• Tips From a Pro: How to Get Referrals

    What’s the best way to start your search for dependable vendors?

     
    FROM THE Summer 2018 ISSUE
     

Creating a successful event takes a team of players who have your best interests at heart. You can search through hundreds of online vendors looking for event services and you still may not know where to begin. 

Google and other internet search engines are not the best resource for building an event team. Those online options can be broad, vague and not always on target.

So, where do you start? Referrals!

Trusted merchants work with talented vendors and are always happy to help get you started. When our team receives an event planning inquiry, we work to put together the best support team for the client. If there’s something we do not provide, we offer vendor recommendations.

Our referrals are competent and trusted professionals who we have worked with numerous times. We know their capabilities and are confident in their services and products.

The next step is to determine your “must haves” and your “expectations.” Have you chosen a venue? Does the venue provide catering or do you need to secure a food vendor? Do you need any rentals, including tables, chairs, linen, and other furnishings? What about décor, entertainment, photography, and audio-visual requirements?

Finally, have you thought about custom items, including napkins and souvenirs, personal touches, interactive activities and valet parking?

Before reaching out to a prospective vendor, it’s important to have a clear list of your needs as well as a realistic budget. The vendor can offer reasonable recommendations and create a proposal that fits within your means. When it comes to your budget, honesty is always the best policy

Hiring an event planner can simplify the planning process and alleviate the worry that often goes along with planning an event. However, if you are arranging an event on your own, take your time and do your research. Meet with as many people as you can, making sure that you are comfortable on all levels.

Once your crew is in place, it is important to coordinate all players. Share your vision, establish a time line, and assign responsibilities and tasks. Creating the right team for your event will make the planning process stress-free and produce an enjoyable event.

Remember, you hired a team of experienced professionals. Let them shine!

KEEP THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS IN MIND WHEN CHOOSING YOUR TEAM:

» Can they work within your budget?
» Do you connect with them on a personal level?
» Are they responsive to your calls and emails?
» Do they have the resources and capabilities to achieve your vision? 

 

Shannon McConnell is senior event director with Star Trax Events in Ferndale (shannon@startrax.com)

Successful planners use a variety of technology tools to help them coordinate their complicated meetings and events. Here’s how several of them keep everything on track.