The latest comic in the the Misty and Happy Series!
Try RFP Organization and zip line your RFP sourcing!
No training, templates, commissions, or hidden fees
RFP Hotline: 866.922.8988 or email email@example.com
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.
Incomplete RFPs lead to delays and less than perfect bids, which can put a planner at a disadvantage in the current seller’s market.
Here are five fundamentals to include in your RFP. By including this information up front, suppliers can respond promptly and offer you the best possible quotes.
1. Date Flexibility:
Meeting dates should be listed in order of preference, including alternate weeks, dates or patterns you will consider. This eliminates the need for back and forth date consideration, and suppliers can reply just once with availability.
2. Room Rate Threshold:
Pre-qualify the hotel according to the maximum rate your attendees can afford to pay. Indicating your rate thresholds will allow suppliers to quickly submit a quote or decline to bid.
3. Incomplete History:
Include detailed history for your room consumption and rates paid in the last three years. Include your F&B and other charges. Suppliers will assess your business based on the ‘total spend.’ The more ammo you provide, the better!
If concessions are requested, prioritize them in order of importance.
5. Decision Process:
Explain the timetable for the decision, who else may be involved in the process and any criteria affecting the selection process.
Want more RFP tips? Contact the RFP Hotline 866-922-8988 for personalized assistance.
What are your peers saying about RFP OrganizationSM?
“I learned about ConventionPlanit.com earlier this year and sourced RFPs for both our 2017 & 2018 Annual Meetings through their website. We typically obtain quotes from several destinations, and by using their RFP OrganizationSM tool, I was able to obtain quotes and concessions which were compiled on a streamlined chart.
Their tool made it easy for me to narrow down my search and saved me many hours researching hotels appropriate to host our programs. Best of all, there were no hidden fees or commissions.”
Cheryl L. Jamison, Executive Director
Association for Conflict Resolution
Have you used RFP OrganizationSM ? What did you think? Comment below and let us know!
An interview with ConventionPlanit.com Co-Founder David Markham on the creation of RFP Organization
What is RFP OrganizationSM and what should meeting planners know about it?
RFP OrganizationSM is a sourcing tool planners use to send their RFP to pre-qualified suppliers and obtain online responses within 24 hours. Traditional sourcing takes several days. Planners must research suppliers, send their RFP and wait for generic proposals to glean specific criteria for comparison shopping. This is exactly what RFP OrganizationSM does, and it’s so simple to use!
Step 1 – Planners send their original RFP.
Step 2 – A courtesy call from our team establishes their preferences and criteria for comparison.
Step 3 – Within 24 hours, all comparative responses are posted on an organized chart.
How is RFP OrganizationSM different from other sourcing tools?
Saving time is important to meeting planners. There’s no training or retyping of the RFP to use RFP OrganizationSM. When it comes to digital options, RFP templates are burdensome. Planners prefer to use their own RFP, and suppliers appreciate the RFP details that enable them to better understand the needs of the group.
There’s a cost factor, too. RFP OrganizationSM is offered as a free amenity to meeting and event planners, so there are no hidden fees or mark-ups to be concerned about.
How did RFP OrganizationSM evolve?
Everything on ConventionPlanit.com is planner driven. Our Advisory Council and industry feedback is what guided us. Given our national sales experience, we offered a similar service when we started ConventionPlanit.com called RFP Valet®, for personalized RFP sourcing. With the development of time saving, digital applications, we married the two. It’s hi-touch meets hi-tech!
Who uses RFP OrganizationSM?
It’s primarily used by meeting planners who conduct their own RFP sourcing and negotiate contracts. Many independent planners who may be commissionable use it because they prefer a commission-free tool. Executive Directors, meeting staff and non-traditional planners use it too because it’s so easy.
What RFP services does your team offer?
We offer meeting planners free consultation to help prepare their RFP and pre-qualify suppliers, which may include their NSO representatives. We merge their laundry list of criteria and concessions into our comparison platform. We send the RFP to selected suppliers who submit online quotes in minutes to the comparison chart. The planner is provided with log-in credentials to view their response chart which are easy to export to others involved in the decision making process.
Collecting RFP responses can be a hassle, but it does not have to be.
Here are five reasons you should give ConventionPlanit.com’s RFP Organization a try:
1. RFP responses are organized on a comparison chart for you
2. Receive quotes fast and by your deadline
3. No training or RFP templates – submit your RFP in your own format
4. Receive personalized consultation & expertise
5. Complimentary service and commitment free
To start using RFP Organization, email your RFP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have not given ConventionPlanit.com’s RFP Organization tool a try, you are missing out on the easiest way to compare hotel bids.
RFP responses are guaranteed within 24 hours, AND the responses are organized on an easy to read chart to allow for side by side offer comparisons.
Meeting planners are raving about it!
“I’ve worked with the ConventionPlanit RFP Valet® Team on a few occasions over the last year and I’m most impressed with their services. Our group typically obtains quotes from multiple destinations and their RFP OrganizationSM sourcing tool provides us with timely quotes in an online chart along with capacity charts and floor plans. The best part is that their site is truly transparent with no hidden fees or mark-ups like other RFP portals. I highly recommend this free time-saving resource to other planners.”
Cecilia Ferrara, Director
NCBFAA Educational Institute (NEI)
“As an independent planner, my clients rely on my personal attention to the details of their programs. When I’m sourcing their meetings, I go right to ConventionPlanit. They are an extension of my staff and get me results quickly and expeditiously. The best part is there are no hidden commissions or mark-ups to worry about. Couldn’t do it without them!”
Annette M. Suriani, CMP, Chief Meeting Strategist
AMS Meetings Solutions
“I recently had the opportunity of working with the ConventionPlanit RFP Valet® Team and utilized their RFP OrganizationSM sourcing tool. I was able to obtain RFP responses from various destinations which were compiled on a streamlined, online chart to easily compare quotes and concessions. The free service they were able to offer was a major help and best of all there were no hidden fees or commissions. I highly recommend their services to other meeting planners.”
Renee M. Amans, IT Technician, Americas
Danfoss Group IT
Loves Park, Illinois
One of the most tedious jobs for a meeting planner is organizing RFP responses from hotels.
Hotels often send information to meeting planners in their own formats, can forget to include pertinent information for the planners, and on occasion, send a proposal with the wrong organization’s name on the top…and the list goes on!
What is a crunched-for-time meeting planner to do? Ask ConventionPlanit.com to help, of course.
ConventionPlanit.com now offers meeting planners RFP Organization.
We compile hotel responses for you in an easy to read spreadsheet so you can compare Apples to Apples (instead of Apples to Bananas). You identify the important criteria for the spreadsheet, and we do the rest!
I highly recommend using this 100% free service to compile your RFP responses for any meeting planner short on time.
And if you find your self wondering what’s the catch? Well, there isn’t one…it’s our way of saying thank you for using our website!
To get started, submit your RFP here and mention the RFP Organization Tool.
What do you think…will you use this new service? What other service would you like ConventionPlanit.com to offer meeting planners? Post a comment and share!
A successful conference needs a highly organized meeting planner running the show. Make sure your event is up to par and ensure no detail is overlooked by making an event binder.
This will be your lifeline onsite at the event. Below we share some of our must-have items to include in your binder. Be sure to let us know what you would add!
o Personal Schedule: day-by-day works best for larger conferences
o Meeting Schedule: be sure to include room numbers o Staff Schedule: include who is working check in, registration, etc. and the shift time
• Venue Information
o Event Contract
o Venue Contact List
o Rooming List: ask for an up to date list on arrival day
o Room Set Ups: highlight any changes from the version the hotel received
o Food & Beverage Order Forms
o Hotel Floorplan
o AV Requests
o Exhibiting Company Lists: alphabetical & by booth number
o Exhibitor Contracts: include copies of check or credit card numbers
o Set-Up Instructions: include all drapery colors and any other set-up details sent to the venue
• Signage: a list of all signs and placement locations
• Speaker Information: contact information and arrival times
• Additional Details
o Last minute action list
o Security schedule
o Insurance certificate
What additional information do you include in your binder? Send a tweet to @conventionplani with the hashtag #cpeventbinder and let us know!
Information compiled with the help of the National Council of Teachers of English
ConventionPlanit.com is comprised of experienced industry professionals
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