Request for proposals (RFPs) are an essential part of the event planning process. Most event organizers send RFPs because they are meeting in a new city and/or do not have an established track record at a particular venue.
Here are some tips for creating the perfect RFP:
- Take time to give the recipient of your RFP a comprehensive overview of your company and the meeting you are asking them to bid on. Make sure the vendor understands your needs and why you think their hotel or convention center is a good fit.
- Tell them in a clear and concise manner what you are looking for from the event host. Is this a one-time event or are you looking to hold this meeting for multiple years at this destination? Is there a possibility that if everything goes well, this venue can be put into your meeting rotation?
- Be sure to start with your name, as well as the names of the company and the event. Let them know what type of market segment you fall into – association, corporate, government, non-profit, religious or social. The sales staff at the hotel or convention center generally have their staff defined in these segments, which allows the most qualified person to best answer your inquiry.
- If your event has a trade show component to it, give the venue the gross space required, the number of exhibits expected, and an indication of whether or not you need a secured exhibit space.
- It is important to share your sleeping room rate range and whether room reservations will be taken by you or made directly with the hotel. Share your overall F&B budget and ask the responses to include tax, service charges, and gratuity. In addition, try to get a feel for the per-person rate of each meal served.
- Tell the hotel and/or convention centre when you need the proposal returned to you. Let them know when you will make the initial cut and if there will be a presentation required after that. Let them know if a site inspection will be required before you make the final decision and an approximate date for the final decision.