One of the main principles of effective event management is orienting the company’s activities towards mutually beneficial partnerships with suppliers. Do you want to know how to get vendors to come to your event and stick around longer? Let’s dive in to find out!
Why are good relationships with suppliers important for events?
When it comes to relationships with suppliers, stability and mutual respect are very important. This will mean receiving a high-quality product or service, meeting delivery times, shortening the time it takes to refine an existing product or service, participating in their design, etc. The availability of a large number of good suppliers provides you with a choice and a low-cost contract. These are the major objectives for successful event organisation.
Types of event vendors
To build relationships with your vendors on a long-term basis, you must clearly understand who you need frequently and what you need in high quantities. Here are the key types of vendors that event organisers usually hire, along with the places you can find them:
1) Photographer, videographer
2) Decorator, stationary designer, florist
3) Caterer, bartender, chocolatier, shop owner
4) Trucks, transport, logistics
Basically, great event planners should have a strong network of vendors for any occasion.
Principles of building relationships with your vendors
In a strategic business relationship, your vendors will live up to the following five standards and behaviours. Keep your vendors happy by sticking to the following principles:
Problem-solving orientation: A good vendor invests in learning your business drivers and challenges. It will focus not just on its own needs but also understands and respects your event customers’ requirements.
Value optimisation: Suppliers deliver excellent services at world-class prices. The vendor’s offering should be competitive on every level.
Reasonable flexibility: Vendors should accept fair and reasonable terms. This is a true challenge for many vendors, but it’s an absolute must to establish a strategic relationship.
Risk sharing: Risk sharing and accountability, including some reasonable financial accountability for concrete results, are what vendors must agree to and ensure.
Trust: Your vendors should be willing to discuss difficult issues and engage in open communication. They should hear the customers’ “voice” and pay attention!
The interactions based on these principles will be productive in the long run.
10 ways to attract vendors to come to your event and keep them happy
Vendors are at your event for one reason: to sell their products. Remember that all you need from your vendors are products that you can ship at a profit. To keep them coming, you should provide them with mutual benefits. Here are some ideas for what you can do:
Help your vendors sell more.
Meet your vendors’ objectives when marketing to vendors. Find the appropriate point of mutual interest.
Boost brand awareness for your vendors.
Brand recognition is a key feature on the road to brand awareness. In order to support your brand, support your vendors’ brands too, and you will gradually become more recognisable to a broader audience.
Drive customer loyalty for your vendors.
To help improve customer experience and retention, as well as long-term and sustainable relationships with partners and suppliers, increase your customer loyalty to their products.
Find small and thoughtful ways to make your vendors feel special because they have been working hard.
Follow them on social media and help to distribute their content in order to help them improve their reach and other marketing metrics.
Apply collaborative and supportive communication during any negotiations with your vendors. It’s the polite thing to do and will help you maintain a spotless reputation.
Do them favours.
Doing favours means doing something to help or better another, so feel free to help your vendors to get helped in return!
Ask for referrals.
Whether directly or indirectly, ask for referrals from your vendors. Recognise and try to thank all of your referral sources.
Pay up front.
As they say, “No money, no honey.” It’s always nice to get paid up front so they can start working on the orders, fully motivated and well supplied.
Things to avoid
When you calculate how much company vendors cost to the customer, it is sometimes unnecessarily expensive. The number of employees who place and track orders, the workload of documents, the number of possible errors…all of this seems to increase with an increase in existing suppliers. Nevertheless, avoid saving on vendor services on the assumption that you will cope with all event organisation aspects on your own. You get what you pay for!
Also, do not work to attract event vendors or do business with those vendors who do not match your business relationship principles and cannot meet your established criteria.
Where & how to look for vendors
To help you get vendors to come to your event and forge great relationships with suppliers, here is a list of places you can find them:
- Official manufacturer webpages
- Online trade directories
- Online forums
- Trade shows
- Trade journals/magazines
- Phone directory
- Distributor labels
- Gift floral arrangements
- Word of mouth from your existing suppliers
- Word of mouth from your partners or competitors (if that’s possible)
This means that you must be talking to the suppliers you currently have as well as partners, other retailers in the industry, your own customers, their friends, etc.
Normally, there are eight common supplier selection criteria, in no particular order:
- Quality and safety
- Social responsibility
- Convenience and simplicity
These criteria will always somehow resemble your relationship principles that you should stick to in order to attract event suppliers.
Tips on how to choose the right vendors
If you already know what you want to get from your vendors and how to attract vendors to your event, here are some tips for finding the right wholesale distributor for your event business.
- Understand your industry’s distribution channels.
- Try the manufacturer first.
- Have a productive first contact or meeting with a wholesale supplier.
- Try searching for retailers/wholesalers on Google.
- Look for lots on eBay.
- Don’t be afraid of trial and error.
Follow appropriate business principles, etiquette and formats for each type of communication to get vendors for an event, succeed with event organisation, and keep your vendors happy.
A long-term relationship with a supplier allows the customer to optimise funds and resources since there is no need to renegotiate, retrain personnel, or increase staff. We manage to achieve these long-term partnerships with a team of florists, designers, and decorators in love with their work. Being able to attract vendors to events means guaranteeing an array of back-up plans for any unexpected situations at your event. Need some advice? Feel free to get in touch with us and find out how to form stronger relationships with your vendors.
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