Lesson 7 – Vendors


A vendor is an outside company that works with an event. They can provide food, equipment, or services. Utilizing vendors is key to a successful and cost effective event. These vendors can pitch their ideas for the event, and they can submit estimates. Usually, you can have a few different companies bidding for the same job, which gives you the option of getting the best price possible.

Our focus quote for this module:

“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower


Food Vendor

If you are going to have food at any event, you are going to need food vendors. Food vendors are catering companies or chefs who prepare the food. Food vendors can also be the providers of the actual food that is being cooked. This type of vendor would include the bar. Bartenders would be part of the support staff, but there would need to be a food vendor to provide the spirits for the event. When selecting a food vendor, it is important to select food that is appropriate for the event. Also, ask around and see what the reputation of the vendor is among former clientele.


Equipment Vendor

An equipment vendor is a vendor who supplies the equipment necessary for the event. If you have floating dancers, the harnesses and apparatus that hold the dancer in the air would fall under this category. This would also include lighting and audio equipment. If the caterers do not have their own equipment, you may be required to use a vendor to provide that equipment for them to cook at the event. Depending on your event, the equipment vendors needed may vary.


Decorations and Furnishing Vendors

Decorations and furnishings can also be purchased or rented via a vendor. These items can be as small as a tea light votive, or as big as new flooring and a raised stage. The most common items would be the tables, chairs, and seating areas. If the venue you have chosen does not have a stage and the event your planning requires a stage, these vendors would be who you get to build it. The key is deciding how you want the event to look and then figuring out what you need to make that happen. Depending on the vendor, you can rent or buy the products, and some may include installation in the price for the bigger items.


Photography / Video Vendor

Another vendor you may want to consider hiring would be in charge of the photography or video recording. Depending on what you want your event to include, you could potentially hire both of these vendors. A video recording vendor would supply the video recording equipment, record the event, and edit the video with the requested amount of copies. The photographer would be in charge of taking pictures at the event, providing the equipment, editing the photos, and providing the requested or agreed upon number of prints.


Practical Illustration

Paul was trying to plan a big event to celebrate his 10th wedding anniversary. He really wanted to show his wife how wonderful the last 10 years have been and how lucky he felt. After he started planning the event, he realized how huge of a task it was. He decided that he needed to hire a professional. A friend recommended Donna, who has been Paul’s event lifesaver. He told her about some of the ideas he had for the event, and Donna made them possible. Donna was able to understand the different types of vendors they would need for the event, and had good working relationships with those vendors. She consulted with food vendors, and equipment vendors. She had a grasp on necessary items that Paul hadn’t even considered. He was so thankful to have help. On the night of the event, they had a great time. His wife said the anniversary party was almost as special as the day they got married.