Meeting planners who have been told “those dates are unavailable” are often surprised to learn that some suppliers may instead simply not be interested in their business. Suppliers are focused on maximizing revenue within their available timeframes, and if your meeting does not fit the bill, you may be on the receiving end of that dreaded phrase.
If you’re looking to receive competitive proposals from suppliers (and let’s face it, who isn’t?), it all starts with the RFP. Investing a little more time to market your meeting to suppliers is all it takes.
The following guidelines will help make your meeting more desirable to suppliers and help you maximize the return.
Pre-Qualify the Hotel
Narrow your search to a short list. If the hotel is right for your group, the group is likely right for the hotel. Narrow your search to the type of hotel that suits your meeting and can accommodate your space needs.
While suppliers will not take your meeting seriously if the odds of booking your meeting are 30:1, the reaction tends to be similar if they receive your RFP from multiple sources. Be respectful of the suppliers’ time (and your own) and send your RFP to each supplier once.
Encourage hotels to compete for your business by letting them know who’s on the short list. No one likes to ‘lose’ the business to their biggest competitor across the street!
Present the facts to make your meeting appealing. Include information like the total spend, including previous rates x room nights + F&B and the room pick-up over the last 5 years. Name drop other hotels within a comp-set.
Regardless of what you contract with a hotel, your attendees also have spending habits that may be of interest to the hotel. Will your attendees be doubling up in the rooms or ordering suites?
What are the spending habits of your attendees? Are they on expense accounts taking clients to dinner, or will they frequent the cocktail lounge?
Want more RFP tips? Contact the ConventionPlanit.com RFP Hotline 866-922-8988 for personalized assistance.