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Get to Grips with Event Vendor Management.

Andy Robertson

For any event you should consider vendor suppliers as an additional profit centre that contributes to your overall revenue stream. You are also providing an essential service to customers attending your event from alcohol sales to the provision of food and catering.

Not only will you attract F&B services to your event but there are other opportunities for merchandise sales too, in fact almost anything that can be sold to your captive audience. Once you have your layout plans agreed with the venue you can start planning the availability of pitches based on each vendor’s requirements. It will make sense to place the F&B vendors in a specific area and other sales pitches elsewhere. Figure out how much you will charge based on the pitch size and location.

If you are fortunate to have records form previous events this should form the basis of your vendor target audience to start selling well in advance of the event date. Part of this sales process is matching vendor requirements with the pitch availability. As you approach the event date make sure you are organised and have good processes in place for sales confirmations with agreed fees and requirements and that your invoicing is up to date. Don’t forget the really important, but boring, stuff like Health & Safety and Insurance regulations and requirements are being complied with. This requires an element of coordination between yourself, the vendor and the venue.

In the build up to your event the efficient communication flow between vendors and the venue is paramount. The venue will offer different electrical supply options and in return want to know the identities of the vendors build up staff, delivery staff and pitch manning staff. With multiple vendors the venue will often stipulate a delivery schedule and in return the vendor should provide confirmation of deliveries including vehicle registration numbers.

As the event organiser it is your responsibility to coordinate between vendors and the venue. In some cases you may get lucky and it will be possible for the vendor to discuss requirements and schedules directly with the venue. However, it still pays to have written confirmation of every aspect that you can refer to quickly should there be any last minute changes or questions from any party. When your event starts make sure the staff manning each vendor pitch has appropriate clearance and that passes have been issued. Monitor the situation in real time so that everything runs smoothly.

Are you still managing vendors using spreadsheets and notes written on scraps of paper? Did you know that almost all aspects of vendor management for events can be automated? There is a much more efficient way of managing vendors for events using a purpose built software solution like FestivalPro. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and are performance artists themselves. Using a system like this is going to save you huge amounts of time and make your vendor management run like clockwork.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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