5 Insights for Negotiating with New York Vendors

May 29, 2024 Mario Stewart

As an event planner in New York, negotiating with various vendors is a regular occurrence and necessity. One that, when learned well, can develop close working relationships that span years. Honing such strategic skills can even help you fine-tune your event planning services and maximize event profit. Negotiating tips are a dime a dozen. But today, we’re sharing insights specifically for event professionals as they hire and build working relationships with various event vendors.

1. Research Your New York Vendors Thoroughly

Preparation is key here. You want to ensure you know as much as possible about each vendor you’re pursuing. Knowledge is power in building rapport and ensuring you have a contextual understanding of a vendor’s operating demand and pricing. Understanding the vendor’s interests can also be helpful, as negotiating relationships is a two-way street. Consider utilizing your network to gain an insider perspective of a potential vendor and their operating style.

2. Identify What the Best Alternative Is 

Sometimes, negotiations fall through on either end. Establishing a “best alternative” to any negotiated agreement allows you to install a kind of compass when in the throes of planning an event for a client. It can guide your decision-making process if things go south and enter into negotiations with bolstered confidence. Be a diligent contingency planner with all your vendors - it’s just smart planning.

3. Crystal Clear Communication

Communicating expectations, budget, purpose, and timelines is part of building rapport with a vendor and establishing understanding. Without clear communication, anything between expectations and set-up times can be fumbled tragically. Listen to your event vendors actively during negotiations, avoid ambiguity when discussing details, and consider providing a debriefing summary if negotiations are successful and a partnership begins.

4. Ask, and You Shall Receive

Sometimes, negotiations require a little wiggle room. As a New York Event planner it’s better to have that wiggle room initially than try to make that room later. While we don’t want to be greedy, aiming higher in your initial proposal allows more wiggle room for potential concessions or any possible changes. And don’t be afraid to discuss the potential of working with you for future events, since a partnership with a busy event planner like you is a high-value prospect for NYC event services vendors.

5. Your Vendor Needs to Feel Comfortable Enough to Say ‘No’

Believe it or not, being comfortable enough to say “no” is an easily overlooked tip to successful negotiations. This is an additional layer of rapport that helps deep end that working partnership and builds trust and understanding on both ends. The subtle mindset shift after feeling comfortable enough to say “no” is a great litmus test for how interactions may go in the future.

Find Event Vendors at The Event Planner Expo 2024

The Event Planner Expo 2024 in New York City this October always has a great turnout of exhibitors, vendors, and attendees. Teeming with knowledge and insider secrets, a New York event planner can expect endless networking opportunities. If you’re looking to build new relationships with event services vendors, The Expo is THE place to be!

Showcase your event planning company and unique skillset by signing up as an exhibitor here. Join in on the fun and professional development opportunities across this three-day Expo that you don’t want to miss! Get in on the action on the Tradeshow Floor while space is still available!

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