it helps you identify your top choices and which vendors you truly want to pursue.
By reaching out to vendors that you are truly considering, you’ll also be able to better weed through the information you receive. Not only does this save you time, it also simplifies the decision making process.
Come prepared with questions.
Make the most of your meeting with a prospective vendor by putting together a list of questions ahead of time. It is important, when possible, to ask the same questions to each vendor of the same category. Or example, if you are interviewing two or three potential caterers, be sure you ask the same questions so that you can compare their apples-to-apples answers.
This may be one of the bigger ‘rules’ when comes to finding potential vendors for any event. Be clear about our expectations (what you are hoping for) and be upfront about your budget, specifically your budget for their services. This way, the vendor has all the information they need to realistically assess whether they would be a good fit for you.
Respond in a timely manner.
Many times one of the first pieces of information you’ll receive from a prospective vendor is a pricing sheet and a follow-up with a few questions if they don’t have all the information to give you the best answers. Any effort to reply to emails or return calls is always appreciated as it helps maintain a smooth, efficient exchange. If someone asks for information that you don’t have yet, shoot hem a quick email to let them know you’re working on it and will be in touch soon.
If you’ve decided not to hire them, let them know.
In reality, you will not hire every vendor that you reach out to, and that’s okay. If you have decided not to book a vendor, be courteous and let them know. Trust us, we would rather hear ‘no’ tan hear nothing. If a vendor asks you why you didn’t end up hiring them, be honest but polite.