How to Interview a Vendor

By Michelle Ecker on August 15th, 2016

The New York Institute of Art and Design offers an online event planning course and because we do, we like to provide free tips for event planners. Enjoy!

How to Interview a Vendor

If you want to start an event planning business in your area, one of the most important things you’ll need to do is begin establishing relationships with local vendors. Keep in mind; these are connections that you will likely maintain throughout your entire career. Once you develop a consistent, reliable rapport with a great caterer or florist for example, you will find your event planning dynamic grows much more predictable from client to client as details may change but providers and corresponding routines can remain relatively constant.

Getting started, begin by calling a vendor and telling them that you’re new to the event-planning industry and in the process of gathering resources. Then, try to arrange a visit said vendor’s place of business. In doing so, you’ll be able to get a much better idea of how efficiently their business is being operated.

Bring your note-taking tools, either old school pen and paper or an electronic note-taking solution, and write down anything you notice and want to follow-up about.

If you’re unsure about the kind of things you should be considering, here are some of the questions you should probably ask each vendor during an initial interview.

  • Why did you get into this business?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • How many events over 100 people have you worked on?
  • What is your specialty?
  • What is your contract policy?

Once you start working with vendors you can trust, you’ll find the entire process of planning a variety of events becomes one you’re much more comfortable with, as you’ll know what to expect when working with someone repeatedly moving forward.

Want to learn more? Learn how to become an event planner with NYIAD’s online event planning courses. Request your free course catalog today!


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