by Lisa Grimaldi | July 01, 2005

The following is based on a request for proposal checklist created by ICPA, a Chicago-based association of insurance and financial services conference planners (

What to Include

  • Provide 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 Profile

  • Who 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 Hotel

  • Are 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 Questions

  • What 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 Responses

  • Was 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?