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A sporting chance

Jennifer Davidson, founder and MD of Sleek Events, explains why their suppliers are given the party treatment twice a year.

I think I probably state the obvious every time I write a column for Conference News: the events industry is stressful. Fostering relationships with reliable suppliers is just one way that we can avoid raising our stress levels. In fact, we’ve had situations where we’ve been given late access to a venue where our AV and stand-build suppliers have saved the day by helping us dress rooms at the last minute.

Most of us who have been working in events for a few years will already know how valuable supplier relationships are, but do you share this nugget with your less experienced staff? What you don’t want them to do is learn this lesson because of a mistake. It is easy to harm a long-standing supplier relationship with a harsh comment when a new employee is feeling the pressure. 

DavidsonWe include a section on this as part of our new staff training checklist and follow up during professional development sessions. You need to give everyone on your team a sporting chance, raising awareness of the importance of positive communication with suppliers.

And talking of a sporting chance, this year our summer party for suppliers is themed around a traditional school sports day. 

Twice a year we treat our suppliers to a party with drinks, nibbles and a fun activity or two. It gives our team the opportunity to meet suppliers they haven’t had a chance to work with yet, put faces to names and make a connection outside of the usual pressured environments.

This year, our party goers are fundraising for Buses 4 Homeless, in partnership with Meeting Needs. When we have a shared goal, our suppliers always deliver 100% alongside our dream team.