R-F-P. Those three little letters can send chills down your spine or put a smile on your face. No matter what you think of the RFP process, Requests for Proposals is how business gets done in our industry.
But what makes a good RFP? What should planners include and what do suppliers need? You probably know the basics: dates, locations, room rates, etc. Including more and making it clear really matters. The more complete the RFP, the better the proposals, the less time wasted and the fewer confused suppliers.
Put in your meeting room needs and the set up you expect to use so venues know if they can fit your group. Make sure to have alternative dates (if applicable), arrival/departure pattern, F&B budgets, decision timeline and your contact info, which gets left out surprisingly often. Also let the supplier know your preferred means of communication, such as email or phone.
Another important item is your group history. This means not only actual rooms and rates, but meeting space and rental and F&B costs. Try to include at least three years of history and have totals from past Master Accounts. If you don't know it, the hotels and venues you last used most likely will.
You'll have less work if you also ask suppliers to include all taxes, fees, resort costs and any "hidden" fees. If a supplier doesn't reply to all of the requests in your RFP, this could be a sign of future service issues, so double check to make sure they understand your needs.
Whether you all it an RFP or an RFQ (Request for Quote), in the end, it comes down to three things: communication, communication, communication.
Need help? Go to Cvent Planner Information for step-by-step guidance on finding the best venue for your meeting, and sending an RFP.