Being Open with Event Professionals

The Art of Managing Vendor Conflicts and Client Relationships in Event Planning

When you are working on an event, you are sure to encounter many diverse different personalities. From other vendors to family members to CEOs, it is important to be the central person who can work with everyone and make the magic happen. In some cases, you may find yourself in the middle of conflicting personalities, so it is essential that you are ready and able to make amends and keep everyone happy and working towards a common goal.

Easier said than done, right? Here are some of the situations you might find yourself in over the course of planning an event, as well as how to work through them gracefully with no harm done.

Vendor Conflicts

It is probably no secret that some event professionals just do not get along. That’s life. However, there is no reason for personal discord to get in the way of the perfect event. In smaller markets, it is often well-known who does not get along in the area. In that case, the best way to prevent unnecessary tension is simply to avoid having vendors that do not get along on the same event team.

Of course, it is not always as simple as that. In some cases, you may have to work alongside professionals who are not on the same page. If that is the case, consider setting a phone call or face-to-face meeting to mediate between the two. Remind the whole event team that personal issues need to be set aside for the sake of the client and their celebration. If things do not change, it may be time to look into alternative vendors to replace the offender if possible.

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Client Tension

Most event professionals have had to deal with a difficult client. Whether it is someone who is never satisfied or an event with too many cooks in the kitchen, each and every event comes with its own complications. When it comes to dealing with a problematic client, the very best solution is to enter the agreement prepared. Ensure that your contract lists all of the client expectations, as well as boundaries that you have set for your personal and professional security. For example, a clause that delegates the

Pro Tip: Create a clause in tour client contracts that delegates the funder as the primary decision maker will ensure that you do not find yourself fielding opinions and arguments from multiple sides. This way, if you end up with a client that continues to give you trouble, you can refer to the contract that they have already signed. Of course, there is no need to break a contract over one or two slip-ups.

Arm Wrestle Client Conflicts

When you first face an issue with a client, be sure to respectfully confront them to discuss the problem. Explain to them the reasons for your boundaries and lay out what you need from them in the future in order to continue working together peacefully. However, if the problem keeps showing up, especially after you have addressed it, it may be time to dissolve the contract and save yourself the headache.

At the end of the day, the successes of your events are what speak to your reputation in the industry. It is important to have the skills and resources in place to counter any disagreements or disputes that may come up throughout the planning process. Be present and keep your eye on the endgame – your client’s dream event.

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Kim Sayatovic
Kim Sayatovic is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Belladeux Event Design, a full-service wedding and event design firm based in New Orleans, Louisiana.