Choose the right outdoor supplier with our top 8 tips

With so many special offers and bargains to be found, its no wonder we all fall for deals and discounts offered by party suppliers.  There is so much competition amongst all these small companies to try and win your business.  That is why it is so important to understand that choosing the right supplier can be a crucial part of preparing for your event.  Your choice can make or break your event and that is why it is important to choose your suppliers wisely.  Here are a few of our top tips on how to choose the right suppliers for your particular event.

Who are the suppliers?

A list of suppliers is dependant on the event you are holding but these include event organisers, caterers, rental marquee companies, lighting and technicians, security, cleaners, transportation, fencing and decor…. but there is so many more that can be added to this list.  Basically, a supplier is anyone who works behind the scenes to service or provide goods and products for your event.

Tip 1- Find experienced help

The event industry is full of many different start up companies offering you all sorts of wonderful options to make your event great.  But be wary, if you are organising a high profile event and want to ensure that it runs smoothly, it is important to find suppliers that have done large jobs before. That way, you can be sure that they are not being too ambitious and over stretching their capabilities.  You want to be sure that what you get is consistent quality and standard practice from your supplier.  

Bedouin Tents has been operating for over 10 years. We have experienced staff who know what is required to create a concept without compromising safety and security.  We have worked along side many other suppliers; good and professional companies as well as inexperienced and inconsistent suppliers. So we certainly understand what it takes to plan and communicate with clients and with other suppliers to make the event run as smoothly as possible. Whats more, its important to ensure that everything is communicated up front with all obstacles and issues so that there are no nasty surprises on the day.

Tip 2- Pick Suppliers Who Stock Goods Themselves

Many event companies work with other subcontractors to `on-sell’ their wares as a package.  This is common practice in the industry so do not be alarmed.  But its also crucial to make sure that your suppliers can provide the basic resources to service your event.  If your supplier needs to outsource all the work to another contractor, you are at the mercy of this unknown supplier that you have not chosen.  Finding suppliers that are transparent and will provide you with the full details about other subcontractors will allow you to manage the event planning process successfully.

Tip 3- Understand the Business of your Suppliers

There are many small businesses in the industry that make some outrageous claims on what they can do, their abilities and the work they have done. Therefore it is important to do your due diligence on the company. 

Why not go and visit the supplier at their premises to see how they are set up.  They should understand that you need to have complete faith in their capabilities and their skills as you are entrusting them to look after your special event needs.

Tip 4- Hunt around for the best value for money

Whilst it is vital to check a suppliers credibility, its also important to keep an eye on the price.  Do your homework and speak to many competitors as this will give you loads of knowledge and information.  It will also be a great indicator on their experience and what others are offering.  Whats more, its a good bargaining chip!

Make sure that you have a brief about your event and include details about what you need from your supplier, the timing you require and ensure that the suppliers are meeting your needs at the quote provided.  

Choose 3 or more suppliers you like and then pursue quotes and details from them.  You can then compare them to see if you are getting the best value possible without compromising quality.

Tip 5- Read the Terms and Conditions

Its much more fun planning and negotiating with suppliers than it is to read through the conditions and details from the supplier.  The T & Cs outline many of the 'just in case' or ’emergency’ coverage; what they are actually providing; what liabilities they have cover for.  These are all important things to know before you sign up a supplier.

If a work schedule has not been included, ask for one.   A good supplier should have a full schedule of timing and how things will be prepared for the event. This usually includes contact persons on the day, the contractors that will be on site and any other technical details.  These details will enable you to prepare for other suppliers around these times and coordinate with others.

For marquee hires, request some technical diagrams or dimensions so that you can get a clear understanding of what to expect on the day.  Bedouin Tents work with their clients to provide a clear understanding of the dimensions and design of the tent are mapped out before the event. That way, they can understand the requirements and get the job done quickly and efficiently for the client.

Tip 6- Testimonials of other clients

Ask suppliers for references and testimonials so that you can check on their workmanship. Facebook and Instagram pages by the company could also be a good way to see what kind of jobs they have done for other clients.  

These background checks will be a good indicator of how transparent and consistent they have been in their work.  This will also demonstrate the scale of the work they have been involved with in the past.

Tip 7- Check that company is financially stable

The event industry is full of suppliers that come and go so quickly so definitely check up on their lifespan and financial stability. 

Search the company to see if they have been around for some time and continue to operate a well run ship.  This is especially important for large projects, agree on staggered or payment terms in advance and ensure you retain some payment until after the event.

Tip 8- Contingency Plan

Just like other industry practices, a good event supplier will provide you with a contingency plan to cover any last minute issues or changes. Make sure they outline coverage, emergency plans and different scenarios.

For example, when Bedouin Tents set up a marquee on Federation Square for their clients’ events, they made sure that there is available transport to move their tents and poles to location.  Several of the staff completed the compliance requirements and covered any other compliance issues for emergency cover on the day.  They also covered any location and timing requirements that had been stipulated by the client and provided a detailed schedule to outline their plans for setting up the tent on location. 

Therefore, when choosing your event suppliers make sure you research your choice carefully as there are many operators out there.  Some have good work ethics and some are downright shady.  Invest some time and effort into choosing the right suppliers to support you. After all, it is your special event! You deserve the best!

For more tips on how to plan your events, why not check out our other blog articles here.


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