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Working with Vendors, Ensuring Standards Are Met

One of the ongoing challenges that we face when working for a venue will be the opening of our doors to any number of different vendors, all of whom will be coming on site with a specific set of  jobs to do and all of whom will want too get in and out as soon as they can with minimal fuss.

Whatever the venue, it needs to be treated with respect.

It can be very frustrating therefore, when certain vendors are reluctant to sign venue contractor forms, and provide Health and Safety / method statements in a timely manner. Worst still, that when on site, employees of the respective companies are not dressed appropriately, or feel that they can speak to members of staff in a disrespectful manner.

Don’t misunderstand, there are a very great number of experienced vendors who are a pleasure to work with, providing all required paperwork in good time – after all, given their experience, they recognise that they are not being asked to provide anything new, and specific method statement aside for the job in question – and depending on the venue, they may not even need to fill out the majority of the set forms again if the main elements are the same in nature to the previous occasion they visited.

With the Olympics getting closer, security is paramount, and even venues that have offered a more relaxed approach to the on site vendors with whom they work are finding that they need to tighten their security measures. We have always required all vendors on site to wear visible badges and sign in at the security office, but with the addition now of providing an advance list of who will be on site and the individuals providing photo ID to security on arrival – we are able to be sure that we know the whereabouts of the on site teams, but more so and in the event of an emergency, we know who is in the building and can account for them within hotel numbers.

Vendors that are acting on behalf of clients, and therefore not arranged through the venue itself, also need to be extremely careful where damage is concerned. Whilst we might hope that people treat “our home” as they would their own, often this is not the case, and although the cost for the damage will need to be covered, it can be an uncomfortable situation if the vendor refuses to recognise their responsibility, and the client themselves then need to be brought in to the situation as the signatory on the initial contract and potentially liable therefore for people they have employed to work on their behalf.

Some simple points to ensure

Vendors have a right to be miffed if they are sent lengthy paperwork to fill out, with a short time to go before the event itself. Be considerate, send everything ASAP

Discuss with your Health and Safety officer just which vendors come on site regularly, and those therefore who can fill out paperwork that covers them for future visits

Have all paperwork sent back at least a week in advance of the event, so that Health and Safety can be reviewed and additional questions answered / paperwork provided

At the end of the day, no paperwork, no access

Take pictures of “sensitive” areas that could be prone to damage on the way from the loading bay to the event space and then in the room itself. Conduct a mini site with the person in charge pre and post the event where possible, so that damage is recorded as soon as possible, and attributed to the correct vendors (maybe it wasn’t even them)

Ensure you have discussed food and beverage that Vendors are entitled to with whoever is paying. Vendors also get hungry and work hard for sure – but whose paying?

I would love to hear from you with any words of advice for how to manage your on site vendors – have you ever found yourself in a difficult situation that needed dealing with delicately?

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