August 30, 2013

Meeting RFPs: Best practices for better hotel responses


Over the past three years, the number of requests for proposals sent to hotels has increased by about 300 percent. And it’s not because there have been that many more meetings. Here is how Marriott sees the communication with hotels changing and how meeting planners can get the most out of their e-RFPs.

Over the past three years, the number of requests for proposals sent to hotels has increased by about 300 percent, said Ashley Kissinger, global accounts director, Marriott Hotels International. And it’s not because there have been that many more meetings. The proliferation of e-RFP platforms has made is increasingly simple for planners to send requests to multiple hotels.

But more isn’t always better.

During a webinar called “RFPs for 2013: Best Practices for Better Responses,” Kissinger and host Mark Hubrich, co-founder and vice president of industry and client relations at SignUp4, a strategic meeting management software company, looked at how communication with hotels is changing and advised participants how to get the most out of their e-RFPs.

“It wasn’t too long ago that 80 percent of RFPs came in via the fax machine,” said Kissinger. Now, about 60 percent come through third-party online channels (SignUp4, Cvent, Starcite, etc.) while the rest come via e-mail. “Electronic RFPs now dominate, and they bring their own advantages and challenges.”

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