EXTERNAL PARTNERS FOR YOUR EVENTS – By Asif Zaidi

In the lead-up to an event and during its completion you need the collaboration of a number of people outside your internal team. Having a reliable set of event partners who are happy to work with you is a big plus. If events are a regular in your business, you need to be able to build your own list of reliable external partners. While you may not need them for each event, some of the partners you will often need include:

Top 10 External Event Partners

Audio-Visual Provider

Audio-visual component has now become an essential part of the experience at an event. Many venues have in-house equipment and team. However, you still need to take a look at what a venue has and consider if you need to bring in another supplier to ensure the quality you have in mind. Generally, you should be able to find a good recommendation from the people you know as there are a lot of audio-visual suppliers with modern kits around.

Caterer

catering external event partnersIf your event involves food, you need to be careful in your choice of the caterer. Bad food can spoil the experience of even an otherwise impeccable event as people do not mind if the food is not great but they are unforgiving of being treated to bad food. Sometime you may not have the choice of caterer as the venue may have an in-house caterer. However, you still need to be careful. Work with the caterer, do some tastings of the menu, and order changes, if required, till you get what you desire.

Remember to ask the caterers if they can serve for any dietary requirements your function may have. The more diverse your crowd – in terms of religion, culture, ethnicity, age-groups etc. – the bigger the range of food you will need to cater to your audience.

Props Supplier

Some creatively positioned props can add a lot of character to an event. If you provide a good brief of what you have in mind to a good prop supplier, it can come up with a wide range of suggestions for you to go with the ones that are appropriate for an event. It can give you very useful feedback from its experience of what works and can also add some innovations in keeping with your event. Sometime, it may be useful to speak to theatre groups in your vicinity to see if they have something that can be useful for your event.

Printer

Like elsewhere in life, technology is also increasingly reducing the amount of printed material required for an event. However, you still need printing for a number of items like: lanyards, posters, cards, branding, signage etc. hence a good printer, who is reliable but not expensive, is still an asset for your events. Your venue should be able to recommend a good printer for you. Otherwise, you can look around and find one not too far from you.

Mover

You need to courier or move a number of things during the organization of any sizable event, often having to count on under the wire deliveries. Reliable event partners like movers, willing to go extra mile, shall be able to get you out of many a pickle.

Floristexternal floral event partner

Flowers are essential to any classy decoration. Saving money on floristry during your event is often not a good idea. Floristry is an art and it takes a skilled florist to create beautiful and distinctive floral motifs as centre pieces as well as stage decorations. It is better to brief the florist early enough to ensure the supply in right colours.

Performer

When your event requires a speaker or an entertainer, it may be difficult to work out who the appropriate performer will be. Because a person not only has to suit the occasion but also has to be available on your date and be affordable within your budget. You can either engage someone to hire a suitable performer for you or look for the right choice yourself. It is always advisable to have a few options before making the final choice. Sometimes a little stretch in budget can make a lot of difference in the quality of performance you employ for your show. Always have a contingency plan in mind, in the event your keynote speaker or the star attraction drops out at the last moment.

Hosts

All events need hosts. These are usually your internal volunteers. However, if you do not have access to enough volunteers, you may have no other option but to hire staff. It is useful to have a relationship with a company that can find you staff on a short notice. Having a partner who can provide you with skilled hosts for your event makes a lot of difference. From registration to the final goodbye, the hosts at your event are the people your audience interacts with most frequently and their courtesy and professionalism make a tangible difference to your audience’s experience of the event.

Party Rentals

Party rental event partner Events require a lot of equipment and furniture like: tents, walls, tables, chairs, barbecues, equipment, games, tableware, flatware, linens etc. Not all the venues have everything available you need. A good party rentals supplier can give you ideas about a lot of stuff that you can use to add value at your event. It is not just about chairs, your party rentals supplier can provide you with stanchions, trestle tables, coat racks, popcorn makers, portable bars, games for adults and kids alike and a lot of other stuff based on your requirements. A good relationship with party rental event partners can help you get a full range of supplies from one partner and things that you can rent at nominal value to add cache to your event.

Pick and Pack Services

Some of your events will involve giveaways. Although you may not need it for every event but for larger events you may need a pick and pack service to help you put together goody bags, gifts, souvenirs, or information packs. Specially, when you have several items to stuff into a tote bag for each of the thousands of giveaways, you are better off outsourcing the service. Better to have suppliers who do exactly that, the time-consuming manual services that are not worth your time. Your printers or suppliers of material can often recommend reliable such companies.

(For help with your event or recommended external event partners please write to us at info@meadowvalepartyrentals.com)

Asif Zaidi

Asif is a proven business leader, a business leadership advisor, and an entrepreneur. Asif lives in Toronto and owns and runs Meadowvale Events Management Group - a full service group for planning and managing events of all sizes and styles to create memorable occasions for the hosts and participants alike. He is a Managing Partner of http://www.virtuoso-propertygroup.com/ and is also an owner and director at Cortleigh Properties Inc, a reputable property development firm in Toronto. Previously, as a Managing Director with Citibank, Asif fulfilled leadership assignments across a number of world regions. Asif is a powerful communicator and keynote speaker and has taught at a business school. His personal blog (masrif.net) is widely followed and his book ‘The Stuff of Life’ is due to be released in the US in January 2017.

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