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Tips for your Sourcing Toolkit: Creating an RFP and Finding the Perfect Venue

By Bridget Greenwood posted 05-15-2024 16:52

  

Did you know everyone with a Cvent event management license also has access to the Cvent Supplier Network? The Cvent Supplier Network helps planners find and book venues around the world. You may wonder- how does Cvent connect event planners to hoteliers? Let’s find out!

The Cvent Supplier Network allows planners to search from our database of 309,000+ venues, connect with hoteliers through Requests for Proposals (RFP), and find the perfect match for their event needs. Planners include their meeting spaces, guest rooms, and food and beverage requirements within their RFP. Venues will see this information and send proposals so planners can compare all proposals side by side to make an informed venue decision. This collaboration ensures a meaningful event experience for attendees.

Check out our recent blog post on items to consider when selecting a venue!

Okay, let’s pretend you have searched for venues within the supplier network, found a few that fit your event needs, and you are ready to contact the venues. What are some best practices to keep in mind as you are creating and sending your requests for proposals? Add these ideas to your sourcing toolkit so you can hear back from venues, gather your key data points to decide, and capture the ultimate venue for your attendees.

Step One- determine if you will be creating a new RPF or Copying an old RFP. Copying an old RFP can be a true time-saver if your event is similar in size, and room requirements. It will bring over the details from your past RFP (including the venues), and you can edit as needed before sending it out.

Step Two: Include accurate data for your event dates/ timeframe, estimated number of attendees, and meeting and guest room requirements. This will allow hoteliers to see if their venue is a good fit, ensuring you receive attractive proposals. 

When adding meeting room notes and other decision factors for your venue, you can use AI to help you save time and keep a consistent tone throughout your RFPs.

 

Step Three: Within the “Contact Details” section of your RFP, include up to three similar events you hosted in the past. This will establish your credibility and increase the likelihood of quicker responses.

Step Four: Be mindful of your response due dates you give the venues, in order to receive the best rates. This is especially important as cost savings are a priority across the industry this year. Give the hotel more lead time to respond to your request for proposals. Shorter lead times often lead to higher rates at the venue.

Step Five: Limit the number of questions you include on the RFP- this applies to the additional comments section and within the custom question section of the RFP. It is important to gather the necessary information for your decision-making process, however, too many questions can slow down the response time from the venues. In 2023, requests for proposals in Cvent had a 84% average response rate from venues!

Step Six: Alright, you have created the RFP and it is time to add your venues! A best practice for this stage of your sourcing process is to avoid sending your requests for proposals to more than 12 hotels at a time. Ensure you use our filters when searching for venues to find spaces that meet your event requirements. This will gather a list of hotels that are more likely to meet your needs from the start! Then, you can add these venues to your list and send the RFP.

Step Seven: Track your responses and update the status for each venue to keep the venue informed and your reporting clean.

I’d love for you to try sending out an RFP through Cvent for your next event and keep these tips in mind! This will help your team connect with hospitality professionals, save time and money, and consolidate your event program data. Check out our resource on Creating an RFP and reach out to your account team if you would like to continue the conversation.


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