It's no secret that hoteliers are always looking for ways to find 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, preferring to submit their requests for hotel bids directly to the hotel and conference centers.
Information in a Hotel RFP
The Convention Industry Council created helpful event accepted practices exchange (APEX) tools to assist with RFP preparation.
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 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
- Availability of a permanent boardroom
- Number of people boardroom accommodates
- Availability of dedicated exhibit space
- Size of the exhibit space
- Distance to the area convention center
- Name of convention center
- Tax percentage on food and beverage
- Banquet service charge percentage
- Tax policy on banquet service charges
- Availability of in-house audiovisual (A/V) services
- Discount policy on in-house A/V services
- Ability to use outside A/V vendors
- Number of meeting rooms with wireless high-speed internet
- Number of meeting rooms with video conferencing
- Fee for using own A/V vendors
- Acceptable payment methods
- Meeting package rates
In addition, it is helpful to share with hotel sales personnel the type of event because this provides insight into the meeting's objectives.
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 about ways to help meet the goals.