corporate.event.entertainment.suppliers.jpgCorporate event entertainment suppliers

Reputation. In my line of work, it is the end-all be all – the one thing which preoccupies the most bandwidth in my busy mind on any given day. When you are a service brand such as TrivWorks, when all is said and done it’s pretty much the only thing that matters; it all comes back to that one little word.

Reputation.

When people think of my brand, I want them they to immediately associate me with words like “professional,” “dependable” and “reliable.” I want our corporate trivia events to consistently be considered “fun,” “witty,” “entertaining” and so many other glowing adjectives. Why does this matter so much to me?

Because when hunting for a company party supplier or team building activity provider, aren’t YOU looking for the exact same thing? You want to know that your vendor can be trusted to deliver, because YOUR reputation is on the line as well! Whomever you choose to bring to the next event and put in front of colleagues, clients, holiday party attendees or brand enthusiasts, that’s going to reflect on YOU.

And it’s my job to make sure YOU look good!

There are several ways to go about finding a reputable vendor for a company event – and, equally important, knowing which ones you should turn down (more on that here). I know, because I have labored nonstop every day for nearly a decade to make sure I am on the top of your “to call” list! Let’s go through some of the most proven and reliable ways to identify and land the perfect corporate entertainers and suppliers.

Word of Mouth

This has always been – and always will be – the most effective means of finding someone whom you can depend on. Think about it: who do you trust the most? The people whom you have chosen to have in your life, of course! Family, longtime friends, colleagues and associates – it is these people whom you feel the closest, whom you feel you can trust their judgment the most.

Nothing beats a personal recommendation – nothing. Why? Because when somebody has a fantastic experience, they want to share that experience with those in need of similar product or service!

It’s as simple as that.

When my wife and I moved from New York City to Los Angeles last summer with our two small children, we had to identify some essential service providers, and quickly: car dealer, pediatrician, barber, you name it. Who did we go to? Our closest friends and family in the new neighborhood, of course!

Whenever I get a call from someone seeking corporate party entertainment or a trivia event for the office, and they were directly referred to me from an existing client, I feel like a million bucks. Why? Because that existing client feels confident enough to “share” me with someone else, and in so doing putting THEIR personal and professional reputation on the line – and believe me, I don’t intend to let either party down!

Online

Let’s face it, this is how people find most stuff these days. If you don’t have a personal recommendation handy, you turn to the Web and let your fingers do the searching. But how do you select the right corporate entertainment supplier when there are SO MANY OPTIONS out there? 

I get it, believe me. If you type in any keyword search phrase on literally any topic, you will get a zillion responses. How do you know which to choose from? When specifically looking for corporate event entertainers in NYC, Southern California or anywhere in between, there are certain criteria which matter more than others. However, I have one piece of advice here which after years of doing this I can pass on to you with confidence:

Trust the search engines.

I’ve learned to do this on the sellers’ side, and you as the shopper should do the same. Why? Because the search engines are interested in just one thing: giving users the greatest search experience possible. How do they do that? Simple – by providing you with the most relevant search results, immediately.

Search engines are competing fiercely against one another to get you to type your query into THEIR search box. The most sophisticated among them not only constantly crawl every page on every site out there, but also rank each page based on both relevance and authority. In brief, they know which sites and brands out there are the “real deal,” versus those which aren’t really that credible, reliable or authoritative.

As such, search engines are VERY good at discerning your intent when conducting a search, and giving you the most relevant results – in hopes that you have a fantastic experience immediately, and will come back and use their search tools again. What’s this got to do with company party entertainment? Simple: if the intent of your online search is clear, the search engines will give you the best results AT THE TOP. So odds are, you don’t need to scroll through dozens of pages of SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) to find the perfect event supplier you’re looking for – it’ll already be there on page one or two.

My point here is that when finding a reputable corporate event entertainer online, Google and other engines have diligently done the heavy lifting for you. There are literally hundreds (maybe thousands) of criteria and indicators they’ve ferreted out to measure a supplier’s credibility and authority online: how long they’ve been in business, the type and quality of their content, inbound links, outbound links, and much more which make up the every-changing search algorithm. Their goal is to find you the most reputable and highest-quality vendors – so, let them!

Reviews are another excellent way to see if your service provider is up to the job, but they don’t stop there. I’d argue that you must take a brand’s ENTIRE online presence into account, to truly understand what they’re about, and determine if they’ve got a good reputation. This could range from how clean and up to date their Website is, to when they put up their last Facebook post, to whether they have any testimonials or videos posted, to how many ways they offer potential customers to contact them (for another useful article on assessing the credibility of suppliers of corporate event entertainment, click here).

Trusted Media Outlets

Word-of-mouth and online searches will be your most reliable tools for finding corporate event entertainment and team building providers, but they’re not the only methods. A third proven resource is trusted media outlets – primarily trade and top-tier consumer publications. Yes, we now live in a world where “fake news” is used as a derogatory insult for publications we don’t like, however by and large these types of established, respected and/or niche outlets have their own reputations to uphold. Like the search engines, they do that by providing you, their consumer, with consistently accurate, relevant and compelling content.

If you read positive news coverage about a vendor in a reputable industry trade publication, that means a reporter with likely lots of experience and expertise in planning and producing events has taken a good hard look, and decided that it is worthy of ink. An experienced editorial staff has also fact-checked and reviewed the story, and deemed it “Fit for Print,” to borrow a phrase from one well-known rag. By the time the article it hits the pages and is being consumed by you, the target reader, the vendor has been thoroughly vetted – giving you peace of mind that yes, this vendor must be of the quality and caliber to be worth at least looking at for your upcoming function.

For more on the topic of brand reputation, particularly in the digital age, I strongly recommend you read the book Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith – it changed my life when I read it and started blogging six years ago, and I have no doubt it can help you as well in your quest to find reputable suppliers for corporate entertainment!