Want Better Quality RFP Responses? Give Suppliers Enough Time
Mar 15, 2013 by DeDe Mulligan

RFP Process

Planning your next meeting or conference and need to send out a series of RFPs from the food and beverage to renting audio visual equipment? You are not alone! Meeting planners, no matter the size of the meeting, desire to obtain high quality responses so they can move forward to the next part of the logistical process.

What is the best way to make this happen? Here are four steps that should make it easier for your vendors to respond and give you better quality quotes in the process. 

  1. Provide a complete RFP.

    Give yourself enough time to develop a complete spec sheet of what you are looking for. Have multiple people from your team review it to make certain you have left "no stone unturned." 

    If you are new to the RFP process, check out the CIC APEX form. You can download it for free from the website. To get started: http://www.conventionindustry.org/StandardsPractices/APEX/RFPWorkbook.aspx
     

  2. Give your vendors enough time to provide you with a well thought, quality response. 

    To obtain a professional response, you need to give your suppliers enough time to complete the RFP. If the request is simple, 1-3 business days should be enough but if the request is complex, give potential partners more time to prepare a creative and complete quote. Many vendors put your RFP in the trash because they are not given enough time to give a thorough response. Several days to weeks may be the right amount of time to allow for this process. 
     

  3. Be aware of the canned response. 

    If your give your suppliers enough time to respond and they still give you an "also ran" proposal, this may be an indicator of a company you do not want to do business with. They are reading your request at a surface level, pulling up their last response and just changing the information to include your name and telephone number. 

    In addition, be leery of an organization that asks no questions or very few. They are either in the business of cranking out RFPs or they just do not want to take the time to get to know more about your event business.  
     

  4. Encourage conversation. 

    The best RFP process allows vendors to ask questions and provide creative responses. Remember that one question may lead to several others so it is best to leave time for adequate dialog back and forth. This will also help your vendor put their best foot forward and respond accordingly. So much information can be cleared up in a simple telephone call or meeting. 

AV Event Solutions wants to provide you with the best RFP response! Based in California and now part of SmartSource Rentals, a national Total Technology firm, they can offer your organization creative AV solutions. Get the process started with their express quote form today! 

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