Make your life easier and your meetings better by starting with this RFP checklist.

  1. Introduction
    • Provide an event overview.

    • How are sites selected?

    • Who makes the final decision?

  2. General Information
    • Who will negotiate contracts?

    • Commissioned or noncommissioned?

  3. Event Dates
    • List event dates.

    • List move-in/move-out dates.

    • List any pre-conference dates.

  4. Room Block
    • How many guest rooms are needed?

    • What is the check-in pattern? (all at once, staggered)

    • What is the check-out pattern?

    • What type of rooms (suites, kings, double/doubles, nonsmoking, handicap accessible)?

    • Do you need a staff block?

    • Do you want current or future rates?

  5. Reservations
    • Will attendees be contacting the hotel directly?

    • Will you use a housing bureau?

  6. Complimentary Policy
    • What ratio will work?

    • Do you need additional comp rooms for planners?

    • Do you need comp rooms for pre-conference planning site visits?

  7. Public Meeting Rooms
    • Attach a proposed event schedule.

    • List the setups you will need (theater, rounds, classroom).

    • Who can release blocked space?

    • What groups will be meeting before, during, and after your event?

    • Are you allowed to use outside vendors (catering, audiovisual, security, first aid)?

  8. Exposition
    • Will you have an exhibition hall?

    • How much space do you need?

    • Is there a required decorator?

  9. Food Functions
    • List your meal bidding process.

    • List anticipated meal schedule.

    • Will all attendees be served meals, or will some use the hotel and other restaurants?

  10. Room Reservation Cutoff
    • List your desired cutoff date for the room block.

  11. Pre- and Post-Convention Meetings
    • Will you be conducting these types of meetings?

    • Will all suppliers participate?

  12. Billing
    • What billing procedures are necessary for your group?

  13. Unions
    • Request information regarding current and/or pending union contracts, with expiration dates.

  14. Contact Information
    • List key decision makers who will need to receive proposals.

  15. Meeting History
    • List concise, verifiable meeting history, including previous locations, convention value, room nights, number of catered meals, and registration figures.

    • Provide hotel room block and pickup information (original room block, nightly pickup, peak room night, and total room nights).

    • List projected meal functions. (type of event, number expected)

    • Provide a complete schedule of a previous event (include expected attendance for each breakout session and the type of seating).

Dean Jones is convention manager, Free Will Baptist Convention, National Association of Free Will Baptists, Nashville, Tenn.