how to choose the best – WAU
Events are an important part of a Marketing strategy. After all, they bring a unique opportunity for the customer to have closer, direct and personal contact with the company. A good relationship work at events can build a very positive image for the brand. However, to obtain these excellent results, it is necessary to promote […]
Events are an important part of a Marketing strategy. After all, they bring a unique opportunity for the customer to have closer, direct and personal contact with the company. A good relationship work at events can build a very positive image for the brand.
However, to obtain these excellent results, it is necessary to promote an excellent event. And the success of this action depends, in large part, on the event suppliers you choose to work with.
In this article, we’ll help you find and hire the best suppliers. Want to check out our tips? So, good reading!
What to do to hire the best supplier
Well, as always, it’s worth starting with a little concept. So, answer that question: what are the characteristics of the best event suppliers?
Some aspects may be subjective, but we would all agree with that short list.
- Punctuality and quality in delivery
- Ease of communication
- Willingness and flexibility to understand your needs
The factor punctuality it’s easy to understand. You cannot take the risk that the time for the event will come, and something important is missing or unsatisfactory. An event is a single shot: it either works, or it doesn’t. It is not possible to correct errors the next day.
The factor ease of communication it is more related to your tranquility. You will not want to work with a supplier who is never available, does not answer your calls, takes days to answer emails.
Finally, disposition and flexibility are the big differentials. Events involve highly customized demands. A supplier who cannot adapt can make a delivery that does not fit the marketing objectives of your event.
You can also include in your list other criteria that you consider indispensable to work with a supplier.
Now, you already know exactly what you are looking for for your event. So how do you find it?
We can divide this process into three steps: research, comparison and negotiation.
The stage of search it consists in discovering suppliers and contacting each one, asking for information and quotes.
This is the time to collect informationso ask everything – even if it doesn’t seem relevant. If you wait until later, you will make decisions with a greater chance of error.
A good tip is to create a script. In addition to ensuring that you won’t forget any questions, this practice also saves you a lot of time in exchanging emails and phone calls.
The stage of Comparation it is the moment when you put the information collected with each supplier side by side. The intention is to filter out those that are incompatible with your criteria.
To facilitate this comparison, you can create a spreadsheet. In each column, a supplier; on each line, the supplier’s response to a question in your script. You can even save this spreadsheet as a reference for future events. This way, you will not need to start the search step “from scratch” again.
It is important to note that you will probably not reach the end of the comparison stage with a winner. Instead, there will be two or three suppliers that fit your main criteria well.
It is then that the negotiation. It can be a negotiation of prices, terms, or the product or service itself.
Since you have information about more than one supplier, you can use this to your advantage. The idea is to get a supplier cover the offer of others. Thus, you will arrive at the end of the process, the best possible proposal.
As you have seen, the process of choosing event suppliers is simple. Three steps are enough. However, it is necessary to take a series of care not to fall into any trap.
The first care is to look for references, that is, real opinions and testimonies.
Do you know any company that has already hired this supplier? Even if not, it is still possible to ask the supplier itself to indicate previous customers.
Another option is to search reviews on the internet (for example, on Claim Here or on the supplier’s Facebook page).
Remember that a beautiful website is not the definitive proof of competence (although it is a good sign). Therefore, do not hire a supplier without first checking your historic of work.
The second caution concerns price.
The Marketing sector faces a challenge: do amazing actions with a limited budget. In the case of an event, it is no different.
Therefore, you must be aware of the balance in the supplier’s proposal. Prices far below the market may indicate inferior quality; at the same time, hiring the most expensive supplier does not guarantee a good value for your investment.
So it is worth reinforcing. Create one criteria list before choosing your suppliers. And price cannot be the only item on that list.
The third care is to always work with a contract.
The contract must stipulate the obligations of both sides in the established business relationship. Be sure to check that the document includes all your requirements so that the service can be considered fulfilled.
Be well specific in the contract, regarding prices, terms, quantities and any other relevant characteristic of the product or service that the supplier will provide. Do not leave loopholes for interpretation. Of course, read before signing.
Observation and evaluation
The fourth care is not to stop in choosing the supplier.
Even after choosing, you must closely monitor the work that the supplier is doing. Determine a schedule, paying particular attention to the date of delivery of the product or service. At the end, make a report, evaluating the performance and the relationship with the supplier.
This care with the accompaniment aims not only to the success of your current event, but also to the results of long term. Evaluation, for example, is an essential tool to define whether the supplier will be hired again.
Tips for not making mistakes
To close this article, how about some smart tips, to not make mistakes in the choice of event suppliers? Check out these five recommendations.
Look for suppliers outside your region
With the internet, it is very easy to find suppliers from more distant. This allows you to escape the options of your own city or region. It’s an interesting possibility, especially if your company it is not in a big center.
In addition, when looking for outside suppliers, you have the chance to surprise your customers with an event that offers different elements.
Take a test
We have already said that looking for references is an important care. Whenever possible, it should be complemented by practice tests. In some cases, this is feasible; in others, no.
In the case of simple services, such as food, sound design or decoration, it is possible to “experiment”. If you are requesting, for example, the development of very specific gifts to distribute at the event, you may not have time to see a sample before hiring the service.
Keep a plan B
Do you remember the second step in choosing a supplier? In the comparison step, you filtered out all suppliers to keep two or three good options. Then, in the third step, you used the negotiation to find out the winner.
Well, even after the choice, do not discard the suppliers that survived the second stage filtration. Consider that they are yours plan B.
If the chosen supplier fails, have a contingency plan to trigger another option. You can combine a higher amount, as they will have to complete the same project in a shorter period.
This tip is especially important when it comes to first time that you work with the plan A provider.
Develop a relationship
While it is not good to depend completely on a single supplier, it is also important to develop a relationship with suppliers that have served you well in the past.
The best advantage of this practice is the alignment. The more often you work with a supplier, the more he understands and meets your needs. It is much more practical than having to explain the company’s objectives to a new supplier every time you organize an event.
In addition, there is also the human factor. Frequent contact establishes a greater transparency and trust. This is essential in any business relationship.
The last tip is for the purpose of backing. What to do if the supplier does not meet the agreement?
It is important that the contract (remember it?) Has a compensation clause. Thus, your company is not required to pay for a service that has not been delivered, and can still be compensated for the problems that this failure causes.
It will be necessary to negotiate to include this clause in the contract, since the supplier will bear the burden.
But be careful: if there is excessive reluctance, this may be a sign that the company is unsure about its own ability to successfully attend your event.
So, were these tips useful? Apply them consistently, and you’ll never have to panic again on the eve of a important event. So the success will be guaranteed!
But the process of choosing suppliers for events is only part of the job at organization of marketing events. To learn more about this subject, also read our article on how to do email marketing for events.