It’s a pain point for both sides, but Shawna Suckow, CMP, Sean Schuette, CMP, and Mesha Hegna, CMP, offered some insight at the UMCVB Fall 2015 Conference, specifically what planners can do to make the process better.
Attendee Information: When it comes to the contents of the RFP, planners should provide the demographics of their attendees and what they want to do in the evening, etc. If that information is not provided in the RFP, suppliers would be wise to ask in their response. And then listen and pay attention.
Priorities: Planners should list their top three to five priorities, in order, in the RFP. Concessions should be noted and acknowledged, then negotiations and communication can happen. Transparency is huge, now more than ever.
Supplier Responses: When suppliers respond to RFPs, consider including a reward for the planner/client, e.g. We’ll give you (blank) if (blank). This can be used to encourage speedier responses. Skip the fluff and fully respond to needs outlined in the RFP.
In the Spring 2015 issue of Midwest Meetings, Shawna highlighted the RFP spam problem that is threatening the industry. In “Broken Processes,” she encourages planners to come together to correct the problem. So tell us, what is it about RFPs that’s preventing a friendship with your suppliers and what can be done?