We’ve all seen articles and TV series showcasing weddings, sweet 16’s and mitzvah’s with out of this world budgets. You know….. those $50K tea parties for 3 year old’s. Now most average brides or event hosts don’t have that kind of cash just laying around, so the search for budget friendly vendors is a must. It is easy to start racking up the costs even with those more reasonable vendors however. A photo booth rental has a dramatic range of prices.
Create a list of needs and wants for your event based on priority. What is most important to you? That service should go to the top and have a budget to equal it’s priority. Once you finish, you may sit there and think ok great! Stop there for a second. What you as a consumer think is an appropriate budget line for a service may not always meet the reality of what the real life costs are. Research prices from multiple vendors, and get a feel for a comfortable budget within their price ranges.
So we’ve got a plan in place and ready to go. You found multiple vendors that are WAY beyond what you want to spend, and you have also found other vendors that are extremely cheap. Don’t they offer the same service? What is the difference? Here are the top 5 reasons you need to hire vendors not based on price, but on their professionalism.
Insurance. Everybody needs insurance. I am a one man photo booth operation, and what if the best man, who has been enjoying the open bar, trips over his untied shoelaces, smashes his face into my booth, and seriously injures himself? INSURANCE.
And chances are your venue may require this liability insurance for every outside vendor. I cannot tell you how many clients I have gotten specifically because a week before their wedding, the catering coordinator asks for the photo booth company to provide a copy of a $1 million liability insurance policy, and they can’t. That bride or client has to then try to get back any deposits or payments they’ve made, and hope they can find a professional company last minute. Always check with your venue about insurance requirements before you hire any vendor. AND ask for your vendor’s insurance policy.
Presence. Do you want a professional vendor who works seamlessly into your event and provides impeccable service? Of course you do! So pay attention to the reviews a vendor has. Not the number of reviews- the quality. I can see a vendor with a 100 reviews all stating “so affordable” “great price” etc. I can also see a vendor with less reviews, but are more in depth about the actual service provided than the price. “Mary was such a pleasure to work with, and took the most amazing photos” “John played the best music and interacted with our guests, we absolutely love him” “Anna’s cakes are heavenly. She listened and matched our vision perfectly”. A review should be a reflection of the service AND the vendor themselves.
Quality. A professional vendor will care about the quality of the service they provide and care about their clients. You don’t want a vendor who doesn’t care about you, and will ditch your gig as soon as something with a higher budget comes along. IT HAPPENS. I receive many clients who originally did not hire me because they found a cheaper vendor- only to turn around and hope that I am still available because the other cancelled last minute. Who needs that stress? I have many dates that are booked with smaller events, and will receive a lead for an event with a bigger budget. As a professional, I would never ditch the client that I already have.
Legitimate Advertising. So Groupon is fantastic for deals. You look on there, see these great prices with amazing photos and think, yes that is what I want. Hold the phone- those are stock images. Go to the company’s actual website and look through their services and photos. And they should ALWAYS have a website. You as the client should be able to browse their gallery. You are paying hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars for a service- you should get to see a true picture of what you will receive. Ask the vendor for real life examples of their work if you’re unsure. Anyone can buy stock images, and many companies will use the images provided by the manufacturer of their product. You want to see what the vendor themselves produce.
Take the time to get to know your vendors and ask lots of questions! Most of these folks are small business owners who thrive off customer relations. Create a relationship with a professional vendor, and they will truly strive to create a flawless product and service for your next event!