We know it’s hard to believe, but no, we at Heroic do not do everything. We have trusted cohorts, collaborators and creative comrades—and yes, we absolutely have preferences. Our vendor standards are as high as the standards we hold for ourselves.
Often, the client selects the partners on any given project. In which case, we anxiously and hopefully scan the roster. Sometimes we’re downright giddy and then sometimes we’re, “grrrr,” but we always play nice with others.
Besides Heroic, Venue Is Numero Uno
Your event location is absolutely a critical vendor. Whether you’re looking to go traditional or something more unique and unusual (like the International Space Station or The Roman Coliseum), certain questions must be answered:
- What are their terms and cancellation policy?
- What if attendance is less than expected?
- What all is included in the fee?
- What about Wi-Fi capabilities and costs?
- Do they offer discounted room rates?
- Will they allow outside vendors/suppliers?
- What sort of pre-event venue access will I have?
A Place For Everything?
As you plan your event, be sure to determine what services are your responsibility. As mentioned, in many cases, your venue will supply specific support. If that’s the case, you may or may not be permitted to replace any provided service with one of your own choosing.
Many venues will have their own preferred vendor list featuring people who have proven themselves and that are familiar with that particular space. But, just because they make the venue’s preferred vendor list, doesn’t mean they’ll make yours. Apply the following liberally.
When It’s On You
Once you’ve landed on your ideal venue and have determined that it’s on you to recruit your own all-star team, here are some highly preferable tips that work for us:
- Start with Heroic Productions, well, of course. But, seriously, here’s a list of things you should consider when choosing an event staging or AV production company.
- Research, review, research again. Vet your candidates with the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, and Google away, but don’t disappear down the Google rabbit hole (you’ve got a life to live after all). Ask for referrals, and go spy on them at another event. (We find that “I went to college with the groom” or, “I’m in HR” can provide suitable cover to avoid suspicion.)
- Ask specific questions of potential vendors that pertain to your specific event. Ask others in associated businesses and past clients the tough questions about your potential vendors.
- Food/Beverage—Eat it, sip it, and make sure they can deliver the heat, the cold, and the yum.
- Décor/Linens—Touch it, sit on it, and make certain the napkins won’t leave white bits all over your CEO’s beard.
- Flowers—See them, smell them, and find out if they can fulfill any special requests, like a life-sized guest of honor in gardenias.
- Entertainment—Check them out in action. Buy a ticket, pay the cover, get on the guestlist—whether live band, DJ or sword swallower, see them in their environment.
- Interactive elements—Whether it’s an Instagram photo booth, social media wall or anything with a lot of buttons, be sure that your on-site tech is full-on Geek Certified. It doesn’t hurt to experience them yourself. Is the photo booth easy to understand? Are the final products of high quality?
- Security—Throw a punch and see what happens, or better yet, see a security plan and ask for referrals.