Introducing Recommended Vendor status for event professionals
By: Charlie Wright
So you say you are an event planner? Up till now every Tom, Dick, and Harriet has been able to smack together a website or Facebook page and announce themselves to the world as experts in event planning, wedding planning, conference organizing, exhibition designing or some other event-related field. Often with dire consequences for unsuspecting clients who have to rely on dodgy testimonials and self-promotional advertising, and no way to hold underperforming vendors to account when their events go pear-shaped.
Well that was up till now. The Eventerprise.com platform was built to bring clarity and peace of mind to an industry that is still very fragmented. As an umbrella platform for the entire events industry, Eventerprise has introduced various verification and transparency measures for every single type of event-related business out there, whether it’s a large multinational event management agency or a local caterer, florist, or DJ.
Although verified reviews on Eventerprise vendor pages are already helping prospective clients to make more educated decisions based on peer feedback, a structured endorsement of consistently performing vendors was still missing. To fill this quality assurance gap the Eventerprise team has designed the Recommended Vendor certification program for qualifying vendors. By using the platform’s existing review system the path to certification has been kept transparent and easy to understand. Now for the first time, those who want to organise events can rely on an impartial certification to choose event service and product providers.
You may ask why was this new feature necessary? What about industry bodies and associations – aren’t they supposed to ensure standards?
Unfortunately, industry associations tend to only cover niche event categories and limited geographical areas. Their focus also tends to be skewed in favour of vendors rather than consumers, with very little vetting outside of the membership fees going on. And if there is vetting, it is done on a fairly subjective level rather than a transparent process open to the public.
Take for example the International Live Events Association (ILEA), the self-styled ‘principal association representing creative events professionals globally.’ Although their Certified Special Events Professional (CESP) program is commendable for promoting knowledge and skills among vendors it is primarily based on an internal exam without any outside (client) validation. This makes CESP a rather one-sided academic affair without any real world outcome-based relevance. Then of course there is the $600 application fee, and the $400 annual membership fee …
Let’s be honest, most consumers have never heard of ILEA or any of the other event associations out there. They couldn’t care less about certifications based on an industry exam that is not necessarily up to standard and could be gamed.
So how is Eventerprise Recommended Vendor status different?
Well first of all, it is based on verified client feedback. Vendors on the Eventerprise platform qualify for Recommended Vendor status when they have received a minimum rating of four stars from at least three separate clients over a twelve month period. Eligibility is automatically included in Premium plans, while vendors on Basic plans can unlock access by paying a $249 annual fee.
By utilizing its sophisticated review system Eventerprise has made sure that the process is unbiased and completely outcome based. This is in line with client expectations, since digital era logic dictates that consumers would much rather rely on fellow consumer feedback, than what an organization says about itself or its members.
The path to Recommended Vendor status is also fairly painless, since it automatically appears on qualifying vendors’ business pages and search result summaries if they are on Premium plans, and subject to an annual fee on Basic plans. In addition to the on-platform validation Recommended Vendors also receive a logo for their websites and a physical certificate for wall space. Of course this painless process excludes the fact that they still have to wow their clients with great service and products to get those glowing reviews in. Which is what it should be all about.
Recommended Vendor status on Eventerprise.com is a powerful way for all the Toms, Dicks, and Harriets out there to make their mark in the events industry, by focusing on their core business activities, rather than wading through endless paperwork and paying exam fees. And getting started is as simple as signing up for an Eventerprise account.