As we all know, it can be very hard work, and often years in the making, to be given an opportunity to bid on an event, conference, meeting, retreat or incentive program.
Tourism Kelowna's Business Development team acts as a liaison between the client, third-party meeting planner, and our stakeholders, so we want to share some insight on how to ensure your proposal is getting the attention it deserves and is ultimately able to secure the business.
6 Steps to Help you Create a Winning Proposal
- Be sure to respond to the RFP by the deadline. Unfortunately, we don’t always get the lead time we would like; however, it is crucial to provide a response. That response could mean submitting a proposal; however, it could also mean declining to bid or perhaps requesting an extension on the deadline.
- Create a customized and detailed proposal which addresses all the client’s needs as outlined in the RFP. You may want to create a proposal template to use, but you'll want to make sure you are taking the time to customize your offerings to what the client is looking for. We encourage you to include information and photos about your venue or service, outline all options you have available that would accommodate the group, and clearly state what the pricing would be.
- Address any additional costs the client can expect to pay such as taxes, service fees or other fees. For accommodation stakeholders, pay attention to whether the client is looking for commissionable rates or not and ensure your pricing is reflective of that.
- Sometimes, the client also needs additional support materials during the proposal phase. This could include sample menus, floorplans, audiovisual lists, or other such details. Please ensure you are sending all the information the client is requesting.
- Provide a response through the comment section on what you can accommodate. Perhaps that means adjusting the program dates, adjusting the program altogether, or even adjusting the numbers. Sometimes the client says a program is not flexible with their dates and then receives a very competitive offer over new dates - all of a sudden the client is open to considering alternative dates. Don’t just say “no”...let’s take the time to show the client what we CAN do!
- Respond in the method requested by the client. We know that this often varies, sometimes the clients want to receive proposals directly, sometimes they want Tourism Kelowna to compile the individual proposals and to send them all in one package, and sometimes the client wants proposals submitted through a third party system such as Cvent. Regardless of how they request a response, please submit according to their instructions, and always update the Tourism Kelowna extranet so that we are kept in the loop. When the Extranet is updated, we are better able to represent our destination with prompt follow-up to the client.
Our team wants to help you secure more business and by collaborating to complete winning proposals and bid packages, we will all see success. If you would like to discuss your proposals further, please reach out to a member of our team and we can get started.