The following is based on a request for proposal checklist
created by ICPA, a Chicago-based association of insurance and
financial services conference planners (www.icpanet.com).
What to IncludeProvide a timetable for the request for proposal. Include the
date the hotel’s response is required and when a decision is
expected.Describe the decision-making process, and identify the decision
makers. Let the hotel know what role you play.Discuss important procedural points up front, such as whether
the hotel is expected to participate in promotional activities or
whether it is appropriate for the hotel to contact someone other
than you with regard to the RFP.Give guidelines for responses (format, etc.).Let the hotel know what other destinations and sites are under
consideration.Note which dates are acceptable and unacceptable. If the group
is flexible, state possible dates or times.
Provide a Group ProfileWho are the attendees? How long has the organization been
holding this type of meeting? What are the goals of the meeting?
What is the meeting’s history?Provide requirements for the following: meeting room, food and
beverage, sleeping rooms, VIPs, attendees with disabilities, A/V
and exhibit space.Give particulars on sleeping rooms, including the day-to-day
room block and percentages of singles, multiples and suites.
Request rates for all categories of rooms.Include any other special needs: language translation, dietary
restrictions, floral arrangements, health-club facilities, parking,
additional security, signage, etc.
What to Ask the HotelAre any renovations under way or planned?What were the results of the latest safety inspection?Will you provide contact information for planners who brought
similar-size groups to the hotel recently?What other groups will be at the hotel during our dates?What are the fees for: receiving or sending packages; bell
desk/housekeeping gratuities; energy or other surcharges; taxes on
rooms and F&B; and use of outside vendors such as A/V?Is there is a resort fee? If so, how much is it? Is it
taxed?Is there a daily service charge? How much? Is it taxed?What are the fees for business services (fax, copying, computer
access)?Describe the health club. What are the costs and hours?What is the policy for early departure or extended-stay
fees?Is the property a union or nonunion facility?
Additional QuestionsWhat is the most creative approach the hotel ever used to meet
a client’s needs?Of what aspect of the hotel is management most proud?Who are the hotel’s three biggest competitors? What
distinguishes the property from the competition?
Evaluating ResponsesWas the proposal complete, addressing all the stated needs?
Were instructions followed? Was it submitted on time?Did the hotel provide dimensional diagrams of the meeting space
available?Did the hotel offer acceptable alternatives for requests that
could not be met?Can the property offer any special facilities or services that
would benefit the group?Were references readily given? How did other planners evaluate
their experience with the hotel?How do the rates compare to competing proposals?Can this hotel meet the group’s specifications?