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Relationships Built On Trust, Not Transactions

By: Al Hicks | Dec 27, 2023

In an age of ever-changing event technology, event professionals are taking on increased risk and uncertainty in their work. Selecting production vendors not only puts the meeting planner’s reputation on the line, but it also comes with financial implications if and when there is a problem. Because of this, trust throughout the process is crucial between meeting planners and production vendors. 

In this article I outline what I believe to be the key opportunities to build trust between vendors and planners. Keep in mind, trust is a two-way street. As a production vendor, I live mostly on one side of said street. My job is to build trust with my actions. What you will see below is my advocation for mutual trust, respect, and collaboration in the event production process. 

  1. Collaboration: Meeting planners and production vendors need to work together closely to ensure the success of an event. They must collaborate on various aspects, such as venue selection, logistics, budgeting, marketing, and execution. Mutual trust fosters collaboration and effective communication, enabling both parties to exchange ideas, make joint decisions, and find common ground to overcome challenges. 
  2. Reliability: Meeting planners rely on production vendors to deliver on their promises and requirements. They trust that the production provider will fulfill their obligations, meet deadlines, and deliver a high-quality event that aligns with their vision and goals. Without trust, planners may doubt the vendor’s ability to execute the event properly, leading to unnecessary stress and uncertainty, or even worse, an issue onsite. Organizations spend substantial amounts of money bringing people to a central location to get their message across. The stakes could not be higher. 
  3. Expertise and Experience: Meeting planners often seek the expertise and experience of production vendors to bring their event ideas to life. Trusting the vendor’s skills and knowledge ensures that they will provide valuable advice, suggest improvements, and employ their expertise to create a successful event. When planners trust the vendor’s capabilities, they can rely on their professionalism and are more likely to delegate responsibilities, leading to a more efficient and productive partnership. 

    I experienced this firsthand, when a meeting planner shared “I remember when I was a much younger baby planner, I was so protective of my budget and not sharing too much with my partners. I realized in working with my current provider, a true partner will not spend you right to your max or over, but really work to understand goals/objectives of the event and can offer suggestions appropriately.” 
  4. Problem-solving: Events involve numerous challenges and unexpected situations that may arise during planning and execution. Trust between meeting planners and production vendors facilitates effective problem-solving. When faced with difficulties, planners need to trust that the vendor will proactively address issues, provide solutions, and make decisions in the best interest of the event. Trust enables transparency and open communication, allowing them to work together in finding quick and effective resolutions. 
  5. Reputation: An event's success reflects on the meeting planner and all vendors involved. Trust built between these parties ensures all are committed to maintaining a good reputation by quality events. A well-executed event contributes to the planner’s professional image and the vendor’s reputation in the industry, leading to potential future collaborations and recommendations. 

Overall, trust between meeting planners and their vendors establishes a strong working relationship based on mutual respect, reliability, expertise, and a shared commitment to achieving the desired outcomes of a successful event. While transactions may be a necessary part of business, the true value in complex high-level event production lies in trust. 

“Al Hicks is a seasoned veteran in the live event industry. Over the course of 15 years, Al has served as Producer, Director of Events, and Regional Director of Sales for AVEX Audio Visual” 



Al Hicks Headshot
Al Hicks
AVEX Audio Visual

Al Hicks is a seasoned veteran in the live event industry. Over the course of 15 years, Al has served as Producer, Director of Events, and Regional Director of Sales for AVEX Audio Visual

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