What to Include in a Hotel RFP

A caterer at an event
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It's no secret that hoteliers are always looking for ways to identify meeting and event planners who can select hotels and other venues for meetings, incentive trips, conferences, and exhibitions.

Many hotels have relied upon online hotel RFP (Request for Proposals) sites, such as Conventionplanit.com and sabrehotelrfp.com to promote their meeting and conference service capabilities. They have also developed their own online RFP forms.

Many planners are reluctant to send their hotel RFPs through third-party search engines, referring to submit their requests for hotel bids directly to the hotel and conference centers.

What information is included in a hotel RFP?

A great tool to help planners begin to develop their own forms for hotel bids and other event needs is the event accepted practices exchange tools from the Convention Industry Council.

Basic elements for a hotel RFP should include the following:

  • Requestor's basic contact information (name, title, organization, address, phone, email, etc.)
  • Event dates (provide at least two different options)
  • Room blocks needed (dates and numbers of guest rooms)
  • Meeting room requests (dates, room sizes, quantities)
  • Food and beverage requirements
  • Accessibility requirements
  • Shipping and receiving requirements
  • Other relevant information

Taking Advantage of RFP Tools

In addition, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) provides its members with an extensive hotel RFP tool that event planners may wish to consider. Elements of the GBTA hotel RFP include the following:

  • Hotel facility overview information
  • RFP requester overview information
  • Guest room contract details
  • Size of a hotel's total meeting space
  • Total number of meeting rooms
  • Size of a hotel's largest ballroom or meeting room
  • Ceiling height for largest ballroom or meeting room
  • Does the hotel have a permanent boardroom set up?
  • How many people will the boardroom accommodate?
  • Does the hotel have dedicated exhibit space?
  • What is the size of the exhibit space?
  • What is the distance to the area convention center?
  • What is the convention center name?
  • What is the tax percentage on food and beverage?
  • What is the banquet service charge percent?
  • Are the banquet service charges taxed?
  • Does the hotel offer in-house audiovisual (A/V) services?
  • Will hotels offer a discount on in-house A/V services?
  • Will the hotel allow clients to bring in outside A/V vendors?
  • How many meeting rooms contain wireless high-speed Internet?
  • How many meeting rooms contain video conferencing?
  • Is there a fee for using own A/V vendors?
  • Does the hotel accept corporate "meeting cards" for payment?
  • Does the hotel offer meeting package rates?

In addition, it would be helpful to share with hotel sales the type of event you are hosting. This will provide them with insight into the objectives your meeting may have.

The good news about working with hotels is that most should be fairly experienced at putting similar events together, and a great sales or catering manager will be able to share more details with you about ways to help event planners meet their goals.