Meet: Red River Valley Fair Association
The Red River Valley Fair Association produces two large annual events, which are the Big Iron Farm Show, and the Red River Valley Fair. The Big Iron Farm Show features a whopping 900+ booths, all requiring vendor management! These range from large manufacturer partnerships to regional and local farm-based businesses. The organization uses EventHub’s core tool-suite to streamline vendor applications, collect paperwork, receive payments, and coordinate logistics. They also use EventHub’s interactive booth maps for layout and assignments. EventHub sat down with the association’s Chief Operating Officer, Emily Grunewald, to hear about her experience with using EventHub to streamline vendors for both events.
Pre-EventHub Workflow and Challenges of Managing Vendors
Before coming onto EventHub, vendors were managed manually via Excel spreadsheets and hard copy paperwork. Their event mapping was done on paper, and hand drawn overtop with various permanent and erasable markers. They previously had difficulty reviewing the enormous amount of required paperwork for participation from nearly 1,000 partners, and confirming each submitted their certificates of insurance (COIs).
160 Management Hours Saved on Vendor Management via EventHub
Emily is happy to share the benefits she’s realized from using the platform. “Time saving is irreplaceable with it,” highlights Emily. “We can now share more information with our potential exhibitors on placements. It’s been by far easier to track documentation of who has what turned in, versus somebody sending in a message and scrolling through the binder to see if we have it.” This is because EventHub’s document manager tool enables an event organizer to see ALL documents collected from event vendors and sponsors within one consolidated view, which can then be easily filtered by document type and review status of approved, rejected, or pending. Organizers can leave feedback on a document that needs correcting and vendors can even ask questions back on that document for clarification. There is also an order-level view for paperwork, and Organizers can even sort orders in order of who has most recently uploaded paperwork pending review. Emily believes the platform annually saves her upwards of 160 hours of work.
The tool can also reduce the amount of documents needing to be collected when managing vendors. Emily explains this as such: “Another plus side is that by signing up via the platform, you (the vendor) agree to these terms and conditions, so we’ve totally eliminated another document they had to sign and turn in.” EventHub’s applications include a terms and conditions module that can reduce the need of a separate agreement. For organizers who still prefer a separate contract, EventHub also has a mobile-friendly ESIGN Act compliant eSign feature included with the tool-suite, so partners can sign contracts and vendor agreements can be templated right within the platform. That’s why one of our tag lines is vendor management, made easy!
Modern Booth Mapping and Assignments
EventHub provides Red River Valley Fair with interactive booth maps for their event floor plans. Once built, these maps can be edited by Emily and her team at-will. Vendors can select their booth preferences during the application, and Emily can make final assignments and adjust those at needed in real-time, leading up to the event. “We used to have a large 11″ x 17″ laminated paper, but now we can assign and move exhibitors on a professional level. Instead of having a colored piece of paper, we can show an interactive map online. It allows us to sell more space, and sell out faster.”
EventHub’s floor plan not only has registrant and organizer views, but also includes a mobile-friendly public view for attendees to browse managed vendors and sponsors participating in the event. Many events use EventHub’s map as their primary event map and offer the digital map profiles as an additional sponsorship perk when participating in their event. The maps even offer schedule and performer modules if desired, at no additional cost.
Improved Data Accuracy and Record Keeping to Manage Vendors
Emily explains another major benefit of moving to a professional event vendor management software platform like EventHub. “In the old system, cells got moved around, we had to recreate the wheel, second guess our work, re-do the map, go over the binder, update the spreadsheet, ensure the (right) paperwork was in the binder, etc.” EventHub’s system eliminates manual data entry and chance of errored data, and is available year after year for easy reference, with search tools to locate sought-after records. Multiple teammates can use sub user accounts to work simultaneously without fear of overwriting one another, as the platform is cloud-hosted so everyone is working on the most up-to-date records.
The Red River Valley Fair Association is now in their third season on EventHub and couldn’t be happier. “We’re happy with the program,” Emily concludes. “We’re hoping that as you guys keep growing, more companies will start using you. We are excited to keep working with you guys, and also excited to keep spreading your name out there and showing people how it works.”
Thank you, Emily, we enjoy working with you as well! We’re exciting to keep growing as more and more orgs discover the value of our tool-suite for streamlining vendor applications, paperwork and payment collection, booth assignments, and event logistics.
CLICK HERE to request a demo, to learn how EventHub can help your fair, festival, or sporting event manage vendors more efficiently.
COO, Red River Valley Fair AssociationEmily Grunewald, Chief Operating Officer, Red River Valley Fair Association. Learn more about their org at https://www.redrivervalleyfair.com/ or view their event opportunities at https://eventhub.net/profiles/BigIronFarmShow.