Asking an event planner for a proposal can seem simple enough when someone has never hired a professional event planner or event coordinator. However, in the last few months, I have had some odd requests for proposals (RFP). Event planning can be a complex and time-consuming process, requiring careful planning and execution. The RFP is a key tool used to help organizations find the right vendor or service provider for their event. However, when it comes to RFPs for event planner proposals, there are some specific etiquette guidelines to follow. In this event planner blog post, we’ll cover some key RFP etiquette guidelines specific to event proposals.
Provide a Detailed Event Brief
The first step to good RFP etiquette for event proposals is to provide a detailed event brief. This should include information about the event’s theme, purpose, date, location, expected attendance, and any specific requirements or preferences. Providing a clear and detailed brief will help vendors develop a more accurate and tailored proposal.
Clarify the Scope of Work
When outlining the scope of work for the event, it’s important to be clear and specific. This should include details about the event’s format, logistics, production, decor, catering, and any other requirements. The more specific the requirements, the easier it will be for vendors to provide a detailed proposal that meets the organization’s needs.
Allow Ample Time for Vendors to Respond
Vendors need time to review the event brief, understand the requirements, and develop a proposal. For event proposals, it’s important to allow ample time for vendors to respond. As a general rule, allow at least four to six weeks for vendors to respond. This will ensure that vendors have enough time to develop a strong proposal and provide a competitive quote.
Be Open to Suggestions and Ideas
Event planning requires creativity and innovation, and vendors may have ideas or suggestions that can enhance the event’s overall impact. As such, it’s important to be open to suggestions and ideas from vendors. This can help ensure that the event is unique and memorable, and that the vendor feels valued and engaged in the process.
Provide Clear Evaluation Criteria
When evaluating event proposals, it’s important to provide clear and transparent evaluation criteria. This should include factors such as creativity, innovation, quality, reliability, and cost-effectiveness. By providing clear evaluation criteria, vendors can develop proposals that address the organization’s specific needs and objectives.
Respond to Vendor Inquiries Promptly
During the RFP process, vendors may have questions or require clarification about the event brief or requirements. As such, it’s important to respond to vendor inquiries promptly. This can help avoid any misunderstandings or delays and ensure that the vendor has all the information they need to develop a strong proposal.
I will speak for some of my event planning professional colleagues as many of us are small business owners, please understand that preparing proposals for event planning can be a time-consuming task. We recognize that some organizations may request proposals solely for price comparisons or to explore ideas, I believe it’s important to be transparent about this. If you are only seeking pricing information, share that, and it allows your vendor to provide you with an estimated cost instead of investing multiple hours creating a proposal that will only be used for a cost comparison. Additionally, we would greatly appreciate your follow-up once you have decided. It would be immensely helpful to receive feedback on the proposal to better understand your needs and preferences for future events.
Not sure where to start with all the things to consider? We’re always happy to help or to recommend a colleague that can. Just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the meantime we have taken the time to create our own event RFP form on our website, to help those new potential clients give us the info we need to prepare a great proposal!