The Basic Anatomy of Every RFP (+ Template)

You’re looking for vendors to partner with to complete a client’s ideal vision for an upcoming event. How to go about deciding which vendor offers up the best ideas, prices, and possible solutions?

In our previous blog, How to Create a Successful RFP, you got the very basics of a Request for Proposal: Its purpose, when you’ll need one, and how to get started brainstorming the first request put out by your brand. In short, when your company has a new (often large) project, or one that’s more complex and requires a bit of outsourcing, an RFP can help you get the job done right the first time.

How to Write an Event RFP

By the time you’re preparing to write an RFP, your budget, needs, and timeline should already be established. Ready to get started? Listed below is all the information you’ll need to include in an RFP (Request for Proposal) that allows potential suppliers to respond effectively. (And, for you to learn all the needed info before it’s time to commit!)

RFP Detail #1: Project Overview

Give a brief introduction to the project itself so vendors know right away if their services are a good match and it’s worth spending the time to bid on.

RFP Detail #2: Your Background

This doesn’t have to be an entire company history. Instead, just share an overview of what your company does and who you serve as a target market.

RFP Detail #3: Your Project Goals

Define what would be considered a “win” for this project so that everyone is on the same page.

RFP Detail #4: The Project Scope

This is where you need to get down to the nitty-gritty. Spend time really detailing your project scope so there are no surprises later on.

RFP Detail #5: Target Schedule

Even if your deadlines aren’t set in stone, you should still have a target deliverable schedule in mind. If you are flexible on dates, say so, as it may give you more opportunities. Mention whether there are any specific days or times you want to avoid. This needs to be included in your RFP so potential vendors can properly gauge if they have the resources and bandwidth to complete the job on time.

RFP Detail #5: Potential Pitfalls

Don’t hide your existing or potential issues under the proverbial rug if you want them to disappear. A successful RFP is explicitly clear about any technical issues or possible roadblocks. By explaining these up front, potential vendors will know exactly what they’re getting into.

You’ll also naturally weed out contractors who can’t handle the task due to those constraints. (Better now than after you’ve accepted the bid!) And, you’ll also connect with companies that know how to work around these common issues with skill and finesse.

RFP Detail #6: Budget Caps

Remember, it’s better to eliminate a potential vendor now than after their bid has been accepted.

RFP Detail #7: Your Selection Process

Describe how your decision will be made and who the decision makers are. By outlining what matters to you most, you’ll show consideration for your potential vendor’s time.

Event RFP Sample Template

To use this template, simply replace or remove anything [IN BRACKETS] and enter your company’s information instead. You can also remove sections or pieces of information that don’t pertain to your project.

Click For Free RFP Sample Template

Remember, don’t skimp on the details! Before you fall back on the standard RFP outline, remember that your goal is to give vendors a sense of your event. Yes, you need to list the theme, attendee demographics, transportation, the range of activities, and other arduous details. But, your goal is to give vendors a sense of the event — let them in on your goals with all the specificity you can muster.

Skipping the detail is only a disservice to yourself. After all, if you don’t tell vendors your expectations, how can they deliver what you need?

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