Matt Woodburn and Sarah Neukom are co-founders of ESP Presents, a boutique, purpose-driven event company based in Chicago. Learn more at esppresents.com
5 Tips for Working Better With Vendors
Event production is an incredibly diverse and creative field, bringing together many moving parts, each with their own requirements and needs. From efficiency and organization to keeping a cool head under pressure and expertly managing time, the list of skills needed to produce a seamless event — no matter how big or small — is long. At the core, it’s all about respect, Here are some of our top tips on how to work smarter with vendors to deliver the best events possible.
Be kind to everyone.
This one is pretty self explanatory, but something that is so important. Treat others the way you’d expect to be treated, no questions asked.
Understand their job.
When you are working with multiple vendors on an event, it’s important to take the time to ask important questions and understand what each of them needs to be successful. Offer support wherever it’s needed so everyone feels like they are set up for success.
Go the extra mile.
It’s the small things and details that matter most. It goes a long way to treat vendors as part of your team. For example, we make sure everyone is fed — AV techs don’t often get a break, so making sure they get lunch is important. We aim to leave the venue cleaner than we found it. Being in the business of hospitality, we should all extend courtesy not only to event attendees, but also the people working hard behind the scenes.
Things move very fast in our industry and, with so many moving parts, items can fall through the cracks. Overcommunicate with vendors and make sure they have detailed event briefs in advance of the event. This ensures everyone feels confident, knowledgeable and has their game face on come event time.
Say thank you.
This might be the most important one. Verbally thanking people throughout the day is so important, but we’ve also made it a tradition in our company that after every event, we send handwritten thank-you notes from our entire team to each vendor. It’s a small gesture that goes a long way.