A successful event or conference usually includes a strong presence from industry-related vendors. Regardless if you’re a small regional organization or a large Fortune 100 company, having resilient vendor relationships can help to sponsor speakers, entertainment, food and beverage and even behind-the-scene services.
Keep In Touch With Vendors
Tom Reid, who works with Subcontract Management Institute reminds us, “You need to make sure all your vendors, and those who interact with them, understand everyone’s roles, so that you can integrate roles and functions easily. You need to make sure everyone melds properly (as they work on a project together.”)
As a result, make an effort to meet with your vendor partners, even if just for coffee or grabbing a quick meal. Share successes and challenges. The time taken to develop rapport can yield to a successful venture and improved relations.
Treat Vendors As Part of Your Team
Share your company’s goals or the function mission with your vendor partners. Make them feel included and feel they are an essential part of your business. With any social media or print marketing, be sure to include the vendor’s logo. Exposure for them can create subtle exposure for your function as well as your organization.
Amaia Stecker, recently named one of Northstar Meeting Group’s Top 25 Influencers of the Meetings Industry, suggests finding ways to promote a vendor’s brand. For example, if the vendor’s business is “aligned with health and wellness, have them sponsor a meditation lounge or morning fitness program.”
Stecker said vendors that like to partner and sponsor events “are looking for opportunities that are experiential, memorable and tailored to them.”
Say Thanks and Show Appreciation
After any event or meeting, be sure to send a quick thank you to vendors. This can be done via email, phone call or even a positive reference on social media as shout out or encouragement for others to use their services.
Managing relationships with vendors is just as important as client relations. Your vendor partners can help grow your business and help produce successful conferences or events.