Six Degrees of Evaluation: Partnering With the Right Leadership Event Vendors

Planning a leadership and/or team building event? It’s no secret that achieving successful outcomes relies heavily on the partner or facilitator you choose.

Having maintained high profile clients for over 30 consecutive years,  we know that all vendors are not created equally.

What is it that clients look for, and value, in vendor selection? It starts with asking all the right questions.

The following are six areas against which we are commonly evaluated by both current and prospective clients.

1)  Credibility & Stability

There is a lot at stake in selecting a “right-fit” vendor.

  • How credible is the vendor, and who can validate their services?
  • What experience do they have, and what best practices are applied?
  • What expertise, cultural competence and longevity does the vendor executive and her team bring?
  • How does the vendor evidence a passion for leadership renewal?
  • To what degree does the vendor organization model the very behaviors, attitudes, and thinking that we want our company employees to have?

2. Follow Through

Retreat/event planning requires a multitude of deadlines.

  • Does the vendor deliver on promises to submit proposals, agendas, outlines by agreed upon dates?
  •  Is the vendor attentive and responsive to client requirements as they arise throughout the planning process?

3.  Services

It is imperative that service delivery uniquely address the client company’s organizational realities/strategic direction/issues of interest.

  • What skills, talents, reputation does the vendor have in that regard?
  •  How does the vendor strike a balance between thinking, action and reflective learning to achieve employee learning aims?
  • What assurances can the vendor give re: program quality, employee engagement and receptivity?

4. Implementation 

A positive and palpable atmosphere is an essential thread throughout any event.

  • How flexible are the vendors – and how nimbly can they think? – when it comes to unexpected changes in the moment?
  • To what degree is the event customized and not “canned”?
  • How is the physical, mental, emotional, relational safety of our employees ensured?
  • How are agenda transitions handled so that energy and momentum is maintained?
  • Does the vendor have internal guidelines in place that guide the spirit and actions of facilitators throughout?        

5.  Metrics and Reporting

First and foremost it’s important to identify the e client/vendor feedback process, including reporting tools.

  • Are both qualitative and quantitative feedback measured?
  • How and when are results shared?
  • Does feedback show a high degree of client satisfaction?
  • What is the vendor’s own internal feedback/monitoring process?     

6. Customer Focus

As a client well knows, the company’s event success will be measured against that of the vendor they have selected.

  • Is there vendor confidence in creating a high impact and memorable event?
  • Is the client/vendor relationship such that communications are open and authentic from start to finish to achieve the desired results?
  • Does the vendor have the alchemy we seek and our best interests at heart?

In closing, there are other consideration points to be made, but we hope that this guide – born of our experience – will help ensure a good experience for you and your organization.