Tag Archives: RFP

Maximize ROI from your RFPs

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.

Avoid Duplication

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.

Friendly Competition

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!

History

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.

Attendee Profiles

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.

Five Essentials Often Missing from RFPs

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!

4. Concessions:

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.

Five Reasons to Use RFP Organization

rfp organizationCollecting 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 info@conventionplanit.com.

New Year, New Look

As the New Year gets underway, ConventionPlanit.com is ready with a fresh update to the website. If you have visited the site recently, you will notice a clean, streamlined new homepage design and improved navigational tabs to help direct users. The new ‘my meetings’ link allows you direct access to your RFP OrganizationSM charts from any page on the site.

The refresh to the website comes from direct feedback from the CP Advisory Council of meeting planners. The website is now more accessible, with full functionality available on mobile devices and iPads. You can truly check your RFP quotes from anywhere now!

Over the next several months, we will be unveiling many added features and improvements to the overall website and in particular, the search capabilities, which will soon allow users even more customization and freedom to narrow down destinations, facilities and service providers.

If you have suggestions of new features for the website, be sure to let us know by commenting below!

Track Your RFP Responses Easily

RFP OrganizationMeeting planners can now track RFP responses more easily than ever before with ConventionPlanit.com’s new virtual RFP Organization platform.

RFP Organization is now completely accessible to meeting planners via the ConventionPlanit.com website.  The service, now a year old, saves meeting planners time by having all of their RFP responses compiled on a spreadsheet.

Now, these same RFP responses are displayed in real time on an easy to read chart.

The response charts display only the criteria the planner requests, and can be customized for each meeting. Planners can even view responses from past meetings with the new online component.

The RFP process has been streamlined for hoteliers, as well – they can now respond to RFPs virtually, saving them valuable time.  This means planners will receive responses more quickly!

Planners interested in using RFP Organization for their meetings can get started here, or by calling 866-922-8988.

Organizing RFP Responses

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!

RFP Responses Piled Up

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!

Ten Tips to Increase RFP Response Time

Frustrated by slow response time to your meeting RFPs? Wish you didn’t have to keep calling to find out whether a property is going to respond?

It’s not that hotels don’t want your business – they do! They want to make sure they respond quickly to potential buyers, but they are often inundated with incomplete RFPs that need to be qualified, or RFPs get buried in their systems.

Meeting professionals can help themselves by following these 10 tips to increase RFP response time:

1. Do some homework and narrow your search to a short list of qualified properties.

2. Include a reasonable range of preferred dates and be clear about which dates are the first, second, or third choices.

3. Provide complete information about the number of rooms, number of attendees, overall meeting requirements, etc.

4. Send a verified room block history so the property can see a strong track record for the meeting.

5. Create a deadline for the response and a realistic time frame for the decision.

6. RFPs are taken more seriously if you avoid looking as if you’re fishing around for rates.

7. Provide rate thresholds for rooms and information on how the rooms will be fulfilled and paid.

8. Indicate how the decision will be made, including the steps properties can anticipate in the process.

9. Call the hotel sales department to ask about the status. Properties interested in landing business should have procedures in place to respond quickly to phone requests, especially if a planner is following up on a previous communication.

10. Consider using an online search directory to distribute the RFP and ensure that properties respond. ConventionPlanit.com offers an RFP Valet® service and guarantees that properties will respond within 24 hours to say whether they will send a proposal and when the proposal can be expected.

ConventionPlanit.com Principals and Co-Founders Katherine Markham, CHME, and David Markham also authored a column on this issue entitled “RFP Response Malfunction” that appears on MeetingsNet at http://meetingsnet.com/technology/hotels-respond-request-0810/. The column also appears in the August 2010 issue of Association Meetings, to be available onsite at the ASAE Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, California, August 21-24, 2010.

ConventionPlanit.com will also be available at the ASAE Annual Meeting in Booth #941 to provide more information and answer questions about the RFP Valet® service and other RFP distribution options.

Receive RFP Responses in 24 Hours

Researching properties and distributing an RFP is considered easy compared to the most daunting task at hand for a meeting planner – receiving timely responses (or responses, period, for that matter).

As a meeting planner, following up with multiple properties, wondering if your RFP was received, and actually receiving a quote can be an exhausting (and time consuming) game of cat and mouse. But that’s just how the system works, right? A hotel will respond on their schedule, not yours.


All hope is not lost! There is a fast, reliable, way to distribute your meeting requirements through ConventionPlanit.com and receive a guaranteed response within 24 hours!

It’s simple; here’s how:

1. Conduct property research and send RFPs through www.conventionplanit.com as usual (I recommend the fast “add to cart” feature; attach your specs and send to several properties at once).

2. Relax! The hard work is done.

3. Within 24 hours, you’ll rest assured that each property received your proposal, and you’ll know when to expect a response. (The CP RFP Team will send you a detailed summary).

And, best of all, since ConventionPlanit.com is commission-free, meeting planners use these services for free! Visit www.conventionplanit.com to get started, or email ashley@conventionplanit.com for more information.

Which Hotel or Venue Directory to Use?

For a meeting planner, researching and booking a meeting is more complicated than selecting the number of rooms and date availability. The planning process is involved, tedious, and often frustrating.

With the rise of hotel and venue directories geared specifically for meeting planners, the process, no doubt has the potential to become far easier…if you can choose a website to use, that is.

The choices can be overwhelming, and many search directories are even adding hidden fees into costs for the planners, or requiring hotels to pay fees for each RFP they receive.

For a planner looking for an honest and free website to research and plan their meetings, check out ConventionPlanit.com.

What sets it apart? The RFP Assistance Service. Planners submit meeting specs, and ConventionPlanit.com’s team of experts research properties that meet the criteria – and send out the RFP to properties approved by the planner.

The properties respond directly to the planner, and ConventionPlanit.com steps in only if the planner asks for help receiving responses. The decision-making process remains entirely in the planner’s hands…and the service is entirely free.

Now, planners can even receive a $50 American Express-branded Reward card for using the service!

To get started, email your meeting specs to info@conventionplanit.com.

Meeting Tip of the Day

Did you know ConventionPlanit.com can help you craft the perfect RFP, for FREE?

We’ll even give you a $50 American Express Rewards Card — as a thank you!

Call 866-922-8988 or click here for free RFP assistance