‘Convention-al’ Wisdom: Hotel Request For Proposal, Part 1

A hotel request for proposal (RFP), in a nutshell, is the ignition switch that starts the ball rolling when corporations and organizations need a hotel venue in which to hold their events, meetings, and conventions.

There is no single standard RFP form out there, but great examples are available at the websites of the Convention Industry Council and the Global Business Travel Association.

A request for proposal can be generated in a number of different ways:

  • A hotel bidding for a specific event
  • An event planner seeking bids or information from different venues for an event
  • A third-party vendor such as StarCite.com or Conventionplanit.com, which aim to be a one-stop shop for planners to easily search for venues in one database

However, many hotel sales staffs and event planners bypass the convenience of the third-party sites in favor of making direct connections using their own customized RFPs. Therefore you’re going to find a lot of different ones flying around out there.

What To Look For

When your sales staff receives a request for proposal from an event planner, here are just a few of the essential items you should look for in order to respond as completely as possible:

  • Contact information:
    – Key contact’s name
    – Title
    – Mailing address
    – Office phone
    – Mobile phone
    – Fax number
    – Email
    – Web site address
    – Preferred method of communication
    – Billing contact
  • Event profile
    – Event name
    – Host organization
    – Event organizer (if different from host)
    – Event dates (at least two options)
    – Host overview (mission statement, for example)
    – Event objectives
    – Estimated event schedule
  • Attendee profile
    – Target market segment (For example: corporate, non-profit, military, religious, social, ethnic)
    – Attendee demographics (Such as mix of drive-ins, fly-ins, international, etc.)
    – Number of attendees expected
    – Accessibility for special needs (Such as wheelchair-accessible rooms and facilities)
    – Estimated number of guest rooms needed
  • Meeting room and exhibit space required (size including ceiling height, dates, time needed for set-up and tear-down, tables/chairs, A/V equipment, etc.)
  • Food, beverages, and banquet space needed
  • Accessibility requirements for guests with physical limitations
  • Amenities such as onsite dining, fitness, recreation, proximity to convention center, etc.)
  • Shipping and receiving services required
  • The type of event planned (such as a corporate meeting, a trade show, a product launch, training sessions, or informal local or regional employee gathering)

For a great example of what a comprehensive RFP should look like, visit the Convention Industry Council’s web site, and click “Requests for Proposals” on the left. They have RFPs for just about everything, from separate sections of the event to the whole thing.

Let us help you learn how to effectively handle requests for proposals! Contact SmarteHotels.com today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *