Do you see your event production provider as a partner or a vendor? There is a difference.

Vendors deliver products. They are all about transactions. You make an order, they deliver. While it is simple, it also puts most of the work on the buyer. Vendors may do the lifting, but the buyer must do all the thinking.

Partners, on the other hand, create a relationship where they not only deliver products, they help buyers make good decisions. Where vendors are mostly concerned with doing things right, partners add to that with a concern for doing the right things.

A partner takes effort away from buyers. They provide advice and experience to guide buyers to success. They not only do the lifting, they take on a lot of the thinking, too.

A partnership is a win for buyers because they no longer go it alone. It is a relationship where everything is co-created with both parties vested in the successful achievement of the event objectives as they relate to broader business goals.

Contrast this with a vendor. They are focused on individual events as transactions with little to no concern for tying outcomes to a bigger picture. This again puts most of the burden on the buyer—alone.

So, what do you look for? How do you find a partner?

First, ask questions about how the provider works with clients. It should not take long to see if they are an order-taking vendor or a solution-making partner.

Next, find out about the providers history with clients. If most of their experience is one-off shows rather than a connected series of events over a longer term, they are vendor focused. You want to see a history of relationships over time, not a bunch of one-night stands. To get the full benefits of partnership requires marriage thinking not playing-the-field thinking.

Partners versus vendors. There is a definite difference. Which will it be for you?

If you are interested in a partnering mentality, connect with innoVia. That is how we think, and we want to show you the difference.