The 5 Elements Of A Successful RFP
Using a request for proposal, or RFP, to secure event services provides an excellent opportunity for you to see your show from someone else’s point of view. That means new questions, new ideas, and, most critically, a potentially new and more dynamic experience for your attendees.
At LAI Live, we've seen our fair share of RFPs. Enough to know that not all RFPs are created equal. One piece of advice we like to share with our meeting planner friends is that the stronger and more complete the RFP you provide is, the better-equipped events management teams will be to deliver a correspondingly amazing event plan that hits on your specific goals and concerns and meets all of your objectives. So this year, before your pass along your RFP to an events team, take a minute to consider these three questions:
- What element(s) of your event are you most excited about?
- What type of tweak to your event (style, content, location, or something else) would have the biggest impact on your stakeholders and attendees?
- How do you see your event unfolding and which scheduling aspects will be most critical?
Once you've answered these questions, you're ready to build an RFP. And when it comes to creating one that will guarantee the best return on investment, here are five things every RFP should include:
“We don’t want to limit your creativity” is a phrase we often here when a potential client would prefer not to share their budget. But in reality, it’s the final number that will be the most important deciding factor. Providing the preferred budget will allow you to see how each company can stretch their imagination with design, while still supplying the necessary services and equipment. The end result will be a more equal comparison for your team in the review and decision process.
2. THE VIBE
What energy do you want this event to have? Are you thinking polished and reserved, or bold and fast-paced? Giving us a feel of the overall vibe you're trying to accomplish will allow us to design for your event specifically and come up with ideas that fold seamlessly into a larger theme. While the way we approach or respond to this inspiration may vary from other production companies you reach out to, at least you'll have a selection of options to choose from that fall under your target umbrella. And, who knows, you may be able to use ideas from multiple RFPs in the end.
3. DETAILED SCHEDULE
Sharing an up-to-date schedule is crucial for providing accurate labor estimates in a proposal. This information should include room access times at the venue, session start and end times each day, the hours of any extracurricular activities – such as galas, dinners, receptions – that will require assistance, and any unusual or overnight room turns that could affect labor needs. This will aid us in eliminating an unwelcome surprise of added overtime or double overtime costs after the show.
4. EQUIPMENT NEEDS
For general sessions, it isn’t necessary to list each piece of equipment. Instead, list what’s important for you to have—three cameras, stage furniture, program records, wireless lavalier mics for multiple panel sessions. The production companies will fill in the rest as it relates to the scenic and stage design they’re proposing.
For education sessions and ancillary spaces, understanding the typical set-up in each space is important. Indicate if rooms have a screen, projector, laptop, microphone set-up, and if any of the rooms have special staging requirements, camera needs, or perhaps they all have six panelists. There’s a definite cost difference between two microphones in each space and six microphones in each space!
Make sure the requirements are up to date and reflect what you need with the specific event. For examples—If you used livestream the previous year, but no longer require it, be sure to remove it from the list so it doesn’t skew the end proposal costs.
5. OTHER SERVICES
What other areas of event production services could your team use assistance with? With creative services, include a list of items like event theme creation, event logo design, signage design, or show graphics design. If you have an in-house designer for event look and feel, but still need the production company to design the show elements, list out what those items may be.
If your event includes multiple video production elements, include a list with details such as length, how many people will be featured, if the content is award videos, show opens, speaker intros, or other. It’s also important to note if the video piece of the proposal has its own budget, as we often see these handled by a different team within your organization.
Exploring keynote speakers and entertainers? Include a list of topics important to your audience or share the messaging your organization would like to reinforce through a keynote. Maybe you have a certain length of presentation in minds—20 minutes vs. 60 minutes? This information combined with “the vibe,” may open the door to new territory never before explored!
Hopefully the pointers above will make your next RFP simpler, easier, and more effective.
Want to get ahead of your next event? Ready to take the next step and submit an RFP? Contact our team today.