08 Apr S1 E2: How To Choose Vendors
Our advice on choosing vendors:
Choose good ones. – Joe
Choose the appropriate vendor. – Todd
Not everyone does a great job at everything. You don’t need a concert quality AV company to do a basic power point presentation. However, if you are paying half a million dollars for a popular band to perform at a high-profile event, then you need someone who excels at that.
We love AV companies! But we don’t want to be one.
Here are some of our favorites:
In the international market there’s PSAV. They are in a lot of hotels.
TES Productions will do anything and go anywhere.
Cory’s Audio Visual has been around since slide projectors.
How to find quality vendors:
When you walk into an unfamiliar town, how do you find a quality vendor? Step one ask around – start with recommendations. Ask the venue or other vendors who they like and use. Ask about their on site inventory. Why does that matter? That helps us know if there is a chance that a product may not make it to the site.
Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Dallas, Chicago all have some great ones!
Fee range for photographers vary widely. From $150 to $10,000.
What is it you’re looking for?
Personalities are a high consideration not just quality.
Are they easy to direct? Do they take direction well?
Basic Vendor philosophy
Vendors are why we succeed. Without them we would not succeed.
Know your vendor’s strengths and weaknesses
Treat your vendors well. Try to help them succeed.
Consider using a vendor score card.
Communicate to the vendor about what is important to you
Production meetings and Production guides
We maintain a production guide throughout the planning process. (Ask us for an example!)
We invite all the vendors that we can think of that are involved in the event to the production meeting.
Review the production manual with the vendors including timeline, flow of the event, set up, tear down and any other expectations.
Talk to the owner. Joe learned from his dad to start from the top and work your way down. Find out the driving factor if a vendor is having trouble delivering what they promised.
Maintain contact with your vendors. Keep tabs on how their business is doing.
Secret to success – The golden rule of planning:
Always have a backup plan. Think about what happens if someone can’t provide what you asked for? Who else can do it? What are your options?
Understand the capacity of your vendors. Give them small chances to start with and then move on to larger opportunities.
Strive to have a written agreement and quotes ahead of time from all your vendors.
Network vendors with other vendors.
Send thank you notes.
Do Google reviews for your vendors.
We love our vendors!
We are in this together.
See vendors as your top sales representative.
If you’re a vendor with new products or technology, we’d love to hear from you!
Who is the mystery vendor that was contacting us every day about their services?
Sugarwish is a fun event gifting company that will send someone a link that allows them to choose their own candies. Then they ship them in a fun box. Check them out. (And for the record when Todd asked them politely to take him off their email list, they did it kindly and promptly)
Contact us with your questions:
How do we determine how much to charge?