1. Most Vendor/Client Matching Sites Play Both Sides.
Many of these websites offer articles aimed at clients like you, containing advice on how to ask for a discount or look for the best price, while dismissing the true value that sets the professionals in any category apart from each other. Basically, they tell you that one DJ, photographer, etc, is as good as another.
Meanwhile, in similar articles, they are also telling their listed vendors, who many times pay hefty fees to get to the top of your search results on that site, how to convey value and not settle for "low ballers."
While arguing both sides of the vendor/client relationship has been going on forever, the source of such information usually has a pretty firm stance on one side or the other. But when it comes to these websites, it's become all-too-apparent that the only side they are on is the one that best stuffs their wallets.
2. Many of the Best Quality Vendors Don't Use Such Sites.
I actually fall into this category myself. While I have been listed on such platforms in the past, I have found that my best referral has been my own live performances. When people see me perform, they want that same level of energy, and top sound engineering, for their own celebration.
My appearances at various community and business events, whether I am performing, or simply networking, has also generated most of my business. Because let's face it, online (including social media), one vendor does look pretty much like another to the average person. It takes real interaction to determine whether someone is going to be a good fit for you to work with.
3. Online Reviews Are Not Always Completely Honest.
Sometimes, vendors make them up as part of the selling process. Or, a friend or family member might take it upon themselves to create a profile, just to write up a fabulous report about their loved one.
As an example, I was actually surprised when I discovered that the owner of a DJ company I was working for at the time, had inserted reviews into my biography on their company website that I hadn't even earned yet. In fact, I hadn't even performed any events for their company brand yet.
And sometimes, bad moods that stem from other aspects of their event, or just from everyday life at that time, cause clients to write undeserved negative reviews about their vendors. Remember, there are always more sides than what you might see, to every situation.
However you decide to start your search for the right event vendors, remember to actually speak with your prospects either in person (which is always your best bet), or by audio or video call. Any vendors who refuse to make time to speak with you directly, and only want to do business via email or texting, is not somebody you should trust to provide a quality end result.