One of the many duties and responsibilities of any organization’s leader, is to ensure, each and every event, conference, convention, etc, out – performs expectations, and attracts the maximum number of attendees, because they are considered, worthwhile, in terms of someone’s time, and money! This does not mean, someone must micromanage delivering these, but, rather, professionally coordinates, and directs, his team, towards doing what’s needed and necessary, to achieve the finest objectives! Many organizations hold specific events/ conferences/ conventions, on a recurrent basis, yet, often, do not achieve their objectives, and create a function, which is far less than inspiring, motivating, and/ or, even meeting expectations! Since event planning, must, begin with perceiving, conceiving, and creating, a must – go – to, valuable, meaningful experience, and delivering, beyond expectations, at a price, which potential attendees, might consider, valuable (actual, as well as perceptions). To do so, the venue must be carefully considered, and investigated, and the most, bang – for – the – buck, must be the objective. In over 4 decades of involvement in nearly every aspect of event planning, from budgeting, negotiating, and planning, to overseeing, and over – delivering, I have come to believe strongly, this is only achievable, when/ if, a professionally designed, created, and distributed, Request for Proposal, or RFP, must be used effectively, and properly. With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, how to effectively use this process, in order to plan, properly, effectively, and realistically, while over – achieving expectations, etc.
1. What goes into an RFP?: Some wonder, whether the RFP, or the budget, come first? While most proceed, otherwise, the finest results are only achieved, when/ if, a well – considered, properly designed, budget, ia used, as effectively, as possible! Once, one determines, the goals, needs, and objectives of the specific event, as well as possessing a realistic concept, of the revenues and expenditures involved, a well – designed, and properly worded, Request for Proposal, should be widely distributed, to as many appropriate venues, as possible. This should detail, what you seek, in every area, including: food and beverage; entertainment; marketing and promotion; audio – visual; room rates (if appropriate and necessary); and potential complementary items, etc. This way, each venue, indicates, what they will offer, and one can compare, thoroughly, in order to maximize the possibility/ potential, to get the most bang – for – the – buck!
2. Benefits of the process: How often, are the steps, towards maximizing the benefits, and achieving the finest, possible event, in order to make potential, as well as actual attendees, feel, the event, is worth their value, etc, prioritized? In the past four decades, I have observed and attended a significant amount of a variety of events, conferences, and conventions, and have realized, there is a significant difference, in the quality, and value, of these! Only, when one realizes, only, when he respects the process, and uses it, consistently, and effectively, does he get, what he desires!
3. Ramifications: When the RFP process, is ignored, there are many potential ramifications. No experienced planner, wants unnecessary surprises, and, using these proposals, and making them a component/ agreement, minimizes risky exposure. Don’t complain, when you get bills, for things you weren’t prepared for, if you fail to proceed, in a well – considered, fully considered, planned manner!
Attention, leaders: Either make the RFP, your friend, and tool, or fail to perform your responsibility, to the best of your ability! Are you committed, to ensure, you consistently, receive, the most, bang – for – the – buck?