5 Ways to Broaden Your Vendor Horizons

August 19, 2022 Desiree Homer

New York event planning is not a solo career. In fact, your most memorable experiences are often based on the performance of your chosen vendors and partners for each event. Running your business means always looking for new and revolutionary partnerships that improve your event planning services. And you’ll also need to build strategic relationships along the way, engage in regular networking, and be open to new introductions. Here are a few ways to broaden your vendor horizons and grow your event planning business as a result.

1. Develop a Vendor Wish List

In past events, you might have found yourself working with a particular vendor out of necessity. Maybe it was a timeframe issue that forced your hand in partnering with a DJ, catering service, or New York City venue. And even if those vendors came through for your event with flying colors, you don’t want to be overly reliant on them. Additionally, you don’t want to be in a rushed position of making vendor decisions at the last minute. 

To combat these occurrences, it’s best to be reaching out and making connections with new vendors ongoing. And you can build yourself a wish list ahead of time to help you target which vendor segments you want to explore. Entertainment, New York City venues, catering services, hospitality brands, and florists might all be on your list. Ideally, when the time comes to book one for your client, you’ll already have contacts and relationships to call on for services.

2. Always Be Recruiting

It’s easy to find yourself in a vendor rut, especially if the few you’re working with have been great partners so far. But don’t paint yourself into a corner. Always be on the hunt for new services and locations. Always be asking others about their experiences. And don’t presume you only have to do business with those you currently have on your roster. Every event you plan will be different, requiring unique settings and elements. The broader your vendor horizons are, the more suited you’ll be to meet those unique event requirements.

3. Be Transparent with Vendors About What You Need

When you do work with new caterers, DJs, or venues, be open and fully transparent about your event strategy and needs. They will want to do the best job for you. But they’ll fall short if they’re unable to understand your priorities or preferences. Communication ongoing and problem-solving together will ensure you both complement each other to benefit the event at hand.

4. Give Referrals As Frequently As You Ask for Them

As you’re looking for and meeting new potential vendors, be liberal about helping them as much as you’re hoping they’ll help you. Be good to them and stay vigilant about referring good work when you experience it. Strategic relationships are built on trust and reciprocity. Be a giver as much as you are a taker, and you’ll find more and more services will be lining up to work with your event planning business.

5. Come to The Event Planner Expo 2022

If you really want to broaden your vendor horizons and make new connections, you have to come to The Event Planner Expo 2022 this October. It’s the biggest events industry conference of the year, with thousands of the biggest names, brands, and influencers planning to attend. Meet florists, catering services, venue representatives, marketing directors, hospitality managers, and corporate decision-makers over three full days of networking. Walk away with more vendor contacts than ever before, along with insights and keynote speaker advice your business needs to finish out this year strong!

Broaden your vendor horizons and watch your New York event planning business soar! And get your team tickets now for The Event Planner Expo 2022 and the 10-Year Anniversary Celebration. You can’t afford to miss it!

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