Vendor Relationships and Responsiveness

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Written by Geoff Woliner

Geoff Woliner is an Arlington, VA-based event emcee and founder of Winning Wit, LLC, a company which helps people write and deliver the best presentations of their lives through the application of stand-up comedy techniques.

March 10, 2016

Spring is upon us! Well, almost. With 2016 well underway, people have returned from the long mental checkout of the holidays and are fully back in the swing of things. That means events, events, and more events. The routine of once-again refreshing the vendor list and inserting photographer tab A into event slot B is back up and running.

What makes a trusted planner is the track record of great events they’ve put on, but dig deeper, and it’s the vendors who are the parts who create the sum. People remember specifics from events…the decor, the food, the music, the knick-knacks, the gaudy outfits, the great speeches. All of these components have someone behind the curtain, and chances are, you’ve used them in a repeat capacity since they’ve been reliable, well-received and on-point.

While most people focus on the vendor’s duty to keep the planner happy so they stay on the vendor list, the responsibility of the planner to keep the vendor happy is very much underestimated. Dig deeper into the vendor-planner relationship and a specific trouble point crops up over and over again – responsiveness.

Contact GCG BannerToo often, a planner doesn’t get up to date feedback from a client, and therefore leaves the vendor hanging out to dry. This lack of communication and real-time feedback puts the vendor in a bad place, and makes it difficult for them to commit to an event. In worst cases, this state of limbo forces them to lose out on other jobs as they wait for answers that never show up on time.

Therefore, in order to keep vendors happy and keep your relationships strong  – check in early and often! If the client is being unresponsive, that’s out of your hands, but at least let your vendors have that information. If you lose them, you lose them, but you owe them the professional courtesy of keeping them in the loop – good, bad, or ugly.

Consistent responsiveness is the best way to ensure everyone feels valued and respected, and will ensure your work together continues at a high level for 2016 and beyond.

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