New Report Looks Inside RFP Processes

27th May 2024

The "RFP of the Future" report, recently conducted and published by Conferli, offers an insider's look at Request for Proposal (RFP) processes within associations. Based on a survey of 94 associations, the study highlights a significant shift towards centralised RFP processes designed to enhance efficiency, transparency, and sustainability.

1.The report reveals that over 40% of associations do not follow a specific RFP process, leading to inconsistencies in conference planning. However, a growing trend towards centralised RFP processes is evident, with 60% of associations now adopting this approach, up from 40% in 2022.

2. It also emphasises the importance of integrating advocacy into conferences to influence policy and drive industry change.

3. When selecting conference destinations, associations prioritise several key criteria: venue facilities, location and accessibility, cost, accommodation options, and support services. Additional factors such as the venue’s reputation, legal considerations, sustainability practices, networking opportunities, and technological infrastructure also play a significant role.

4. Despite a strong preference for automating the RFP process to reduce manual effort and increase efficiency, there is notable resistance to adopting specialised RFP software due to cost concerns and the perceived complexity of these tools.

5. Over 70% of respondents believe that alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is important for future RFPs, marking a significant shift towards more ethical and inclusive event planning.

6. The report notes a shift in hotel booking strategies post-COVID, with a move towards more flexible options, allowing delegates to choose their accommodations via traditional booking channels.

The “RFP of the Future” report concludes with a call to action for associations to join an advisory group to help shape the future of RFP processes. By adopting a bold, technology-forward approach while maintaining a commitment to personal interaction and customisation, the events industry can revolutionise its approach to RFPs.

You can read the full report here.

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