Did you know that your vendors have the power to make or break your event experience? That’s right, a poor-quality vendor can disrupt your entire event flow, while a world-class vendor can enhance your registrant's entire experience. 

Today, in less than five minutes, we’re going to share our five best tips on how to secure excellent vendors for your event. 

Ready to nail down the best vendor for your next event? Let’s go!

Tip 1: Ask Your Venue

Before you spend your weekend scouring the internet for vendors, contact your venue. It’s not uncommon for venues to keep a list of their go-to vendors. 

If the vendors happen to match your budget and wishlist, working with the venue can take a huge load off your logistical heavy lifting!

Tip 2: Experience the Vendor On Your Own

Whenever possible, try to get some first-hand experience with your potential vendors. If you’re planning a conference with taco trucks on the premises, schedule a taco tasting beforehand. 

Check out other events to see which vendors are killing it. Is the photo-booth wildly popular? Snag a business card and strike up a conversation. 

Not only will you leave with snazzy polaroids for your fridge, but you’ll gain a more accurate sense of whether the vendors are a good fit for your event.

Tip 3: Poll Your Audience

As much as we would all love to sample tacos for three consecutive Tuesdays, sometimes the schedule just doesn’t allow it. When in-person meetings are too impractical, referrals are another great way to find excellent, trustworthy vendors.

Ask other event planners, customers, and friends if they have vendors who they know, like, and trust. Get curious about their experiences, and take note of vendors who seem to align with your event goals and audience preferences. 

We also recommend you take it a step further and vet your vendors online through the Better Business Bureau and Yelp reviews.

Tip 4: Create Your Contract 

While contract writing and legal jargon are not exactly exciting, leaving an event with all parties satisfied definitely is exciting. 

Make your details clearly defined, but allow room for negotiation. If your event includes a specialized service, like a session with a Chiropractor, make sure to include insurance and licensing details too. 

Check out this link for sample contracts, and refer to the checklist below.

  • Scope of services - What, exactly, will the vendor be providing?
  • Duration of service - When will the vendor provide these services?
  • Cost and payment schedule - How and when will the vendor be paid?
  • Cancellation and/or termination policies - What happens if either party cancels?

Tip 5: Keep Your Vendors for the Long Haul

After your event, if your vendor turned out to be a smashing success, celebrate and write them a raving review, but don’t stop there! Finding and keeping great vendors is an ongoing process. 

Between events, keep establishing rapport and building your own list of preferred vendors. You’ll thank yourself when your next event rolls around

Here to help you host your most successful event ever!

— The RegFox Team