Do you need a last minute booking for your event?Did your DJ, Swing Band, Catering or Ukulele supplier cancel on you, and now you need an urgent replacement?
Usually, this situation occurs because:
- You screwed up and forgot something (no worries – we all humans)
- Your supplier screwed up
- You are just a very spontaneous and creative person
Whatever it is, we came up with an algorithm to get you through this quite stressful situation and get your last minute vendors and suppliers right.
0. Don’t Panic – this might be a hidden opportunity;)
1. Networking booking effect – Minimise time to maximise the outcome
Use your network of colleagues and suppliers. You don’t have much time, so email everyone from your list in bcc with a detailed request of the suppliers you need and an approximate budget for each one of them.
Copy paste a note to your most reliable contacts from the bcc list on various messengers to make sure they actually check your email and come back to you asap.
This way you’ll have the maximum outreach and save a lot of time instead of calling and chasing people.
2. Desperate times, hidden costs and sometimes lovely service – Concierges
If you’re in real trouble and have some extra cash, send the previous email to several concierge agencies. It’s a good idea to indicate your budget too. Make sure to leave your contact number, so they come back to you right away.
Give a quick call to each of them 10 minutes after your email and sort out all the details over the phone so the brief is clear.
Depending on the service you’ll pay up to 30-40% more on top vs going direct but if the urgency is real you’ll have to deal with it. Sorry.
However, this should be a backup option, don’t rely on it too much – keep going with your search.
3. Event booking platforms save the day?
Good third-party alternatives are event platforms which work directly with suppliers and don’t charge the client. They take their commission from the supplier and will aim to get you a quote as close as possible to direct prices or even better if the provider has some exclusive deals.
Make sure to get a confirmation either by email or in a chat that your request has been received and is now being processed. Good service should reply in 5-10 minutes at max.
At PartyMaker we often get last minute requests, and we’ve got quite good at fulfilling them, as we know the approximate availability for majority of the suppliers on our platform. Here is our process:
- We usually get a message on our website chatbot, Instagram or Facebook page with a short initial request e.g.: I need a magician/band/sweet station for my event which is in two days.
- We then ask the person to fill in the “Last Minute Booking” form on our website which will take around 5 minutes but would save a lot of back and forth texts and emails. A big advantage is that you don’t have to fill different forms for each category. You just list all your requirements in one place.
- We check our suppliers’ availability in the relevant category and contact them to confirm the date, budget and other details. We also pre-book them to make sure you don’t have more “surprises.”
- After that, we come back to you with a list of available suppliers and budgets.
- In case you already know who are you looking for exactly, we check their availability and if they are already booked for your date, we’d suggest some good alternatives.
- Once you’re happy and all the details are confirmed, you pay through our platform (you also get a PMKR Event Protection) – now your booking is confirmed and secured. Breathe out 🙂
It’s important to remember that cancellation is rarely available with last minute bookings as most of the suppliers don’t refund booking fees starting from two weeks before the event. So keep this in mind when making decisions in a hurry.
You see! It’s not that bad if you have the right process in place.
It’s also a valuable lesson either on your planning approach or unreliable supplier whom you should avoid doing business with in the future.
We hope this was useful and please share your tips and tricks below or maybe tell us about your last minute situations?