At events, there are often multiple businesses working together to provide different services. This might mean catering, venue management, decorations, etc. You might want to consider partnering with these other businesses and forming long-term relationships. The right partner can do wonders for growing an event.

A partnership opens a business up to the connections that come with the added partner. These connections may come in handy for an expanding business. Having partners also widens the pool of possible event attendees, as more than one business is marketing to their existing networks.

It also means event businesses will have additional help they can count on, a huge plus when dealing with the stress of event day. A partnership creates a reliable event team with a variety of focuses and strengths to create a smooth event process. A strong team is able to tackle any event and the possible challenges thrown at them.

Event partners can help make or break an event. Whether you’re partnering with a caterer, venue provider, supplier, etc., it’s imperative these partners add value to the event instead of detracting from it. If you’re lucky, the right partner is already partaking in your events, you just need to know what to look for.

Make sure partnerships are a win-win for both parties with these tips for finding and keeping event partners.

Tips for Picking the Right Event Partners

The initial steps of developing a partnership are key to success of the partnership in the long run. Make sure to take time to examine possible partnerships and how they may or may not benefit your business.

#1. Find Partners Who Share Your Vision

Make sure any potential partner understands your vision and goals, short-term and long-term. If two partners are looking for very different things, it will be difficult for either party to come out of the partnership in a better place. Starting off with the same vision will help ensure long-term partnership success.

#2. Find A Partner You Like

This sounds a bit obvious, but you have to like the business professionals you’re partnering with. If you constantly butt heads with a caterer, it’s probably a bad idea to enter into a partnership with that person. As business partners, you will likely spend a lot of time together planning and throwing events, so make sure you like them.

#3. Be Specific in Your Pitch

When reaching out to a potential partner, be clear about what you’re looking for. Tell potential partners exactly what you want in a partner. This includes what they should contribute, including resources and time.

Having this conversation upfront means partners immediately know what to expect. This can help avoid conflict later on. In addition, a detailed initial pitch can help weed out the bad options from the good. Good partners will be able to commit to the effort necessary on their part.

#4. Choose a Partner with Complementary Skills

Successful businesses surround themselves with people who are able to do what they can’t. Choose a business partner who brings something different to the table. This means skills or connections you don’t have. A successful partnership means partners have complementary strengths and weaknesses.

#5. Choose Someone Who Is Good Under Pressure

Event planning and management can come with a lot of pressure, especially when dealing with long hours. It’s not fun to have a partner who cracks under pressure and leaves you to pick up the pieces. Pick a partner who has demonstrated the ability to handle pressure.

#6. Get it in Writing

Don’t just shake hands and agree to be partners. Draft an agreement with the help of a lawyer to make sure your business is protected in the event the partnership goes south.

Maintaining Long-Term Partnerships

Once you form a partnership, you need put in the effort to maintain it. Make sure the partnership continues to benefit both parties and is handled with respect.

You may find that the partner who sounded perfect in the beginning is not so perfect anymore. Maybe they aren’t fulfilling their end of the bargain or veering in a direction away from your vision.

This is where effective conflict management skills come in. See if you can fix the issue by having an honest conversation with the partner. It’s best to discuss issues early on instead of waiting until it blows up in your face.

If both partners can’t reconcile differences, make sure there is a way out included in the written agreement. Don’t be afraid to break ties with an event partner. It won’t benefit you to stay with a partnership if the relationship isn’t working and can’t be saved.

The Bottom Line: Be Clear

The bottom line when finding and maintaining event partnerships is to be clear. Be clear about expectations, goals, and needs when reaching out to potential partners. Be clear about what strengths you’re looking for in a partner to make sure you find the right business for the job.

After choosing an event partner, continue to communicate any issues you may have and work to resolve them. A partnership grounded in transparency and respect will ensure both partners benefit long-term.