Putting together a Request for Proposal (RFP) can be a daunting experience for a lot of meeting planners. In today’s seller’s market, planners have to find a way to not only get their RFP noticed, but to stand out from the rest of the RFP’s hotels receive. It’s no longer enough to simply put the basic rates, dates and space down and expect to receive multiple responses.
What can planners do to stand out? Besides ensuring that your RFP is complete, follow these steps on what NOT to do and you’ll be a step ahead of the pack!
What NOT To Do When Crafting Your RFP:
- Including 30 hotels in three different destinations in the RFP.
Hotels look at the number of hotels and destinations planners include in the RFP. If they see you are distributing the RFP to 30 hotels, they will assume they have only a 1 in 30 chance of earning your business. However, if you distribute your RFP to only 5 or 6 hotels, their chances just greatly increased. Therefore, narrow down the number of destinations and the hotel list BEFORE distributing your RFP.
- Not having at least 2 years of event history.
Include at least two years of event history in your RFP. Some planners might be hesitant to include their history due to some anomalies, however it is better to include the history and make a note of them versus not including anything. Think of your meeting history like a credit report. You wouldn’t expect to make a major purchase without first qualifying for the cost of the item. The same goes for negotiating for your meeting with hotels.
- Including a lot of specific questions without prioritizing them.
If you are going to include 30+ questions in the initial RFP, it might be too much for the hotel to answer right away. The hotel might end up rushing through it, or worse, not responding at all. Organize your list into deal-breakers at the top and the nice-to-have’s at the bottom.
- Requiring a response within 24 hours.
Unless you absolutely need to hear back from the hotel within 24 hours, allow for as much time as possible to receive a response from the hotel. The more time a hotel has to respond, the better chance they will take the time to review your RFP and give it the time it deserves for a thoughtful response.
- Not involving the local CVB in the RFP process.
Having a comprehensive RFP is the first step in getting a response from hotels. There could also be circumstances in a destination planners may not be aware of affecting the hotel room demand and therefore their RFP. Planners need an ally. The local Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is the best first resource to work with when crafting an RFP.
The CVB is a great, unbiased advocate for your organization and meeting. By working closely with the hotels in their destination, the CVB sales professional has an in-depth knowledge of not only what hotels are looking for, but also what is going on in the city that might affect getting a competitive, timely response.
For a more in-depth look into RFP’s, be sure to check out the RFP Reconstructed Handbook.
To find a CVB sales professional that can assist you with your RFP, visit empowerMINT.com.
Click here to download this RFP Checklist.