How to Build a Roster of Incredible, Go-To Event Vendors

May 3, 2023 Jessica Stewart

As a New York event planner, your success relies on the abilities, skills, and capabilities of your event vendors. And you know, better than anyone, how hectic an event or conference can be when you have a subpar vendor experience. Today’s planners should be strategic about developing partnerships with their best vendors and event service colleagues. Here’s how you can build a full roster of incredible, go-to event vendors for your event planning business.

Talk to Other Event Planners

To curate your own top-notch roster of event vendors, start by talking to other event professionals and colleagues in your space. Ask them who they love to work with when it comes to event venues, caterers, or florists. And be mindful, too, of who they suggest you avoid. Ideally, the feedback you collect from others will help you create a shortlist of great vendor partners to explore relationships further.

Ask Event Vendors for Their Wishlists

Of course, when you coordinate to bring in an event product or service provider, they’re there to accommodate your needs. But if you want a great working relationship with them, you’ll also need to be mindful of what they want from a partnership with you. Ask new vendors what they prefer, in communication, in event setup processes, or from you in general. And then do your best to give them everything they list, so they can be the best for you.

Be Courteous and Grateful

Don’t be a “planner-zilla” with your event vendors. Event day gets hectic, and everyone’s on point, hustling around and taking care of details. But no one wants to work with anyone who’s barking orders, getting snippy, or demanding unrealistic expectations. Be kind and courteous with your teams of collaborators. Remember that they’re professionals, too. And you’ll find that even during the more stressful event planning situations, working together is the best way forward.

Strategic Relationships Are Built on Trust

If you really want an incredible roster of go-to event vendors to call on for every conference, corporate event, or social celebration you plan, build strategic relationships with them based on trust. Trust they’ll know how to handle their aspects of the job. Trust they’ll communicate when they need you. And trust they’ll want each event to be great - just as much as you do. In return, be trustworthy by keeping your word and delivering what you promise. 

You can’t host incredible events without an incredible team of event vendors at your side. Consider these insights to improve and enhance your vendor relationships. And for more advice and opportunities for new partnerships, make sure you get to The Event Planner Expo 2023!

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