6 Steps On How To Write An Event Proposal For Venue

When planning an event, in most cases, there is a need for drafting a proposal for a venue. There has been a shift in the market from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market in terms of locating suitable venues. However, this places a greater burden on our shoulders. Submitting compelling event requests for proposals (RFPs) is a first step toward establishing solid partnerships with venues.

Writing A Venue RFP

Highlight Your Needs

You should complete your research before reaching out to potential venues or submitting requests for proposals. You should be well-versed in the specifics of your event. Your ability to provide detailed information to the venue will result in more exact pricing and other proposals.

In your request for proposal for the event site, be sure to include the following information:

Time, date, and preparation/breakdown requirements

Provide the venue with the proposed dates and times. It’s helpful to provide alternative dates if you have them. (You can receive a better rate if you’re flexible with your travel dates.)

If you haven’t already done so, let the venue know approximately how much time you’ll need for set-up or teardown on the day of the event.

Functions and generic event type

How would you characterize this gathering you’re organizing? Is this a convention, a wedding, or a gala for a good cause? Many hotels provide multiple banquet halls, some of which may be more appropriate for a business meeting than a gala.

Outlining the event’s schedule may be useful, depending on its nature. When describing your ideal floor plan and software requirements, please be as descriptive as possible. How about vendors? Do we have a meeting? An auction with no bidding? How many meetings will be happening at the same time? Do you plan to work from, or keep any materials in, a nearby location?

Find out what kinds of audiovisual tools, computer services, and internet access are offered at the venue as well.

Catering

For the meals, what will be offered? You don’t have to decide what you’ll be serving just yet, but try to think broadly: Would you like to have a continental breakfast? Pre-packaged food? A formal sit-down meal?

If you do this, the venue will have a better understanding of how much money to expect from your event. They might be able to save money in other areas if they started doing their own catering.

 

Accommodations

Make sure to inquire about room availability when submitting an RFP to a hotel for an event. Have you thought about where you’ll sleep? For how many days/nights/rooms? Would you like standard rooms, upgraded suites, or the presidential suite? How much would your attendees be willing to spend on a hotel room? A hotel may provide additional savings in exchange for guaranteed room reservations.

Backstory to your gathering

Is this a repeat performance? If yes, please detail past attendees, guest room pickup, attendance, and events.

How soon should we make our proposal?

If you’re submitting a proposal, when is it due? When do you plan on making a final decision on which locations to prioritize? How much longer are you going to think about it? To what date do you anticipate putting pen to paper?

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Additions and reductions

Do you need any special considerations? There are a lot of perks that guests can enjoy, such as free parking, Wi-Fi, and upgraded suites. You should decide on your requests and then compare those to the venues’ offers.

Organizational details of the proposed location

Is there a preferred method for venues to submit bids to you? How about a tangible copy instead of a digital one?

These days, event organizers can browse proposals online at many hotels and other venues. Keep an eye on your junk mail if you expect the RFP to get there.

(Menus and images are a staple of RFPs from venues, which can easily push the file size above the 10MB limit. I always insist that they solely include the specifics of my request in the proposal.

As a event, I have the tendency to be picky about the venues that are proposed for my events. I won’t give a venue my money if they can’t even follow basic instructions in a request for proposals.

Specify Your Budget 

In my opinion, it is in everyone’s best interest for the venue to be as forthright as possible regarding the amount of money being exchanged.

You shouldn’t, for instance, request proposals from five-star hotels if the average cost per night for your attendees is only $150. You shouldn’t have high hopes for this place.

The same is also true for beverages and foods. For example, if you have set aside $95 for a supper, be sure to tell the venue that this amount covers everything (meals, tax, and service). 

Examine And Bargain Gray Areas In Your RFP

You and your attendees can cut costs in numerous ways. The first step is to identify potential bargaining positions within the venue RFP. Here are some suggestions:

Meeting the food and beverage minimums will result in a room charge waiver. The proposal may also include the rental charge for the location. The amount you spend in other categories, including food and drink, can usually be used to bargain this cost down.

Payments for third-party audiovisual services: The hotel where your event is being held may compel you to use their AV service or charge you extra if you choose a different company. 

These costs are negotiable! If the cost is only $500 or $1,000, do you think the venue will risk losing the event? No way!

Hotel rooms at no cost: If your event is large enough, the hotel may be willing to give you complimentary rooms. For every 50 nights reserved, you can receive a free night. Distribute these to your employees, guest speakers, and community helpers.

Cancel your resort or parking charges: Common resort fees at hotels can reach $50 per stay. 

If you ask, many hotels and other event spaces will forgo or significantly reduce resort costs for your attendees. Be sure you know what your resort fee covers before you pay it: We recently requested proposal information from potential event locations and were quoted $35 for a resort fee and $50 for overnight parking for each attendee. Room rates went up from $199 to $284 due to this change.

Getting rid of attrition clauses Promote greater turnover by asking for it. While 20% is typical, we have experienced far higher. A hotel’s attrition policy is the percentage of available room nights that you are not required to sell.

Sign Only When You Agree

Once you have finalized negotiations with the proposed event site, have them draft a contract for you to sign. The next step is to carefully examine it once you have it.

There’s a chance that the salesperson you’re negotiating with won’t convey your intentions to the administrative staff member drafting the document. Check the following contact information:

Appointment times and due dates

Dates for making payments

Amounts paid broken down by item

Conditions of termination and extinction

Contact your sales representative if you see an error . Do not sign anything until you are completely comfortable with its contents.

Please keep in mind that the contract not only specifies the venue’s obligations, but also your own. For instance, you might have to book a certain number of hotel rooms or consume a certain amount of food and drink, regardless of how many people actually show up. Know the details of your event inside and out, and give yourself some wiggle space in case of unforeseen costs.

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