Creating and Responding to Requests for Proposals (RFP)

From time to time I receive RFPs from companies, government agencies and non-profits planning a conference, awards banquet or another large community event. Some are detailed, making it easy to respond. Others are very general, making one guess exactly what the planners have in mind. When I receive a general RFP I need to decide whether I have the time to find out what is needed and do the research to provide a detailed, comprehensive proposal. Often I choose not to respond. A poorly prepared RFP can be a sign of a poorly organized planner or planning committee, making the event planner's work more difficult. The event planner should not have to manage the planners, as well as the event.



So what does a good RFP include? To respond intelligently, we, the recipients, need to know the following:
  • the specific type of event being planned, including as many details as possible, such as needing space for break-out sessions (how many?), needing lunches, dinners, breaks, etc.
  • the date or date range for the event and preferred locations or area within a city, if appropriate
  • the number of anticipated attendees
  • audio visual needs
  • the event budget, broken down by categories if appropriate (food, venue, etc.)
  • other details, such as the possible need for hotel accommodations for out of town attendees, parking, mobility issues and more
  • the date by which the RFP is due and to whom it should be addressed
Businesses and non-profits - if you want to receive a quality, detailed RFP in a timely manner without fielding numerous phone calls for information, start by issuing a detailed request for RFPs. It will simplify everyone's life.

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