According to the Convention Industry Council a Request for Proposal (RFP) is a document that stipulates what services an organization wants from an outside contractor and requests a bid to perform such services.
The RFPs that I have responded to have had very clear indicators of what the organization wanted done. It stated the purpose of the event. In the case of an annual event, the RFP gave an event history.
An RFP should have a scope of work, clear deadlines, budget guidelines and attendance projections. It should have the purpose of the event and in the case of an annual event, give an event history.
Words of advice for those sending out RFPs: Request for proposals shouldn't be used to gather ideas if you don't have a clear idea of what is to be done. Also RFPs shouldn't be used to plan the event budget. Be willing to answer questions of those responding to the RFP. Award the bid on the date given. Be willing to answer questions of those who didn't get the contract.
Words of advice for those responding to RFPs: Don't respond if you don't have the skill set to do the work. If you have questions, please make a list and ask them in one phone call, or email. If you will be using other contractors, give their contact information. Don't forget to list your references. Repond in a timely fashion.
That's the Planners Pointer for today.