Planners Tip: Revamping Your RFP Skills

One of the first and most important aspects to getting the ball rolling with your upcoming event is venue selection. But let’s be honest, it can be a very trying task, especially when booking in a new location or during a busy time of year. Don’t let your RFP get lost in the mix or over looked. Spruce up your RFP skills to improve your chances of getting the space or hotel you want for your event or meeting!



What criteria are hotels looking for?
• Availability
• Room Rate
• Square footage per room night – 70 sf per room night is a basic standard, with fluctuations based on location and demand
• Spend per group room night

What set’s your RFP apart?
The more informed you are on what you need and why you need it, and requesting exactly those specifications can help set your request apart and will aid in getting more accurate, complete responses.
• Request exactly what you need (no more, no less)
• Explain why you need it

In addition to detailed meeting specifications, the best RFPs include the following
• History, including specific properties, pickup, peak night, and rate
• Market segment, group profile and contract signing location so leads can be routed to the proper sales representative
• Time frame and steps involved for decision making
• Brief profile of attendee demographics
• Any special clauses and meeting requirements
• Internet and AV needs
• Minimum spend the group is willing to commit to contractually AND the historical spend.
• Most importantly, state if your group is flexible


Pros and Cons of Different Sourcing Options
Now that your RFP is ready, there are plenty of ways to circulate it and it’s acceptable to submit it to more than one source. In addition to using existing relationships here are some insightful pros and cons of other options: convention & visitors bureaus, hotel global sales offices, e-options (Cvent, Strarsite etc), and meeting planning consultants/third parties.

Variety of Product
City Inventory Site Visitation Planning
Destination Knowledge
Active or Passive involvement
Database of Support Services
Marketing Promotional Support
Work in tandem with GSO
Work with 3rd parties and/or end users

Wield influence but not authority
Unable quote rates
Cannot guarantee availability
Not all operating alike

Global Sales Offices
Reach many of their properties quickly
Leverage total account spend (IT/Group)
Variety of destinations
Immediate history access
Focus on high volume accounts
Corporate promotions
Work with CVBs
Work with 3rd parties and/or end user

Limited destination knowledge
Represent only brand
Unable quote rates
Cannot guarantee availability
Wield more influence but not mandates



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