“When I’m preparing a proposal, it’s valuable to have as much of the required information as possible in the RFP or in one email to refer back to,” said Lindsay Gulley, Convention Sales Manager at Visit Wichita.
In general, the information sales managers need to best assist meeting planners is:
• Meeting space (sq. ft. needed or set-up details with an estimated head count)
• Room nights per night and desired room rate
• Food and beverage estimate/minimum
• Any concessions requested
• Name and history of conference
Boost your RFP and help CVBs serve you better with some of these tips:
“Obviously critical information like event dates, budget, and number of attendees are covered in a formal RFP but it’s also helpful for a CVB to learn the objective of the meeting, key decision timelines, other cities bidding on the event, and what planners are hoping attendees will get out of the meeting. Knowing all these things helps a CVB align their respective community to put their collective best foot forward to make the event as successful as possible,” explained Mary Chris Hotchkiss, CMP, CTA, Convention Sales & Service Manager, Greater Lansing CVB. “I love when an event planner can share what a successful event looks like to them, that way I can have the same goals and mindset as I make suggestions for their event.”
“Professional meeting planners typically know what they can accomplish with square footage. Volunteer meeting planners may not know that information, so in those cases, the desired set-up and number of people expected to attend is very helpful,” said Heather Egan, Convention Sales Manager at Visit Wichita.
When it comes to sports events, the RFP will have different details, but according to Matt TenHaken, Director of Sports Marketing, Fox Cities CVB, there are a few items he really likes to see in RFPs from Event Rights Holders, whick are helpful regardless of the event type.
1. Ideal Event Dates with an anticipated event agenda - If we push to host an event on less than ideal dates for participants and the attendance suffers, we all lose. An agenda gives us a good idea of what the entire event, from set up to tear down, will require.
2. Sample Budget - Whether it is an average hypothetical budget or examples from past years, knowing the breakdown of expenses and revenues the local host can expect is critical. Many of our events serve as fundraisers run by local non-profits. Hosting an event that loses money for the organization is usually never an option for us.
3. Volunteer Needs - If we need to help the event find volunteers to fill non-technical positions like handing out t-shirts, directing traffic, taking tickets, or manning a registration table, we usually don’t have a problem with that. But if we need to fill roles like rules marshals, field preparation, or public address announcer, those are harder to find and we need to know in advance.
4. Facility Needs - Be as detailed as possible in describing your minimum venue requirements. If a community doesn’t have the venue you need, you don’t want to waste their time putting together a proposal and your time reviewing a proposal.
“Overall, providing as much information as possible and sharing as many details about your conference assists us developing the best-suited proposal for your event,” said Egan, Visit Wichita. “Also, knowing as much as we can about your group’s particular interests and preferences is helpful in creating a tailored proposal.”
Visit www.MidwestMeetings.com/Resources/RFPs for more information.