6 Tips for Working With Logistics Vendors

By Leigh Harper, March 21, 2017

The polished set, dazzling signage and jaw-dropping lighting of an event may look glamorous, but every planner knows the processes required to achieve them are anything but. It takes long hours in cold, cavelike loading docks with rented scissor lifts and pallet jacks to produce an unforgettable stage. Exciting, right?

Keeping logistics vendors engaged is a must at events involving complex load-in, large-scale signage installations or furniture rentals. Courtney Hurd, logistics team leader at several Passion conferences throughout the country, shares a few tips for working with vendors and managing rentals.

Consider proximity.

Who can get to the venue the fastest if a forklift goes haywire and needs repair? Time is of the essence during load-in for an event, says Hurd. Logistics companies like Freeman have offices on-site at major arenas, which is optimal and allows you to bypass delivery fees.

Question line items.

If you don’t see a tool, jack or flatbed you need listed in the logistic vendor’s itemized catalog, ask about it, Hurd urges. It could be a low-cost piece that’s not listed online, or your contact may suggest a third-party vendor that has it available.

Confirm your order.

Send your contact a photo of each specific piece you need, she notes. Logistics companies have their own lingo, so the name you’re using for a tool may be different from their nomenclature. Avoid on-site surprises by confirming your order visually as well as verbally.

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