Competition for MICE business is fierce especially when it comes to writing RFP responses. While software automation tools can help in streamlining the process, there are other steps you can follow to increase your chances of winning more deals in less time and with less effort.
We’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks that can help you avoid common RFP pitfalls. Adopting these ten best practices can make the bidding and negotiating process easier, and can ultimately help you identify the right business for your property.
1. Create a profile that attracts the business you want
Event planners use your Cvent listing to pre-qualify your venue for their upcoming event. Receive more RFPs by showing your venues’ benefits with customised and detailed meeting information. Basic statistics are pulled from your Cvent profile onto the planner’s bid reports – make sure your data is accurate and up to date so that it can be reflected accordingly. Ensure your sales team is familiar with your Cvent listing options, so that they can reference details and promotions from your profile easily.
2. Use a proposal introduction to include info about your venue
Planners are looking for specific differentiators and facts about your facility. Include these in the very beginning of your proposal. Avoid the fluff, as we’ve done here!
3. Apply default costs and responses
Set default costs and text responses for additional information fields so you don’t have to fill them out every time you make a proposal. Filling in additional information boxes with your hotel’s unique value will make your proposal look more robust compared to the competition.
4. Look out for alternate date opportunities
Especially when planners let you know their dates are flexible, give them alternate opportunities to book with your venue instead of turning down the RFP. By offering flexible date options, you are positioning your venue as a valued partner to work with, which could lead to repeat business.
5. Fill out custom questions as thoroughly as possible
Custom questions are created by Event planners, so they are sometimes the most important part of the proposal. A planner has taken the time to create these custom questions for a reason, so make sure that your responses give the planner the detail they are looking for!
6. Add value to the proposal by offering concessions and promotions
Specify exactly what concessions you are offering. Do not just agree to the planner’s request. This will help the planner when comparing bids. Planners are very receptive to a-la-carte promotions or concessions, where they can pick and choose from a variety of offerings. This helps customise the proposal to their event.
7. Prioritise your RFPs
With a 21% increase in RFP volume sent through the Cvent system compared to last year, it is important that hotels focus their response efforts on top-quality business, particular to their needs and desired segments. Using Cvent’s prioritisation views allows you to segment leads received by date patterns, size, first-time planners versus repeat business, response due dates, etc.
8. Follow up directly with the planner
Cvent requires that every RFP includes both an email address and phone number for the meeting planner. Use the system to send a thorough proposal but follow up with a call to confirm they received your proposal and ensure there are no other questions.
9. Use Cvent to network for future events
Instead of treating every proposal individually, utilise Cvent reports to look for trends in RFPs sent to your hotel. Analyse planners or organisations that send you several RFPs and ask why you did or did not win their business in the past. Focus your energy on reaching out to them directly to build a relationship. Find local planners you can visit or send information to any planner regarding your profile for their upcoming event.
10. Write a final email message before sending your proposal
Before sending a proposal, write a message to the planner. The message will be sent in an automated email via Cvent immediately after proposal submission. This message box is a great opportunity to highlight something from your bid. Whether it is a set of alternate dates, a great promotion you are offering, or a key factual feature of your hotel, this is an extra opportunity to catch the eye of the planner.