When it comes to researching potential vendors, there's no excuse for not doing your homework.
Start with Yelp!—it's not just for restaurants. Because any customer (happy or unhappy) can create a Yelp! listing for a company, your vendor is likely listed. Yelp! gives you the option for sorting the comments in chronological order, so choose "newest" to see the most recent comments first.
You can get a sense of how the company has performed over time. And if there are a few bad reviews? Check that Yelp! users other review. Some people hate everything.
If the most recent Yelp! comments are more than a year old, it might be good to chat with that vendor more to find out why. I have my own Yelp! story!
In the fall of 2016, DiMadeline relocated and this took us off the grid for about a year before we began booking again. Then we had to wait for our clients' events occur and the reviews posted. We had a big gap in our Yelp! reviews.
Another place to find vendors is through Angie’s List, Next Door, The Knot, Wedding Wire, Local Solo, Alignable and other referral sites. Again, read the comments and recommendations. A four or five-star rating might is great, but not if the last review was 18 months ago.
If the vendor was referred to you from a friend or colleague, find out if their event was similar to yours. If yes, then you can get more specific with the why’s and how’s of this vendor’s services by asking some of the same questions they probably had when they were in the planning process. If not, then it may not be a good lead for you.
Always visit the vendor's website to get a feel for the scope of their services. One size does not fit all!
If possible, visit an event that your vendor working to get a feel for how they opearate. You can learn a lot by observing the set up or take down. Make sure you have full approval and are discreet. No need to be a wedding crasher!
So all in all, you can see that there are multiple ways and opportunities to scope out and pick the best vendors for your event. Do your homework! It will be worth it in the long run. Happy planning!
Photo: Adi Goldstein on Unsplash