In a study done in 2009, EMI (Event Marketing Institute) has deduced that 74% of the respondents do not have an official documented procurement system. This means that organisations are not maximizing the use of their budget through cost management, special outsourcing, and there is a need to streamline the purchasing process. 53% was also found to have no initiatives to automate the procurement process. This article aims to show you some steps that can be undertaken in order to make the event procurement process an efficient one.
Recognition for the need and type of product/services
The first step is to recognise the type of product or services that needs to be outsourced. Be sure of the requirements (measurements, specifications, design, etc.). This will give you an easier time when explaining your needs to the vendors.
Sourcing for goods/services
There are so many vendors available online and offline, where should I start from? List down a few vendors that are relevant to you, and build a good rapport with them. A good relationship with the vendor will pave way for smoother price negotiations and product delivery process.
Common vendors you would need to engage (and can find through ThunderQuote) include:
- Event planners or event organisers – for the whole event
- Venue Rental – the first and most important item to be settled
- Booth / Roadshow Fabrication
- Roadshow Services
- AV setup / AV rental
- Large Format Printing – for backdrops, banners, standees and stages
- Event Logistics / Movers – to move large bulky setup items and backdrops
- Event Marketing – to fill seats at your workshops
- Catering Services
- Travel & Accommodation – Travel agent partners to do bulk deals for travel and accommodation, especially for international delegates
Price, terms and delivery of products/services
By this stage, you should have found a couple of vendors that are able to provide you with the product or services you are looking for. A good indicator of determining the vendor is the price they quote. I.e. Do they fit your budget? Is the price for quality? Another indicator will be how and when the product or services will be delivered. Try out your negotiation skills to see if you can get a better deal with them. More often than not, pledging some loyalty to the same vendors could get you lower prices in the long run as well.
Receipt & inspection
If this is the first time you are buying from the vendor, this step will lay the grounds of your partnership. Is the product up to expectation? Or do you have to go through another painful process of returning the product.
Invoice & record keeping
Before payment for the product, do ensure that the invoice, receiving document (usually attached to the product) and the purchasing order match. If discrepancies arise, notify the vendor immediately. Once everything is in order, record down and save all the relevant correspondents and documents on the purchasing process for future reference.
It is really important to retain all the records and business invoices you took down. Being well equipped with these invoices will save you a lot of hassle in the event that a problem arises.
Say goodbye to wasting man-hours and money on substandard products/services!
If you do not have an established list of vendors to choose from, and have to painstakingly go through pages on gum tree and directories in search for your vendors, how about giving e-procurement platform a go? Private e-procurement websites like ThunderQuote has a wide variety of call for tenders from various industries. You can take your pick from venue rental to content marketing, graphic design, photography and videography.
You will be matched according to the vendors based on your project requirements and budget. Jobs will also be filtered so that you only see jobs relevant to your business.
Contrary to the above, events procurement can be efficient and cost savings, most importantly, all it takes is 5 minutes to submit a request for quotations!
 The aim of the study is to examine the role of procurement in event marketing.
ThunderQuote is the “Gebiz for businesses” and most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.
Check out the useful framework in the Event Company Singapore Selection Guide, to learn more about picking an events company.