by Elise Schoening | October 07, 2019

Your event is only as good as your vendors -- the companies that provide food, entertainment, all kinds of materials and other services. Building a positive, open relationship with them can help ensure that your gathering will be successful and memorable.

But it takes more than just a few emails to establish a good vendor relationship. Follow the steps below from Cvent to enhance this important partnership and set your future events up for greater success.

1. Keep in Contact

Make sure to stay in touch with your vendors on a regular basis. This will ensure that deadlines and goals are clearly communicated and any issues are addressed as soon as they crop up.
In addition to routine emails and phone calls, connect with vendors on LinkedIn and meet with repeat vendors in person when possible. If you're traveling to their city for business, suggest meeting them for a cup of coffee or a quick lunch. Putting a face to a name will take the relationship to a new level and help build rapport. It can also help you stand out among their other clients and further motivate the vendor to be particularly responsive to your attendees.

2. Treat Them as Part of the Team

Your vendors are an extension of your team and should be treated as such. Share your company mission and event goals with them, and explain how they can help you achieve these objectives. This will make them feel more involved in your events and drive their desire to deliver.

3. Say Thanks

When vendors deliver what they promised and meet your expectations, take time to thank them appropriately. Acknowledge the hard work of the vendor's staff on-site. Send a follow-up email or call your main contact to reiterate how pleased you were with their work. It will only take a few minutes on your end but could make their day.
For vendors who go above and beyond, give them a shout out on social media and a hearty referral to all who might need their services. If there are any specific employees you worked with closely, take a few minutes to write them a LinkedIn recommendation. This will cement your relationship and push them to keep up the good work in the future.
Managing relationships with vendors is an important part of a meeting professional's job. Treat them with respect and give them ample thanks for their hard work, and you will truly have developed a trusted partner in planning.