In my humble opinion and with the number of events that I have had the privilege to plan, event planning really is about relationship building. There are actually two sides to this relationship building – client facing and vendor or supplier facing. The degree of the relationships vary between the two sets of group and the best way I can describe it is as follows.
On the client facing side of event planning I liken it to dating. The relationship starts with the courting, trying to find out as much as I can about the client and their quirks, wants, vision. My goal is to learn as much as I can about them so that I can plan out an event that is spectacular and meets all their needs. The hope of course once i have delivered and we have parted ways is that somewhere down the line we hopefully go on a second date when they call me back to plan another event for them. Some of these dates turn into steady long-term relationships, however, most fizzle away with the occasional note passed back and forth via marketing emails.
Alternatively, on the vendor or supplier facing side of event planning these relationships are more long-term and steady. Once you have found the right set of vendors in your portfolio you forge a concrete relationship and some of these go from going steady to a full blown marriage proposal. You come to rely on those relationships to come through for you both in good and trying times. Some of these suppliers become multifaceted as they provide services in a number of areas from limos, flowers, catering and other areas of event planning. Placing your trust in one supplier has both it’s advantages and dis-advantages. I will highlight them and make my recommendations at the end of the article.
Having a one-stop shop for all your event planning needs allows:
- Ease of coordination: It certainly makes it easy when you need to time the delivery of supplies for an event. Logistically, once you have set a schedule up with your supplier all you have to do is sit back and watch the magic happen.
- Economies of scale: having you source all of the components from one vendor allows for economies of scale and better discounts.
- Long-term relationship: A vendor who knows you have a strong clientele will go above and beyond to ensure your requests are met.
On the flip side having all your eggs in one basket could:
- Reduced creativity: A variety of vendors who regularly compete for your clients business ensures that you are receiving ideas that are current and hip. You also look like a super-star in front of your clients.
- Higher probability of failure: when things are clicking with an event you of course have nothing to worry about. However, when that one vendor you depend upon for all your needs fails to deliver you are definitely up the creek. When you have diversified your vendor base for an event, if one of them does not deliver to your expectations, you do not have a complete failure of an event.
- Reduced Competition: capitalism at its best is when vendors are competing for your business. They go above and beyond and provide you with the best service and price. You potentially lose out where vendors know you won’t go elsewhere.
Personally, I am not a fan of a single source vendor. Although, it requires more coordination, effort and planning, I believe that’s why your client hired you. To not only provide you with the best service but also to help them get the best price.
Contact me if you have any questions.