The 6 Elements Of A Successful RFP
At LAI Live, we've seen our fair share of request for proposals (or RFPs) to know that not all RFPs are created equal. The RFP process is your opportunity to reevaluate the goals of your event and reimagine the experiences that you’d like to provide to your attendees. Crafting a comprehensive RFP to send to prospective event management teams will ease your event planning experience and ensure that you’re able to find the best company to design and produce your next event.
How do you write an RFP for an event?
When working on your RFP, you should always start with these 3 questions:
- What are your objectives and vision for your event?
- What elements of your event (format, programming, location, or something else) will excite and have the biggest impact on your attendee experience?
- How do you see your event succeeding and which planning aspects are the most critical?
Once you've answered the questions above, focus on these 6 RFP elements to maximize the quality of your event management proposals:
“We don’t want to limit your creativity with a budget.” is something we often hear from potential clients, but in reality, the final number is an important factor in the decision-making process. Providing a budget gives each company an equal chance to show you how they can wow you and customize your event design, while supplying critical services and equipment. The end result will equip you and your team with sufficient details to weigh each company, compare and decide.
2. THE VIBE
Think about your audience demographics and the energy you’d like to give your event. Is this a corporate, non-profit or association event? Are you thinking polished and sophisticated, or bold and flashy? Sharing the overall vibe you're trying to project will allow each company to develop ideas that speak to your audience and fold seamlessly into your larger event theme. Consider how each company responds, offers inspiration, and approaches your event design – in the end you may even be able to use ideas from multiple RFPs.
3. THE PURPOSE
What are the top three things you want your event to accomplish? Is this an annual, first-time or one-time event? Are you hoping to inspire or motivate your audience? Is this event meant to be a fun distraction for your company's hard-working employees? Or are you hoping to give attendees the opportunity to engage with industry peers? Explaining your end goal and what a successful event looks like to you helps the event team better prioritize the things you need to create your ideal event.
4. SCHEDULE DETAILS
Avoid surprise labor charges. Sharing an up-to-date schedule is crucial to getting an accurate labor estimate with your proposal. It’s essential to include the number of days of your event, venue room access times, daily session start and end times, scheduled times for any special activities – such as galas, dinners, receptions – that will require assistance, and any unusual or overnight room turns that could affect labor needs. Knowing these details will help your event management team better prepare you for anticipated labor charges and will help eliminate unexpected overtime or double overtime costs after the event.
5. EQUIPMENT NEEDS
What equipment is a must-have for you event? Production companies will include equipment that supports the scenic and stage designs that they are proposing, but you should include any mandatory equipment needs in your RFP.
For general sessions, consider the number of cameras, stage furniture, program records, wireless lavalier mics for multiple panel sessions, etc.
For education sessions and other spaces, be sure to include details on the typical room setup. Indicate if rooms have a screen, projector, laptop, mic setup, and if any of the rooms have special staging requirements or camera needs. You should also share details about your session formats since mic costs for a two-person keynote versus a six-person panel will differ.
Make sure your requirements are up-to-date and are specific to your current event. For example, if you’ve used a livestream in the past, but aren’t planning to include it for this event, be sure to remove it from your RFP so that it doesn’t skew your proposal costs.
6. OTHER SERVICES
Think about any other event production services your team needs and list out everything you want help with or would like to explore. Other services could include:
- Creative services – List out the items you’d like assistance with, such as event theme creation, event logo design, signage design, or show graphics design, etc. If your in-house designer has already created the event look and feel, and you want the production company to design some of the show elements, list those out.
- Video production – Where do you want to incorporate video during your event and what do you want to record? List out video details such as length, how many people will be featured, and what’s being filmed – awards ceremony, show opening, speaker intros, or something else. It’s also important to note if the video piece of the proposal has its own budget and is handled by a different team within your organization.
- Keynote speakers and entertainers – Include a list of topics important to your audience or organization messages that you’d like to have reinforced. Indicate your desired presentation length – 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes, etc – and don’t forget to think about how combining this feature with your event’s vibe can help you identify the types of keynotes or entertainers you might like to explore.
Ready to get your RFP started?
Contact LAI Live with any questions and submit an RFP or send us an email, call us at 202-783-0300, or live chat with us to start collaborating with us today. Our team is available and excited to share innovative creativity and years of expertise to help you enhance the strategy, design, and production of your next event.