What are preferred suppliers in the event industry?
If you are reading this, chances are that you are in the middle of working out all the details of your event. Whether it’s a wedding, conference or company banquet – usually when a suitable venue has been secured for your chosen date, and the contract is signed, you’re faced with a list of preferred suppliers.
Why do venues have lists of preferred vendors and suppliers? Is there really a difference between recommended, preferred or accredited suppliers in the hospitality industry? Read on to find out.
Why venues have lists of preferred suppliers?
In lieu of a venue’s commitment to delivering an outstanding quality of successful events, venue managers often want to maximise their opportunities and rely only on the best vendors and suppliers. Preferred list of suppliers includes only those event companies that are frequently contracted to work at the given venue.
A venue that has partnered with some of their pre-verified providers of services in the hospitality industry, with each event hosted at the given facility, ensures the production team know their way around the facility; as catering staff, chefs, event planners and even the furniture hire drivers work at the given venue on a regular basis.
Why do you need accredited suppliers?
The purpose of a pre-approved suppliers list is simple; it offers the venue’s clients a reliable, tried and tested way of finding companies that will offer quality products and services for a good price, and they have experience in the venue. It also allows the venue to maintain high standards in the logistics that suppliers are usually briefed on; risk assessments, method statements and legal documents.
Why use preferred suppliers?
From a client’s perfective, whether you are a company agent looking into booking a corporate event, or a couple organising their wedding reception – being able to rely on a list of preferred suppliers and event vendors should give you that extra peace of mind.
Recommended suppliers are often award-winning companies that have been deemed to deliver the best overall value to all types of events hosted at a given venue; based on pricing, timely manner of all works, delivery capabilities, quality of food or goods delivered, ease of placing an order and past performance at the venue.
Accredited suppliers have also exhibited financial stability and have a general liability insurance that covers any lawsuits that result from unattended faulty lighting equipment causing fire or liabilities posed by items when in transit for example.
Benefits of using preferred vendors from a client’s perspective
Venues encourage all clients to utilise their lists of preferred suppliers, however if none of the companies listed tick all the boxes for you, do not hesitate to explain your reasons and ask for more information.
Policies of recommended supplier lists vary between venues – some treat them as recommendations only, while others allow suppliers to deliver services to your event on the grounds of the venue, and some event halls do not allow companies other than their preferred suppliers to be permitted within the hall.
In some cases, event halls will strictly regulate which caterers and furniture hire companies enter the premises – as these are specialist services who require experienced staff and financial insurance – but you will be able to choose any wedding car company, florist or photographer you have set your heart on.
So, is an accredited list of furniture hire suppliers necessary as well?
As a client of the event industry, you may think that a list of accredited suppliers is there just to stop you from using caterers or photographers that are not partnered with the venue, and do not split their share of profits. But this is not the case.
There are plenty of reasons to use a list of accredited suppliers, but what we feel is most important is the maintenance and care of the venue. This is an important factor with every other type of approved list, so why not for some of the most frequent items that are used within a venue – like furniture?
Imagine you are hosting an event in a stunning Grade I listed building, and the furniture company that you’ve hired are completely unknown to you or the venue. Rules and procedures may not be adhered to correctly, which could cause an incident and damage to a piece of history.
With an accredited furniture supplier, you won’t be able to ensure that an accident will never happen, but what you CAN ensure is that rules are followed and accidents are minimised. So why isn’t this the standard everywhere?
In our opinion, furniture should be regulated by the venue in the same way that caterers are; precautions should be taken in order to provide the guest with the very best experience they can get, whilst giving the venue owner peace of mind about who is entering and leaving the premises. We think that becoming an accredited supplier is a lot more than being ‘on the books’; it is a signifier of trust that your venue will be left exactly the way you want it.
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