Capitalize on a Proven Plan of Action

You’ve spent hours defining objectives, documenting needs and providing historical perspective. Stakeholders have reviewed, added their feedback and finally approved your approach. After weeks of agonizing rewrites, you click Send and your RFP is delivered to your list of vendors.

But now you wait and wonder . . . Are the vendors thoroughly evaluating the information so painstakingly gathered? Do they really understand your needs? Are they gathering team members to collectively brainstorm innovative solutions? Are they taking this thing seriously? Are they as excited about the event as you and your team?

Getting to know a client, I mean really knowing a client, requires more than a few offhand google searches. Our Team at Iacono believes this is the crucial part of every proposal. Whether responding to a new client’s proposal or to an established client’s need, we dig in deep to understand objectives, the company brand, attendee demographics and critical deliverables. Our goal is to understand what a successful event means to you, and deliver on those expectations.

You can often tell how well people are listening by the quality and insight of their questions. Listening, asking questions, more listening and inquiring more is how we reach this goal. Vital information follows from conversations about the state of one’s business, new strategies or company direction, as well as feedback from attendees about the successes or gaps in past events. At Iacono we use an established process to get to know you—it all begins with the Creative Brief.

Our Creative Brief ensures that we gather your key drivers such as strategy, brand, logistics and budget. Questions you hear are:

What do you want to achieve at this event? Are there new products or services being introduced? Does the event include educational,training, and recognition components?

Tell me about your attendees–age groups, gender mix, technology aptitude . . .  Why do your guests attend? What do they want to achieve at your event?

Will your theme develop and extend your brand or will it be built upon a thematic expression? Describe your ideal event environment.

What technology do you need to incorporate—Audience Response System, Polling, Slide Sharing, etc? 

What is the budget you have to work within? How does your budget break out by division and priority?

What are important dates for the production schedule? Who are the decision-makers involved in this project? What are the venue specifics?

After gaining a thorough understanding of your company and event, our Team moves into action producing a Checklist of Assets. Photos, videos, executive/attendee survey results and brand/style guidelines help us give your narrative appropriate visual expression. We tailor our design to help match the tone and feel that will compliment and extend the event strategy.

In situations when possible, a Show Visit is greatly beneficial to the process. Watching attendees interact with your brand and content adds greatly to our understanding. Walking the traffic paths, observing defined and impromptu networking opportunities and experiencing your event first hand is a recipe for creative and spot on solutions.

Great proposals address requirements and hit target budgets, help create energy and excitement, but most importantly they show how to fulfill requirements within an understanding of the organization and its needs. An established process that utilizes an information gathering tool such as a Creative Brief, a thorough Review of Assets and an event Show Visit, when possible, ensures that your development time is well rewarded. Identifying vendors that respond to your RFP with a consistent process, genuine enthusiasm and creative solutions will replace doubts with excited anticipation for your RFP submission.

 

Leslie Blye is national sales representative for Iacono