If you want something done right, do it yourself. Wrong.
If you want something done right, hire the right supplier.
Events are very complex projects, involving several phases and tasks.
Because of this, a smart event organiser knows how fundamental it is to delegate duties to third parties. One of the most common mistakes one can do when organising an event is, in fact, thinking that they can do it all alone.
Picture this: you are in charge of organising a product launch.
On your hands you have the event planning, organisation, promotion, hosting, and closing off.
You hired an empty venue, as it’s perfect for the purpose. Now, are you really going to waste precious time building those cute Pinterest pallet sofas? Or prepare those 1500 canapes for your guests? Or improvise a sound system with your Alexa speaker?
… Not a good idea.
Event suppliers are professionals specialising in unique event services. They are there for you, event organisers, to use them.
And in this article, I’ll list down for you 5 simple steps (+ bonus tip) to follow in order to find your perfect event supplier match.
1. KNOW WHAT YOU NEED
First and foremost, you must understand exactly what event service do you need.
The 3 common denominators you’ll find in 99% of events are usually catering, seating arrangements, staff and audio-visual. Depending on the event nature, location and timings, you will also need decorations, entertainment, security, outdoor structures, vehicles, and so on.
The key is to develop a simple yet comprehensive event master plan, that will answer all your questions. Once you understand your requirements you can start moving forward and look for your perfect supplier.
2. ASK FOR MULTIPLE QUOTES
Another great practice to follow when looking for the best supplier is comparing multiple quotes.
Some venues work with preferred suppliers: these professionals are normally based onsite or get called in on a per-job basis, they know the event space upside down and work well with the event team onsite. However, there is no harm in looking into other options. In fact, why not?
Let’s assume you are keen on hiring a specific event supplier: by comparing their quote with others you’ll understand if they’re really giving you the best value for money. Or if perhaps they are getting a bit too cosy and quietly increasing their prices, hoping you don’t end up comparing them with others.
Of course, some suppliers will be more expensive than others, however, this might be justified by the difference in service, quality, certifications, skills, and demand.
Make sure you request a thorough price breakdown, as you really don’t want to find unexpected fees at the end of the event.
3. GET TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE GOING TO WORK WITH
Most of the time, your first point of contact when reaching out to the supplier will be the salesperson. You’ll talk to them over the phone, via email or on a smart chatbox built into their website. They’ll take your details, full enquiry and will come back to you instantly or within a few hours with a full proposal. They might also talk to you through the company values and general company information.
At first glance the information received might seem sufficient: you know the company and sales rep. name, you received the quote… the ball’s in your court now, right? Not completely.
Consider a face-to-face meeting with the salesperson and the professional that will be present on the day of the event. You must know in advance who are you going to work with. There is almost nothing worse than being sold a great service, and then find out that the person you’ll actually be working with on the day is not meeting your expectations.
It’s all about building strong relationships: working with people you really get along with makes such a great difference.
4. ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
This is your chance to interview your potential supplier with important questions.
Another very common mistake that people make when selecting a supplier is: being ashamed of asking too many questions. Big mistake!
As we mentioned previously, events are very complex projects and when you are selecting your supplier you are giving them your trust. You are leaving a great responsibility in their hands, so there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking them questions.
Here below some questions you can ask:
- Are they available on your selected event date?
- Ask them to guide you through their description of service.
- Can they provide referrals? Who are their past clients?
- What kind of events have they been organising in the past?
- Do they own all their equipment? If not what % do they own?
- Is the service you require something they actually specialise in?
- Do they have any certification? Accredited certification?
- Do they have insurance?
- Are they licensed?
Don’t forget: make sure you put down in a nice email all you have discussed. Spoken words fly away, written words remain, a motto created by the Romans and so incredibly modern and true.
5. IT’S ALL ABOUT TRUST AND STRONG PARTNERSHIP
The moral of the story is: when you find the perfect supplier you find a partner, a friend.
You should be able to build a trusting, long relationship with them.
If you love the way they work, then they’ll always be your go-to person when organising an event.
Like in all relationships, keep the communication open: do you like them but you find their final price too expensive? Try to adjust your costs first and then leave some room for negotiation.
A decent supplier keen to work with you will certainly show flexibility and do their best to accommodate your requests.
Don’t underestimate the power of a great supplier.
Picture this: the event is just a few hours away and your guest speaker realised he needs an additional microphone. Who you gonna call? Your supplier!
6. BONUS TIP: WHERE TO FIND THE RIGHT EVENT SUPPLIER IN LONDON
There are so many suppliers in London. In fact, even a simple Google research to find your best match can turn into a real nightmare.
Seek Ldn was born specifically for this purpose, to help event organisers find all their need for their event in one place.
It’s very easy to navigate on Seek Ldn: search by category, location or event service and then narrow down your research using the smart filters available. Send direct messages to the suppliers you are interested in, and sign up for free to create your wish list and leave reviews.
Only reputable businesses get listed on Seek Ldn, with references and positive online presence. Sign up today and start looking for your next perfect supplier.
I hope this brief article will help you understand how important it is to involve the right supplier in your event. Find out what your needs are, ask the right questions, compare multiple quotes and come to know your suppliers. The process will require some time and attention, but it will be totally worth it.
After all, who finds the perfect supplier, finds a treasure!