Hello MPI-CAC – I am back. Took a break for awhile to give some other writers the opportunity to share their knowledge.
I want to finish up my series about RFPs. Remember we talked about the 5 questions to ask yourself when developing an RFP. If you don’t remember, here is a refresher…..
- What is the vision of the program and what are the goals of the meeting?
- What innovations do you want to bring to this meeting?
- Do you really need to consider 10 destinations?
- Do you send the RFP to both the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB)/Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) and the hotel Global Sales Offices?
- Do you think you are providing too much detail?
Finally, the 5th question…..Do you think you are providing too much detail? The answer is NO!!!
The more you know and share the better suppliers can help you. Of course, the basic information is essential…ideal dates, desired rates and details of the space needs. However, it is great when we receive rfp’s with historical spend on the food and beverage, wifi, audio visual because we know what are important factors in the decision-making process. Especially for citywide groups.
This may seem basic, but, I see lots of rfp’s with no desired square footage for meeting space. It just gives the number of attendees in the meeting. That is good, but we are not always sure what the staging and audio-visual needs are for a group. It varies for every group, so it is ideal when you have number of people attending, room set up needed and requested square footage desired.
Many groups have exhibitors and posters within their meeting. It is important here to describe the layout…10x10 vs 8x10 booths for example can make a big difference in the space needs. It is recommended that you put the booth size on your specifications. Another area where people don’t describe in detail is a poster session layout. Let us know if it is single sides or double sided, better yet, put the square footage needed.
In terms of hotel rates, ALWAYS put on the rfp if the rates are net or commissionable. It is very important to know this up front. Changing the rate structure after the bid is submitted does not sit well with either side. Also, it is helpful to indicate the rate history from the last 2 years. Keeps everyone from guessing.
Finally, it is important to include information on proposal deadlines, decision date, contract signature date, how the decision will be made, who will be making the decision and where the contract is going to be signed. These may not seem important to you, but I know that all suppliers would like this information to share with their stakeholders as they bid on your meeting.
Bottom line, the more you provide in the rfp, the more comprehensive proposal you will receive and less back and forth in the beginning. Always air on providing all the details you have about your meeting. You are the expert on your meeting!