Probably for you, one of the biggest challenges when leading a creative event project is how do I pick the right vendor?
How do I know who's good and who's not? What is the best price and value?
These are great questions because there are so many different vendors that do so many different things. You also have to figure out where you are in your budget and decide like -
“Ok, I know that my budget is tight and I'm gonna use this vendor but I may not be happy with the outcome.”
Or it might be a little bit of a rough road and you have to decide what if the stress or inconvenience with working with certain vendors worth the outcome of your project.
So when you really need to pick the best vendor, the process can be a bit overwhelming.
Basically, I think everybody knows the saying that you're only as good as your last job. So if you work on a situation and you have a client that's not happy, they will feel like that they can always find somebody else. So it's important for you as a producer, planner or someone who hires vendors to make sure that you really choose a vendor who has a track record and has been working for a while. You need someone who can really solve problems as they arise.
So what should you do. You have so many things to do as the leader of your project. Spending a lot of time looking through different proposals, vetting different vendors and choosing a vendor is probably not one of them.
Ask for referrals
Colleagues in your field that have worked with vendors you’re looking for is the best source for finding great vendors in a short period of time. Personal endorsements from creatives you admire speak to the experience you can expect with that vendor. Be sure to ask a lot of questions though because projects can be very different.
The venue you’re using may also have vendors they have already worked with in the space and are comfortable working with again.
If you can’t get a referral from a trusted source then your next option is to turn to the internet and review a company's body of work. Many companies have portfolios on their website or on social media. Look at the range of things they can do. Get a feeling for their style and pay attention to how their work makes you feel.
When you want to pick a vendor, you can also utilize a number of different resources like BizBash.
So you now have a few vendors to choose from. How do you narrow it down to one vendor?
I think it's important to make sure that you’re comparing apples to apples as sometimes you'll get proposals that are very different than everybody else. And when it looks too good to be true, it's probably too good to be true.
When in doubt, go with the proposal that makes the most sense for your project management leadership style.
For example, if you're hiring a light company, a sound company and a video company - your cost and number of people on site you have to manage will increase. It may make sense to work with one company that offers all three because you’ll have one point of contact so you don't have to worry about coordinating with multiple emails and phone calls.
There are a lot of different situations we found where in projects in the past that I've worked with clients I feel very comfortable when we're providing all services related to tech and video/lighting.
It really helps from an aesthetic standpoint of view that we were able to control the way everything's installed and we don't have to worry about the fact that we spend a lot of time creating this great beautiful environment and someone comes in the last minute with different colored cables and with different kinds of speakers.
So it's important for a creative standpoint of view. It may also work from a technical standpoint of view as well as for financial standpoint of view. Choose the vendor that makes your life the easiest.
Hopefully that was very helpful. If you have a project that we're working on and you want some guidance where you just wanted to get an idea about something that you're having the works, please feel free to contact us at Levy NYC. We have a very strong and dedicated team that can help you solve your problems and answer your questions. You can reach us at 212-925-4640 or firstname.lastname@example.org.