So your boss just handed you the task of finding a quality vendor to help with your next marketing event. You smile and nod, accepting her request like a good employee, but you're secretly burdened, agonizing over the fact that vendors are not your thing and you want no part in the process.
Have no fear, my friend. We can help. As a major manufacturer of customized pop-up tents and event materials, we know a thing or ten about what it takes to make the process a whole lot smoother for both parties. Follow the steps below and you'll be a vendor expert in no time. We promise.
1. Do your vendor research.
If you want to impress your boss and help your company succeed, finding the right vendor is huge. An A+ vendor should answer the phone at any hour, work with blazing fast speed, and provide tip-top quality. Knowing what you value in a vendor relationship will filter out the long list of available work.
2. Narrow down the event details.
A vendor can't help you if you're not sure what you need from them. Determine, specifically, what your event footprint will look like and what types of materials you'll need to fill it. Do your homework first. Then give your new vendor a call.
3. What are the logistics?
The vendor will need to know everything from the shipping address to the billing information, so make sure you're aware of those numbers before hashing out the final details of the project. Those little details sometimes get overlooked, which results in a whole lot of chaos and stress. Don't do that to yourself!
4. Get your art files ready.
More than likely, you'll need some form of visual branding at your event. Whether you're ordering a tent, a couple banners, or an army of flags, your vendor will need high quality art in order to produce high quality products. We strongly recommend sending vector files, which allow images to be modified without sacrificing quality or resolution. These are most often .ai, .eps or .pdf files.
5. Determine your ‘gotta-have-it-on-this-day' date.
Obviously, the arrival date is of vital importance to you. But it also helps your vendor work backwards, ensuring they have plenty of time to complete the project and ship it to your doorstep pronto.
6. Residential vs. Commercial
Clarify whether your shipping address is located in a residential or commercial area. Different stipulations apply to each location, which has an effect on the estimated arrival date. For instance, some freight shipments cannot be delivered to residential addresses without incurring additional fees/charges - and no one wants that surprise on their doorstep.
7. Don't be afraid to ask questions.
It's important you understand the vendor's process. If you're working with a good vendor, they'll go over the details at the beginning of the process, but make sure you ask clarifying questions along the way. Protect yourself from unexpected fees and expectations.
8. Request a no-signature delivery.That way your package can be delivered anytime, and the delivery company won't have to wait for someone's signature before dropping it off at your building.
9. Don't impede the process with indecision.
There will come a point where your vendor will require your approval before moving on with the fabrication process. When you mark that approval checkbox, make sure you mark it with confidence. Don't go back and forth with your demands. It'll drive your vendor mad!
10. Speed is the name of the game.
When choosing a vendor to work with, it is important that they understand that speedy turn time is required in this industry. Help them be as quick as possible by being available for any questions they might have. They're working hard for you, so the more prompt and responsive you are, the faster they are able to get your projects to you.