When developing a RFP, we discussed asking yourself the following five questions:
- 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?
We are now on topic #4. In the previous article, we talked about numbers and now we are going to touch on who to send the rfp to.
One point first, in case you are wondering what the difference between a CVB and a DMO is…basic answer, there isn’t. The CVB world is trying to get away from using CVB and switching to DMO. With any change, it takes time, but just know there is no difference. Many DMOs are have different names ie:Tourism Vancouver, Choose Chicago and Visit Indy. They are all they same types of organizations.
As a DMO supplier, I meet with clients at tradeshows, events and in their offices to discuss their future meeting needs. In my tenure with Tourism Vancouver (almost 14 years), I have seen planners copy only me on an rfp to copying everyone that might ever touch the meeting. There is no exact science to what is best, however, what is important to understand is that we are here to help place your meeting.
In years past, there was a competition of who sent out the lead first, the DMO or the hotel GSO (Global Sales Office) to receive credit. Over the years, the GSOs and DMOs have really worked hard together to come together to make it easy on the planner and in most cases, this does not matter anymore. DMOs and the GSOs have developed relationships that allow for open communication. Believe it or not, we have hosted events where we network without clients to get to know each other. We see the value of the industry partnership to help you. This relationship benefits you by making sure you get the entire picture of what is out there for your meetings. Our belief is that if the client is getting what they need then we are all happy.
I am a member of an organization called Destination Reps (DR) (www.destinationreps.org). We are your Midwest-based DMO sales representatives. We are a dues-paying association of over 40 destinations. Our goal is to get to know planners by hosting client events so you can get more ROI on your invested time when networking with industry partners. Additionally, when it comes to an rfp, we want to be your first point of contact for a destination in conjunction with the GSO. DR members bring a unique perspective to the search process. We know what is happening in the city and when there are opportunities to look at dates a bit differently to get your group the best possible options. On the other hand, GSOs offer a unique perspective as they can help you look at what is happening in their hotels and in their overall company. Together we can give you the entire picture.
So next time you are sourcing a meeting regardless of size (10 – 10,000 people), make sure you send it to your DMO rep (a contact list is on the DR website) and the GSOs. We all bring different perspectives to the table to help you make the right choice for your meeting.