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What is a Site’s Preferred Vendors List & How to Use It

Would you want just anyone off the street to throw a party in your home? Of course not! You only want people that you know and trust to have that privilege. The same is true for an event site. From the event site’s perspective, they want to work with vendors that they know will do a great job for you, the client, but will also take good care of the site.

Therefore, most, if not all, sites have a short list of vendors that they prefer to work with. These “preferred vendors lists” contains vendors that have worked at the site in the past and did a great job. Most preferred vendors lists include caterers, bakers, event planners, florists, DJs, rental companies, photographers, valet parking services and so forth.

Some sites require that you use a vendor from their preferred vendors list but most will let you use a vendor that is not on the list. If the site allows you to use a vendor that isn’t on the list, there is usually a short vetting process that the vendor has to go through. Don’t worry, this will not create extra work for you – the vendor and site generally communicate directly.

So, if your site manager hands you a preferred vendors list, don’t be thrown off by thinking you must select a vendor from this list. Simply ask whether the list is “preferred” or “compulsory.” If the list is “preferred”, review the vendors on the list but also consider vendors that are not on the list. On Thursday I will give you tips on what to do if your site’s list is compulsory but your caterer is not on the list.

Happy Planning!

Photo credit: Hans Grobe

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