I'd like to take a closer look at crucial vendors at your event. In particular, your vendor agreements.
In a recent feature, the interconnect between event execution and advertising/marketing was broached. In short, if your marketing is excellent and makes bold promises to event attendees, you need to overdeliver on the event experience! And the only "did you deliver?" opinion that truly counts is that of your event attendee.
One place that has proven chronically problematic for clients has been vendor execution. Which begs the question, "what happens when a vendor fails to execute their services at a reasonable and agreed upon level?"
Let me give you just one example. The cater you hired runs out of food mid-event for an outdoor VIP Chalet. In the words of a VIP ticket holder (heard firsthand), "I paid $250 for this VIP ticket, you promised me food all-day. Now you're giving me a ticket for a single plate of food?! That's not what I paid for!"
Numerous VIP ticket holders expressed the same concerns. The vendor miscalculated the amount of food needed. The client informed the caterer 6 months in advance on attendance numbers.
Vendors probably don't want to have the contingency discussion, or they'll tell you, "the lawyers (legal) won't allow us to change the contract." That's all, hogwash! Like I say to my clients, "you're paying the money, you get to negotiate terms to your satisfaction!" And they have every right to say, "No!"
Today's KEY question ... Are you negotiating contingencies into critical vendor contracts (ticketing, catering, parking, etc.)? And so we're clear, my expectations for vendors is NOT perfection. I'm often a vendor, so I see both sides of the equation.
Negotiate tough and fair! And don't forget the Chester L. Karrass advice: "In business as in life, you don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate." Make sure that for your key vendors there is a clear and reasonable plan in place for when things don't go well or when the vendor fails to execute (runs out of food because of poor planning on their part).
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