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6 Secrets to Getting an Event RFP You Can Actually Use

As event planners, we have a great advantage. The venue sourcing market is shifting from a seller's market to a buyer's market. However, this means that we have more responsibility. In order to build strong...

As event planners, we have a great advantage. The venue sourcing market is shifting from a seller's market to a buyer's market. However, this means that we have more responsibility. In order to build strong relationships with venues, it's crucial that we submit strong event RFPs (Request for Proposal) that truly capture our needs and desires.

Communicate Your Own Needs

Before you start contacting venues or sending out RFPs, do your homework. Gather all the necessary information about your event. The more accurate and precise the details you provide to the venue, the better their proposals will be. Include key details such as the date, time, setup/teardown time needed, type of event, number of attendees, catering preferences, accommodations, and any specific historical information about the event.

Be Clear About Your Budget

Transparency is key when it comes to discussing budget with the venue. If you have a specific budget in mind for hotel rooms or meals, communicate that to the venue. This will help ensure that the venue can meet your expectations and provide suitable options within your budget.

Forget the Menus

Don't be swayed by extensive catering menus. Instead, let the venue know your budget and the style of food or theme you're looking for. Allow the chef to work their magic with local, in-season ingredients. This way, you can have great food at your event without compromising your budget.

Find Areas in Your RFP to Negotiate

There are several opportunities to save money for both you and your attendees. Look for areas within the venue RFP to negotiate. For example, you can negotiate waived room fees by meeting food and beverage minimums or negotiate for the use of outside audiovisual providers without extra fees. Additionally, ask for free hotel rooms for staff, speakers, and volunteers, and consider negotiating the removal of attrition clauses.

Don't Sign Without Understanding the Implications

Once you've negotiated the event venue proposal, review the contract in detail. Pay attention to deadlines, payment terms, cancellation policies, and attrition terms. If you find any errors or discrepancies, reach out to your sales contact to make the necessary amendments. Only sign the contract when you are fully satisfied with its contents.

Use the Right Tools to Find Venues and Manage Event RFPs

Take advantage of the available tools and resources to find venues and manage your event RFPs efficiently. Contact Convention and Visitor Bureaus or Destination Management Organizations to inquire about their free venue RFP tools. These organizations can distribute your request to their member venues and vendors, ensuring that you receive relevant and competitive proposals.

By following these secrets, you can increase your chances of getting an event RFP that truly meets your needs and expectations. Remember to communicate effectively, be transparent about your budget, negotiate strategically, review contracts carefully, and utilize the right tools. With these tips, you'll be well-equipped to plan a successful and memorable event.

6 Considerations for Creating a Winning Event Venue RFP Image source: 6 Considerations for Creating a Winning Event Venue RFP

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