Vendor Selection

So far this week, I have received three messages from vendors introducing themselves and hoping to be a part of our clients’ events. Not that I want to open up the floodgates, but I have to say that I don’t mind the messages! Meeting new vendors is an important part of our Vendor Selection and Coordination service. The events landscape is constantly in flux with vendors going in and out of business, new trends gaining traction and old trends returning once again (hello, photobooths!).

Vendor selection can be a haphazard process. Clients may come to us with vendors in mind or that they have heard about, then it’s our job to vet them by sharing details of the event and collecting the details on what they provide. A vendor isn’t truly confirmed until their contract is reviewed. There is often something in the small print that surprises us or the client. More on that in my next post: Vendor Contracts.

If the client doesn’t have a preferred vendor, we often will propose our favorite in the field and gauge the client’s interest in that provider’s services and pricing. If they are not overcome with excitement, we go to our vendors contact list (500+ strong!) for alternatives.
Vendor Selection Events with Ginger & Co.

And of course there’s occasionally a one-off event need that requires starting our research completely from scratch, such as a laser light show last year. In those cases, we reach out to other vendors for their recommendations, check BizBash for their comprehensive vendors list, and comb the internet for as many reputable options as we can find before placing calls to dig for more information about the vendor.

Our primary initial questions for the vendor are pricing, availability and confirmation of the services they provide based on our pre-research. We share details about the event to ensure the needs fit their services.

Then we compile a comparison of the vendors’ details in an easy-to-read format for the client and make our recommendation. Ultimately it is up to the client to select the vendor they prefer, knowing that it’s not a done deal until we bring them a negotiated contract that is to their satisfaction.

In addition to my next post on vendor contracts, stay tuned for the team’s upcoming posts on our favorite vendors – hopefully, they’ll become yours too!

About Ginger Berman

As President of Events with Ginger & Co., Ginger oversees the planning of 15-20 events each year, including the five simultaneous Light The Night Walks for the NJ chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, as well as conferences and gala dinners for various other nonprofit organizations and corporate and professional services firms.Previously, as Special Projects Manager/Consultant to the co-founders of the organization Autism Speaks, she designed and executed events from concept to completion, ensuring they went off without a hitch and met their awareness-building and fundraising potential. High-profile events included the first chefs’ tasting in NYC to offer table-side cooking to over 370 people, which raised over $1.1 million, and the $1.8 million Concert for Autism Speaks featuring Lionel Richie.Prior to joining Autism Speaks, Ginger created the position of Marketing Manager, Conference and Event Planning at the New York headquarters office of White & Case, one of the largest and most prestigious law firms in the world. She managed client-facing retreats, educational seminars and other special events for the firm. In 2007, she returned to the firm as a consultant, organizing six days of events in three months time, including registration, hotel, airport transfers, two receptions, an all-day meeting and a black tie dinner dance for more than 550 people.Ginger earned her B.S., magna cum laude, in Mass Communications from Towson University and also attended American University of Rome in Italy. She lives in Westfield, NJ with her husband and son.

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