Have you ever selected a new supplier for an upcoming event and had a few sleepless nights worrying that they may do a bad job or even worse – not turn up at all? Part of the stress in event management comes from the fact that you are often relying on multiple other people. If your suppliers don’t do their job properly it can reflect badly on you and create negative reviews of the event itself. So how do you ensure that you have selected the best event suppliers do an amazing job and help you to build a successful event?

Despite your best intentions you cannot be everywhere at once, nor can you run all of the event elements solo. By doing your due-diligence in the supplier selection process and ensuring you provide detailed briefs you can reduce the chance of hiring a bad supplier significantly.

1. Reviews

With the seemingly endless supply of information available online, there is really no excuse for not doing your research when it comes to hiring a potential supplier. Reviews are available online via multiple channels (including Google and most social media channels) so jump online and search for reviews of your potential suppliers. Reviews can be a great indicator of the quality that your potential supplier provides however they cannot be used as your one and only selection tool – especially when considering things like fake reviews. If you don’t have the time for admin and scrolling through multiple reviews why not outsource some of your research to a VA? Streamlined Organising are a personal favourite of ours for asssiting with admin related tasks.

2. Recommendations

Recommendations are a similar vein to reviews however these are more personable. When selecting potential suppliers, take the time to speak to their previous clients, a friend or co-worker that may have used the business before. Also consider speaking to your venue (often venues will have a preferred supplier list, chosen because they have successfully completed events at the venue previously) and also other suppliers in the same field. You may have your own preferred supplier in mind but they are not available on the date you have in mind – they may be able to suggest other suppliers that they have worked with previously to assist you.

3. Website

Supplier websites can be a wealth of knowledge on the supplier and their abilities. For example, you can look for photos of previous events they have worked on, details on their packages may show you the specialities of their business. Their website may also include a list of previous clients and will also often list reviews from their clients (don’t use this as a sole source of reviews however – no-one is going to upload a bad review to their website!)

4. Ensure they have the resources to complete your job

Many smaller businesses are keen to upscale their business and some may do this by taking on work that is larger than their resources allow. Always ensure you request details (and references of) events of a similar size to yours or larger.

5. Request quotes from multiple sources

Requesting multiple quotes for your job will help you to gain an idea of the actual value of the task in the wider market. Don’t just go for the cheaper option because it will save you money – if there is a significant difference in cost this can often mean there are shortcuts being taken or hidden costs.

6. Insurance

All of your suppliers should have their own public liability insurance and you should sight these documents prior to proceeding. Certain roles will require additional paperwork such as Working with Children checks, food handling certificates etc. If your supplier cannot supply these documents do not engage them for the work.  You also need to check that they have a valid ABN. Once you have selected the best event supplier for your event it is up to you to ensure they have all of the information required to carry out a successful event.

7. Briefing

Your initial brief should be clear and concise to ensure their quote is as accurate as possible and they are aware of all requirements for your event. It doesn’t stop there though, you need to provide the supplier with a detailed run sheet for the event, showing all appropriate timings and details. We also recommend consistent contact during the lead up to the event and where possible confirming the details with them a few days prior to the event – checking that they have received all of the information required. This step will also help identify anything you may have missed – i.e. you may not have paid the final invoice which is due prior to the event or they may not have received your run sheet.

8. Event Day

When using a supplier for the first time it is always recommended to keep a close eye on them where possible. If you notice that they are not completing their tasks correctly don’t be afraid to address this with them onsite – they may not have been aware they were doing something incorrectly or there may be a particular reason for them doing things a certain way. Addressing this onsite (in a professional manner) may help to identify the issue and allows them an opportunity to rectify the situation.


In the end it is impossible to guarantee that a supplier will fulfil all requirements and do an amazing job on the day (after all you cannot control another person’s actions). However, by following the steps above you will ensure that you have done all things in your power to create a seamless event and if the supplier does the wrong thing on the day you will know who NOT to use next time! If you have been stung a few too many times with dodgy suppliers and would like some assistance to find the best event suppliers for your next event please contact us at Events Outsourced and we will do the groundwork for you!