5 Essential Traits of a Great Vendor Partner


Looking for the secret ingredient to a flawless event? Remember: It's not just about what guests actually see—it's also about who's behind the scenes.

Events are a team sport, and building a robust network of reliable vendors—from florists and photographers to caterers and audiovisual experts—could not be more crucial. And while the needs of each event vary, there are certain qualities that consistently make some vendors and venues stand out to us as excellent partners. 

Here are some things we look for when choosing vendors, and why these factors encourage us to build long-lasting working relationships.

1. Industry and Event-Specific Knowledge

Events come in all shapes and sizes, and what works for a social gathering won’t necessarily cut it for a corporate conference or a nonprofit gala. Different industries, like financial or pharma, also have their own unique quirks and needs. We appreciate vendors who understand this and bring the right know-how to the table. It’s all about knowing the lay of the land, which helps us nail the specifics of each event without missing a beat.

2. Communication Skills

Effective communication is the backbone of any successful relationship. We treasure vendors who not only communicate clearly and proactively, but also respond swiftly and stick to scheduled meetings (and price quotes!). This kind of open communication builds trust and keeps everything running smoothly. It's all about really understanding what the event is about, and connecting with us and our vision on a genuine level.

3. Time Management Skills—and Flexibility!

Event planning can be unpredictable, and we often need to make last-minute changes—whether it’s due to what a client wants or something unexpected popping up. That’s why it’s super important for our vendors to be on top of their game when it comes to organization and managing their time.

Going hand in hand with that, of course, is the need for creativity and flexibility! We're always on the lookout for vendors who aren't just inventive but also super adaptable, ready to roll with the punches as needs and plans change. This kind of creativity and flexibility are key to tailoring events that truly stand out and capture exactly what our clients are imagining.

4. A Proven Track Record

Reliability is everything, and we love to work with vendors we know personally or those who come with glowing recommendations from people we trust. If that's not an option, it's crucial that vendors can show off some solid testimonials or let us chat directly with their previous clients. These kinds of endorsements really help us feel good about their ability to consistently deliver top-notch services.

5. Mutual Respect

We’re all human beings working in a stressful industry—and mutual respect is the bedrock of any great partnership. We aim to be as helpful and flexible with our vendors as we hope they'll be with us. We value vendors who respect our ways of working, our team, and what we're all trying to achieve together. Getting on the same page not only makes the planning process smoother, but also creates a space where everyone can be creative and adaptable. Over time, this good vibe helps us all get along better, making every event run more smoothly and ensuring that everything is spot-on and up to our standards.

Bonus: We asked some members of Team SEQ to share their favorite vendor partners in NYC and beyond. Here’s what they had to say!

Dana Lowenfish, Chief Experience Officer & Co-Founder

Go-to vendors: Dana always loves working with florist Dawn Melanie Designs, My Deco Balloon, Thomas Preti Events to Savor, and Frost Productions. “My biggest reasons for continually working with these vendors is quality, of course, but also relationships,” she explains. “They will go above and beyond to give us the utmost professional service, attention, prioritization, and product, and will do whatever they can to always be available and try to throw extra love in the ideation-installation phase.”

Go-to venues: Venue-wise, Dana appreciates New York’s Pier Sixty Collection. “Their spaces are so versatile and flexible; their unparalleled attention to detail, flawless execution, and unwavering commitment to excellence is like no other; and they treat us like gold and will go to the ends of the earth to make us happy from the sale to execution,” she says. “I think of Pier Sixty as our sister company—we all put similar genuine, unwavering love into every detail of the process, and we see eye to eye on almost everything, which makes the planning process and the actual events holistically successful!”

Elaine Tripoulas, Associate Director, Creative

Go-to vendors: “I don't usually book caterers, but I love Pinch Food Design and I will suggest them for every creative NYC-based event!” says Elane. “They have cool, unique displays, customization capabilities, and, most importantly, very tasty food.”

Elaine is also a fan of Windmill Studios, which she’s worked with for two major events lately. “They’re very budget conscious, have a flexible approach, and are accommodating for additional needs—they are storing some decor for us right now, and have received large shipments for us!”

Go-to venues: Elaine always appreciates working with Center415 in New York. “It’s in an amazing, centralized location,” she says. “With two stories and several spaces, you can set up the venue in a very interesting choose-your-own-adventure-type path. It’s a full white box environment with tons of customization capabilities.”

Lindsey Michelle Gradwohl, Production Manager

Go-to vendors: “I consistently enjoy working with Frost Productions in NYC and Napa Valley Media in the Bay Area,” Lindsey says. “Both are AV/production vendors that have proved to be excellent partners—very organized, great gear in stock, flexible, and willing to work with budget, with great crew members on staff.”

Go-to venues:Gaylord properties are consistently high-level and great to work with,” she says, adding: “I've also always enjoyed Guastavino's and Glasshouse in NYC.”

Bailey Nielson, Associate Event Producer

Go-to vendors: Bailey always enjoys working with Dawn Melanie Designs, NYC Photo Party, TAG Printing, and Windmill Studios.

Go-to venues: As for venues, her local favorites include Casa Cipriani, Pier Sixty, and Glasshouse. “They all are very organized, on top of things, willing to work with us, and kind!” she says of these vendors and venues. “They get that we are all one team to make the client happy, and work with us—not against us.”