The OMG’s of RFP’s

Part of our job as corporate event planners is to respond to RFP’s (Request for Proposals). These are not to be confused with RFQ’s (Request for Qualifications) or RFI’s (Request for Information). Let’s not forget that each of these is looking for something different from you. Of course every organization creates their own RFP’s, RFQ’s and RFI’s so no two are alike in what they are looking for.

What does that mean for someone, like us, who have to do several of them a year? Well, it means we have to customize each one we respond to. That can equate to several hours of time over the course of a year. In the last few years we have done enough of these that we now have several templates for various styles. We have discovered that there is an actual pattern to some of the verbiage that is needed on these as well.

If you are also caught in the nightmare of having to respond to RFP’s the best advice we can give is to thoroughly read the RFP, RFQ or RFI and ask any questions of the contact before sitting down to begin the process of putting it all together. Have more than one person read the document and discuss it to make sure you both think it is requesting the same information. Then respond to each question or category that the RFP highlights. When you have finished preparing the RFP give it another set of fresh eyes and have them look for everything from spelling errors to grammatical mistakes.

Don’t forget that each organization has specific ways that the RFP is to answered. Some want only hard copies and how many varies too. Some want only digital responses and others want it to be submitted via their own virtual servers. Some want a mixture of both and specific paper, margins, font etc. (Yes, it is a lot like doing a report back in high school).  

RFP’s, RFQ’s and RFI’s can be a PIA (pain in the #*!) but once you get the hang of them they become less of a project to be feared and more of a challenge to overcome.

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