We’ve been asked more than once about best practices in the fine art of writing RFPs for event creative and production. Here are a few must-include items for a strong RFP:
- The date(s) of your event, including day and time when we can first access the room for load-in and when we can commence load-out. Having the load-in/load-out information allows us to properly budget for labor.
- Number of people who will be attending the event. Estimates and ranges are fine if it’s not yet locked down.
- Venue information, including any floor plans the venue may have shared with you, room capacities etc.
- links to floor plans, room capacities, etc.
- A clear scope of work, including a specific list of what you need your production partner to do and what you don’t need them to do, as in “we’ll write our own speeches, but we’d like you to create graphics to support them.”
- Information from past iterations of this event and other similar events you’ve done, including video, photography, agendas, event websites, etc. The more we learn about what you’ve done in the past, the better we can understand what your production expectations are.
- Budget for the actual scope of work. This should not include elements outside our scope of work, such as catering and travel for your attendees.
Some clients are uncomfortable about articulating their budget right up front in an RFP, but it is the best way to get the most relevant, meaningful proposal from a company. Some clients think that they should send the RFP and await the proposals and see what different companies want to charge, but that doesn’t work because they’re not comparing apples to apple. There are just too many variables.
You could compare a production budget to a budget for buying a house. You could buy a house that’s 1200 square feet with two bedrooms and one bathroom with basic appliances. Or, you could buy a house that’s 6000 square feet with six bedrooms and five bathrooms, central air, swimming pool, and high-end appliances. They’re both houses – they have walls, roofs, doors, kitchens, plumbing, electrical, etc – but they’re wildly different and have wildly different costs associated with them.
Let’s say you didn’t tell your realtor your house-buying budget, and it happened to be right between the cost of the two houses above. When he shows you the smaller house, it doesn't measure up to your vision and...you're disappointed.
You can avoid disappointment if you tell us (and your realtor!) what your budget actually is and let us design the absolute best event that your budget allows.