Managing events is now among the top 10 most stressful jobs you can do but you can reduce your stress by simply picking event partners and event suppliers you can trust.

For event managers, selecting the right event partners and suppliers is a critical decision. Unfortunately, many inexperienced event co-ordinators don’t take the time to assess their potential supplier and often this can be their downfall.

Make sure you take your time when you are deciding who will help supply and support the event. Spending a few extra hours in the event planning phase to evaluating your potential events suppliers will save you pain and expense.

Some of the considerations you need to evaluate are the same as the elements of the project management diamond: scope, time, cost and quality.

In terms of your potential suppliers you need to assess whether:

Scope – Do they have the scope to deliver what you want? For example, most event merchandise suppliers have access to wide range of products for you to choose from. But is this good enough? No. Anybody can search the internet for sites that sell cheap merchandise.  The supplier must have an existing relationship with the manufacturer or they must manufacture the product themselves. This will reduce your risk exposure.

Time – Can they deliver the products on time? They need to be able to deliver the products on time. Good suppliers will provide you with statistics on their delivery times and customer satisfaction rates. You should also check their testimonials.

Cost – Are they cost competitive? These days most major event merchandise suppliers list their prices on the internet. As a result, it is pretty easy to determine whether or not your potential suppliers are price competitive or not. However, one thing to consider is whether they offer free design services and unlimited re-proofing?  Some companies charge for these services.

Quality – Are the products they supply meet your quality requirements and what is their customer service like? Are they an existing supplier who already has your artwork? Can they provide samples to you?

Another factor you should consider is reliability. A solid reputation is generally a good indicator of this. You can research reviews, feedback, references or testimonials, and company credit checks. Contact several different suppliers to decide on the most suitable for your business.

Product quality, price, availability, reliability and customer service are all important factors in identifying a good supplier.   But perhaps most important of all, do they want to work with you? We’ve all had experiences where it feels as though we are dealing with a supplier who is disinterested, treat you like a number or would rather be doing something else. Gauge potential the suppliers’ willingness to work with you. Do they want to help grow your business, establish a long-term relationship with you and continue selling more products to you? The suppliers who do want to work with you will generally go the extra mile to ensure you are satisfied.