4 Tips for Navigating the Corporate RFP Process

October 19, 2022 Desiree Homer

As a New York event planner, you’re confident in your ability to land new clients and sell your services. But some corporate entities and businesses rely on complex RFP processes to vet contractors and vendors, including event planners. And you’ll want to throw your hat in the ring with your best foot forward. These are the insights you need to navigate the complicated requests for proposals you encounter and win!

1. What an RFP Does

If you haven’t encountered an RFP process yet, here’s what those vetting requirements are intended to do. When a company wants to fairly assess various providers of products and services, they’ll put together a level-playing field for all who wish to participate. Then, governing purchasers will review the apples-to-apples rates, value, and deliverables before making a decision to move forward with a vendor partnership. RFPs are designed to allow transparency in how a brand chooses which vendors to work with for various projects.

2. Developing Your RFP Response Strategy

It’s challenging to demonstrate your creative services when you’re bound to form-filling data requirements of an RFP. You’ll have to look for and explore new ways to make your brand stand out from other vendors in the running. And most RFPs won’t allow photos, videos, or traditional testimonials you use when selling yourself to clients directly. Consider these insights for improving your chances of being selected.

  • Set clear expectations and definitions of your services
  • Be precise about responsibilities
  • Demonstrate personality in your text responses where you can
  • Don’t leave any space blank

3. Are RFPs Worth the Hassle?

RFPs can be complicated to complete and time-consuming. You might be wondering if it’s even worth chasing. The answer is yes and no. There will be some RFPs that won’t make sense to pursue. However, if you have an opportunity as an event planner to break into a new industry or market segment, winning one RFP could be a huge boost to your bottom line. Here are some bid aspects to consider to help you decide whether or not it’s worth your time to explore.

  • Go after RFPs you know you can win every time.
  • Follow through on RFPs when the competition is low.
  • Calculate potential ROI on this event, should you win.
  • Calculate growth potential for others in the space, should you win.

4. Winning RFP Language

While much of any RFP requires form and spreadsheet filling, there will be some areas asking for you to describe your services or add additional comments. This is your time to shine. Here is some inspiration to help you stand apart from the competition and encourage the company to want to learn more about you.

  • Get Visual Where You Can
  • Share Your Expertise with Similar Events
  • Add Value As a Problem-Solver

Don’t be afraid to tackle an RFP to break into new segments and land new clients. Just remember to be precise with your pricing and deliverables, and keep these tips in mind to help you stand apart from the pack.

Always find event planning insights and business strategies with our ongoing blog series. And get on the waiting list now for The Event Planner Expo 2023!

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