Writing an RFP for an upcoming event doesn’t have to feel like an event in-and-of itself. In fact, if done well, it can save your time as well as the production team’s time up front and throughout the event planning and execution process.
The goal of an RFP isn’t just to define the necessary onsite equipment and personnel for an event, but also to lay out the multitude of pre-production activities your AV team should be performing on your behalf. Without defining these activities and the timeline for them, you could end up with an ad-hoc planning process and misaligned goals, leading to increased costs and an out-of-sync approach.
By including your planning process order, timeline and pre-production activity expectations in your RFP, you give your production team a complete understanding of your event activities and timeline before they bid. Aligning all teams on the pre-production timeline is just as important as detailing the equipment and staff requirements.
Here are 3 RFP-writing tips to save you time, increase your efficiency, and keep your costs in line with your event budget:
1. Define Accurate Logistics
Laying out accurate events logistics is an essential starting point for your RFP. Key logistical items to include in your RFP include:
- What date/time did you contract the room for?
- Load in date and time
- Rehearsal date/time
- Show date/time
- End of show date/time
- What day/time did you contract the room until?
Include only the most important logistical details and avoid unnecessary line-by-line items.
2. Share Your Detailed Timeline
Once you have laid out your logistics, the next section of your RFP should include your detailed timeline for the event. Your timeline should include milestones and set clear expectations about what needs to be provided or delivered and by what date. Providing limits to any approach and manner helps too.
Ask yourself: What does this production agency need to expect from us, and when is the expected milestones needed? It’s a mutually beneficial situation, as the production agency can then, in turn, respond to the RFP with their own “What to Expect and When” that successfully aligns with yours. Unexpected frustration can happen on both sides when there is misalignment of expectations, especially when there’s a lack of commitment to the timeline. Premium production agencies such as ATX Event Systems pride themselves on keeping reaction times to a minimum, so providing the right timeline and expectations upfront will minimize risks and ensure the expectations for your event are met or exceeded.
3. Provide a Budget Framework but Don’t Dictate the Details
It can be tempting to write pages of line-by-line items within an RFP that dictates a solution vs. providing a framework that allows the production agency to share their value and expertise in delivering high-quality successful events. However, this approach often leads to a reactive ad- hoc event planning process with increased time and costs instead of a strategic, proactive approach that is both efficient and cost-effective for your organization and the event production agency.
To maximize your time and the ROI for your event, take a good look at the overall budget and amount of pre-production needed and, most importantly, focus on maximizing the production agency’s creative latitude to really go above-and-beyond within your event budget.
Kanban view of an ATX Event Systems Trello board
Following these tips helps avoid duplicate workflows on both sides all throughout the execution process, and it reduces the time required from planner & production team. You can then challenge yourself and your production team to reallocate this saved time to creative planning to accomplish your strategic event initiatives.
During the proposal review process ask: What is this company prepared to do to really add more value to this event? ATX Event Systems’ streamlined approach to production is proven to save time, save money and avoid last minute rushes on resources.
For a list of the most critical information to include when building an RFP, take a look at ATX’s Event Onboarding Questionnaire.