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Post Showcase Stress | How to make the right vendor choices.

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Does this describe you?

You have attended numerous event expos and party showcases. You have stacks of business cards, press kits and price packaging from DJ/Entertainment companies, party planners, decorators, photographers, videographers, etc. You have friends, family and co-workers providing you with their opinions and suggestions. Basically, you feel overwhelmed, confused, and don’t know where to start.

Now, what do you do with all of this content? Where do you start, who do you call, how can you start to narrow down the options?

Well the answer, is a lot easier than you think and can be found by taking a deep breath and opening up your heart. That’s right, 90 percent of this incredible day you are planning can be handled by following your gut and making a true connection with your event professionals! This goes for any vendor, venue or service that you are trying to contract. If it feels as though you are being sold a “used car” it’s probably best to move along to another option. If an event professional is telling you that “this is how WE do events” instead of asking about your vision and your expectations for the affair, it’s probably best to end that conversation right there. However, if the service provider is asking you a lot of questions, listening, taking notes then offering personalized advice and event suggestions, you may have found a winner!

Nowadays a lot of your research in building your event can be done online and this is a great place to start. Regardless of the type of service, always take a look at a company’s videos, pictures and reviews on their site. These are all pieces of the puzzle that will help you see if this service is the right fit for you and your family. In the case of entertainment, do the video recaps have “live audio” which means can you hear the actual footage from the event or are you just watching a 2-3 minute recap that has been set to dubbed over music?

In the case of photo/video by visiting the professionals site you can get a feel of their style and how they approach documenting affairs. Ask your vendor if they have specific experiences handling your type of function (shooting pictures for a wedding is a lot different than shooting pictures for a mitzvah) and there is no such thing as a “dumb question.” Ask for examples. Ask to speak with recent clients for referrals. Find out if you are guaranteed a specific photographer, (like the owner of the business) or if he/she is going to send out someone else from their team.

Your vendors should always be there to lend a helpful hand and make you feel as though you are their only client. Asking any of your vendors if they have any new or fresh ideas seems to be a reoccurring topic, so if you find that you are dealing with services that are reusing and recycling events, again it is probably best to seek other means of service from other professionals.

As a performing member of the Xplosive Entertainment team here in NJ, we are constantly thinking outside the box and creating new and exciting ways to enhance our performance based on our clients wishes. Ideas, passion and a true “want” to be a part of creating this once in a lifetime atmosphere are all characteristics and traits you should be on the lookout for when developing the “vendor team” for your upcoming celebration. Ultimately, anyone can provide a camera, speakers, basketball hoop centerpieces, up-lighting, a photo booth or airbrushed T-shirts for a take home giveaway……. but there is ABSOLUTELY ZERO SUBSTITUTE for a true connection and creative ideas. Keep that in the forefront of your planning and the rest will line itself up.

Happy planning and congratulations on your upcoming celebration!