Posts Tagged ‘RFP’

Tips for the RFP Process

February 9, 2016

Responding to an RFP can be a daunting task, especially in the sports market.  Yet, tackling an RFP piece-by-piece can make the process easier and, hopefully, yield lucrative results.

The first thing you need to do is make sure that the requirements are a good fit for your destination. Read the RFP thoroughly to see if you have the items needed to place a bid.  The bare bones necessary are the venues, hotel space, volunteer availability, expertise of a Local Organizing Committee (LOC) and a plan to deal with bid fees.  If you have any questions, pick up the phone and call the planner.  A phone call will go a long way, and allows you to find out what the hot button issues are. In some cases, what you might think is important actually may be unimportant for the planner.  Always ask the question. For example, if a bid specifies that your fields need to have lights but yours don’t, ask the planner if lack of lights is a deal breaker.  Another example might be that a client prefers Hilton properties, but the bulk of your rooms are with Marriott. If this happens, let the client know, and check to see if this will be an issue for the bid.

One of the most important steps in this process is to check the history of the event you are bidding on.  The best way to do this is to talk to the CVBs or Sports Commissions in cities that have hosted the event in the past.  Ask them about venues used, hotel pickup and if there were any challenges with the event operator.  Make sure to find out if they had any overall problems with the event.  This information is very valuable, and will help you in the RFP process.  It is important to also check the geographical history of the event – has the event ever occurred in your region? Some events are a better fit to certain areas of the country- what works in the South might not work as well in the North. It’s fine to let a client know that you have researched their event.  It shows that you are thorough and helps keep them transparent and communicative.

Many destinations cannot afford – or simply won’t pay – bid fees. Many times, a bid fee can be circumvented by offering concessions instead.  A list of concessions is usually provided along with the bid fee. These can include complimentary hotel rooms, airline tickets, rental cars etc.   Only the sales person and the destination marketing or sports organization can determine if you can address their concessions.  Perhaps you can form a partnership with a local rental car agency to get a reduced weekly rate in exchange for agency being listed as the sponsor. Airlines can be a bit challenging, however contact your local hub, they may be willing to work with you. Utilize relationships with the hotels in the area to obtain comp rooms for the proposal.  Some events will require two or more hotels to fill the comps. Always make sure the comp policy is consistent across hotels listed in the proposal.

Once you have collected all of the information required for the bid, prepare to submit the proposal. If you have not been able to meet all the concessions, it is still okay to submit. Several things can happen at this point. One response may be, that, although the concessions were not completely met, the facilities may be a better fit for the event. Another response could be a flat out no, however the organizer now is aware what you are able to do and may come back for future events.

It is important to ask for decision dates as a part of the proposal submission. If it is not specifically addressed in the RFP, make sure to ask. This allows organizations to hold space at facilities until decision time. Some facilities will place the space on “hold” for a certain number of days and give the event planner the “right of refusal” for the dates. In that case the organization on “hold” will have to go to contract and send a deposit for the space. Some organizations will request a site visit as a part of the decision process. With years of experience, it is safe to say a site visit should typically last two days to include venue and hotel options.

John Gibbons, CSEE
Executive Director of the RI Sports Commission
JGibbons@GoSportsRI.ocm

Ron Eifert, CSEE
Senior Sales Manager
Dayton Convention & Visitors Bureau
reifert@daytoncvb.net

How to Successfully Prospect

January 26, 2016

Sporting events represent an opportunity to showcase and to make a significant economic impact on your community.  Where should you start in the process of securing events and meetings?

Strengths:

To be effective with your time, you need is to evaluate what events could work in your area, especially the resources that you have available for your use.  These resources are primarily facilities and people.

  • What types of facilities do you have available to host events? Don’t limit your vision to “major” complexes.  There are a variety of options that may work including city facilities, parks, colleges, public and private schools, open spaces, hotels and even your roads.
  • Who in your community has interest, expertise and understanding of sports? Do they have relationships with event planners and will they be an advocate for you?  Who has access to recruiting volunteers who are knowledgeable with sport? Who will help collaborate to bring events to your community and to insure that they are successful?

Opportunities:

The variety and number of available meetings and events is extensive.  There are events that will work for all regions and others that you should not pursue.  There is no reason to spend any resources on pursuing a downhill skiing event if you live in Florida.  Some other topics for event marketers to explore include:

  • What types of events could work in your community?
    • Which events have a significant fan and participant base in your area?
    • What sports have an interest in growing or breaking into your area?
    • What events work in your facilities? What events have similar elements to those events?
    • What events are the facility managers interested in pursuing?
  • Look at what similar towns/cities in your area and in the country are doing. What is your competition hosting?
  • When are there “holes” in your City’s calendar, where bringing in events would make the biggest economic impact? If you live in a beach community, perhaps a winter event would have more impact than a July event when your community is already busy.

Resources / History:

There is no need to reinvent the wheel.  As a member of the National Association of Sports Commissions, you have access to research, meetings and events that are available for bid and access to other NASC members.  Utilize these resources.

Part of the vetting process is to research the history of the events and event organizers.  Are the elements in their RFP realistic? Is bidding on this event and making an investment in time, and potentially money, going to have a return on your investment?  Does history confirm their claims of room nights and economic impact?  Do they pay their bills?  Use the internet as a tool and call the CVBs / Sports Commissions that have hosted these events in the past.

Many RFPs are a starting point in the bid / negotiation process.  Many event planners will ask for everything and the kitchen sink up front.  After vetting the event and deciding that it is something that you want to pursue, even if you can’t match all of the bid elements, feel free to counter offer and make your pitch on why the event would be successful in your community.

Bidding:

Make sure that the event makes sense for your community.  It may be okay to take a loss on an event if it helps you gain exposure, grow your event portfolio or lead to other events.  Take a long range view of event procurement.

Let the event planner know the strengths of your community including who will be involved in the bid and execution of the event if you win it.   Why should the event come to your community?  Can you draw spectators and participants?  What is your experience in the sport?  Can your community provide expertise, volunteers, financial backing?  Is there a legacy if the event does come?

Conclusion:

There are sporting events and meetings that will work for all communities.  Start by looking at your strengths and then match these with the available opportunities.

Bob Murdock
Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau
860-882-1103
robertm@ctcsb.org

NASC Upcoming Event Webinars – Register Now

November 4, 2015

It’s hard to believe 2015 is coming to an end! We are closing out the year with a great line-up of Event Webinars that you won’t want to miss. Check out the schedule below and reserve your spot today!


Orienteering USA
Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Thursday, November 19, 2015
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET

Register Now

Join Glen Schorr, Executive Director, Orienteering USA, as he discusses Orienteering USA and what it takes to land their events. There will be time at the end of the presentation for questions. If you are unable to join us on the 19th, remember you can download the webinar recording from our webinar archives page (login required).


USA Triathlon
Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Thursday, December 17, 2015
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. ET

Register Now

Join Brian D’Amico, National Events Senior Manager, USA Triathlon, as he discusses USA Triathlon and what it takes to land their events. There will be time at the end of the presentation for questions. If you are unable to join us on the 17th, remember you can download the webinar recording from our webinar archives page (login required).


Webinar Archives

If you’ve missed any of our recent webinars, or would like to view them again, visit our Event Webinar Archives.

NASC Upcoming Best Practices and Event Webinars – Register Now

September 29, 2015

We have a great line-up of both Best Practices Webinars and Event Webinars that you won’t want to miss. Check out the schedule below and reserve your spot today!


Sugar Bert Boxing Promotions
Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Monday, October 5, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

Register Now

Join Bert Wells, CEO, Sugar Bert Boxing Promotions and his team as they discuss Sugar Bert Boxing Promotions and what it takes to land their events. There will be time at the end of the presentation for questions. If you are unable to join us on the 5th, remember you can download the webinar recording from our webinar archives page (login required).


USA Archery
Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Monday, October 19, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

Register Now

Join Sheri Rhodes, National Events Manager, USA Archery, as she discusses USA Archery and what it takes to land their events. There will be time at the end of the presentation for questions. If you are unable to join us on the 19th, remember you can download the webinar recording from ourwebinar archives page (login required).


Prospecting for Events
Best Practices Webinar
Thursday, October 22, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

Register Now

Join Don Schumacher, CSEE, Executive Director, NASC, as he discusses best practices for prospecting events. Don will share his top methods for sourcing events, as well as prospecting opportunities and strategies. If you are unable to join us on the 22nd, remember you can download the webinar recording from our webinar archives page (login required).


Webinar Archives

If you’ve missed any of our recent webinars, or would like to view them again, visit our Best Practices Webinar Archives or our Event Webinar Archives.

Upcoming NASC Event Webinars – Register Today

June 24, 2015

We have a great line-up of Event Webinars that you won’t want to miss. Check out the schedule below and reserve your spot today!

NXT Sports Inc.
Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Monday, June 29, 2015
11:30am – 12:30pm ET

Register Now

Join Robin Baxter, Vice President of Events, NXT Sports Inc., as she discusses NXT Sports and what it takes to land their events. There will be time at the end of the presentation for questions. If you are unable to join us on the 29th, remember you can download a recording of the presentation on the webinar archives page of www.SportsCommissions.org (login required).


The Biggest Loser RunWalk
Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
2:30pm – 3:30pm ET

Register Now

Join Christina Morlock, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, as she discussed The Biggest Loser RunWalk and what it takes to land their events. There will be time at the end of the presentation for questions. If you are unable to join us on the 1st, remember you can download a recording of the presentation on the webinar archives page of www.SportsCommissions.org (login required).


USA Badminton
Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Tuesday, July 22, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

Register Now

Join Jon Schmeider as he discusses USA Badminton and what it takes to land their events. There will be time at the end of the presentation for questions. If you are unable to join us on the 22nd, remember you can download a recording of the presentation on the webinar archives page of www.SportsCommissions.org (login required).


National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA)
Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

Register Now

Join Mark Krug, Assistant Executive Director, NJCAA, as he discusses the National Junior College Athletic Association and what it takes to land their events. Recently, NJCAA uploaded RFPs to our Event RFP Database for 15 different events with multiple years available. If you haven’t checked these out, be sure to do so! There will be time at the end of the webinar for questions. If you are unable to join us on the 4th, remember you can download a recording of the presentation on the webinar archives page of www.SportsCommissions.org (login required).


Webinar Archives

If you’ve missed any of our recent webinars or would like to view them again, visit our webinar archives.

NASC Event RFP Database

April 9, 2015

Looking for your cities next event? Check out our Event RFP Database where over 100 RFP’s have been posted by NASC member rights holders! Click here, to log in and begin your search.  Rights holders, want to post your organization’s RFP? Upload it to our database here, and we’ll send out an email notification to over 450 member destinations in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Don’t forget to register for our upcoming Event Webinars, sponsored by MGM Resorts International. View the schedule and reserve your spot now!