Streamlining the RFP Process

rfp2Here’s a bit of trivia for you: Did you know that the volume of Requests for Proposals (RFPs) sent to hotels has increased by 300% over the last three years? Did you know that it takes, on average, 20-30 minutes for a hotel salesperson to reply to a single RFP? And did you know that industrywide, hotels only convert 2-3% of electronic RFPs (e-RFPs)?

In the face of such staggering numbers, Elite Meetings International is taking proactive steps to help. We’re implementing measures to streamline the number of hotels submitted per event-RFP. It begins with our search criteria, which is designed to help you narrow the field to the hotels and resorts that suit you best. After all, you’re busy. You don’t need to wade through a sea of responses from hotels without adequate rooms, ballroom space, and the amenities that your group prefers.

But it’s also important that hotels have enough information that they can respond in a timely and complete fashion. Our e-RFP forms elicit the kind of solid information that allows a salesperson to evaluate your needs and whether they can meet them, quote rates, and determine availability. (By the way, if your dates are flexible, this will certainly help—especially in this time of high demand and very little new supply.) Above all, communication is key. It’s important to update prospective hotels on decisions and timelines.

The industry’s transition to electronic RFPs is experiencing some growing pains. It’s easy these days to blanket the hotel industry with so many RFPs that even good leads can look like spam to an inundated hotelier. This is a hot-button issue in the industry right now, and one you’re likely to hear a great deal more about. But understanding the issues is critical to finding solutions for meeting professionals and hoteliers alike.

Note: This article was originally published November 12, 2013 on blog.speedrfp.com

Photo credits: Shutterstock.com

Martha Brooks

Martha Brooks

Martha Brooks is the senior manager of marketing operations for Cvent/Elite Meetings.

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