What Should My RFP Include?

In a previous post (read here), I discussed why anyone planning an off-site meeting or event should utilize an RFP (request for proposal) process. Using an RFP process will result in more competitive and complete bids, less telephone tag, smoother negotiations and no big surprises.

The best way to achieve these positive results is by creating your own RFP. Should you choose to do this, here is a list of items you will want to consider including in your RFP:

  • Name/address of sponsoring organization
  • Your contact information
  • Preferred method of response (mail, fax, email, phone, etc)
  • Deadline for RFP submission and schedule for decision making process
  • Title of the meeting/event
  • Brief description of meeting goals, objectives and/or purpose
  • Meeting history for the past 3 years, if possible
  • Overview of attendee demographics
  • Preferred city or region
  • Possible meeting dates, including days of the week meeting is held and whether or not dates are flexible
  • Type of property preferred (i.e. downtown, airport, resort, Christian facility, etc.)
  • Projected sleeping room block, including info on arrival/departure patterns and estimate of single, double, triple, quad occupancy, etc.
  • Desired room rate range (this will help hotels know if they can be competitive or not)
  • Meeting space requirements, including size of rooms, registration area, staff area, 24-hour holds, etc.
  • Meeting schedule for each day
  • Exhibit information (i.e. # of booths, type of booths, set up and tear down times), if applicable
  • Food and beverage needs (i.e. breaks, catered meals, dietary requirements, etc.)
  • Expectations related to waived meeting room rental and complimentary rooms
  • Any other information that will help make your group more attractive to the hotel or conference center

While this may seem like a lengthy list, it’s not all inclusive. What other information do you include in your RFP’s?

Using the LAURA method for Effective Communication

At the Conference Centers we strive to effectively communicate with all of our employees and guests.

“Did you hear what I said” is something that I think everyone has uttered at some point in their life when communicating with someone else.  Something that I have found effective for me is to think of my friend  LAURA.  Now, LAURA isn’t an actual person I know, it’s just the way I have found to remember that there are two people in all conversations.

Listen – Listen to what the other person is saying to you.

Ask – Ask questions to clarify what was said to you.

Understand – Be sure you understand what was said, take a few minutes to absorb if needed.

Respond – Respond appropriately to the other person.

Ask – Ask more questions to ensure you responded appropriately.  If you did not, repeat the process.

How do you effectively communicate?  I would love to hear any strategies you’ve found effective.