Cvent, a McLean, Va.–based event technology provider, has released a major upgrade to its online request for proposal tool, the Cvent Supplier Network. Major changes include the option for meeting planners to send hotels a stripped-down request for proposal form and a handsome new user interface.
The Cvent Supplier Network, first launched in 2008, has grown to include 100,000 hotels, more than 25,000 restaurants and special-event venues, and a variety of other meeting suppliers. The idea is simple: meeting planners search for venues and send electronic RFPs. Cvent, which makes money by selling enhanced venue listings, prides itself on its work with hotels to ensure planners get a good response, and with planners to encourage sourcing best practices.
In the past, meeting professionals had only one hotel RFP option in the system, a detailed form that asks users for extensive meeting specifics, from meeting space needs and business objectives to the types of guest rooms required and key factors for making a site decision. With the upgrade, two new ways to contact suppliers have been added. A Quick RFP option allows planners to send a potential event site the basics on their dates and sleeping room and meeting space needs. There’s also a new Request for Information form that is intended to start the conversation between planners and restaurants or other special-event venues. The brief RFI form works like a simple e-mail but is tracked through the Cvent system.
The new interface for the Supplier Network has more photos and new search tabs, allowing users to select hotels, special-event venues, restaurants, or meeting services. Within a hotel search, there are new filters that allow planners to better target their searches.
“This release is monumental in the sense that there are a lot of large changes that are going to making sourcing even easier and hopefully more prevalent for planners,” said Bharet Malhotra, Cvent vice president of sales. And by making the RFP process easier, he said, “the goal is to bring more people to do business in the online world.”