The Importance of the Vendor Network

The bible for French Event Vendors

This week I am digging my heels in to really try and make some vendor connections.  It seems that there are pros and cons to living in the countryside (read middle of no where).  Although the south of France is not touted as your average countryside, there are some pretty vast areas, with not a whole lot to offer in the way of event vendors.  So where does one go to find them?  The bigger surrounding cities?  I guess, that’s a start, but having so many people travel an hour seems not very economic or ecological. I think that they are closer than I think, but I just have to find them.  I am going door to door this week to find out which neighbors I can in fact use for events at the house.  And with any luck, they can turn me on to the other people I am looking to add to my address book.  This would be on the ‘pro’ list for living in the countryside.  I can go door to door, because there just aren’t that many places to choose from, AND I can speak candidly because that’s what you do when you live in a small village with not much else happening.

Yesterday I started with a visit to the florist.  They were closed on Mondays, typical sparse hours for the french countryside, put that on the ‘con’ list.  So I went back today, February 14th.  There was nothing but a stream of men in and out of the door.  I don’t think I have ever seen that many men in a flower shop.  I forget about these things, as my husband and I buy gifts for each other throughout the year so as not to be bothered by sold out flower shops or overbooked restaurants on holidays like St. Valentines.  I made a date to return and meet with her tomorrow.

I have to admit that I may have not been grateful enough to the people who gave me their networks in the US.  Starting from scratch is a bit humbling and quite daunting, but over the past 3,5 years in France, I have done some basic networking.  So in addition to the door to door, I have set up some coffee meetings with some people who ‘know people’.  The network is the most important asset we have, so I am taking my time to construct it….more baby steps.

Be grateful for your network and those who shared their contacts with you to make your network great!