You're home from the Symposium ... Now what?!

 Posted on: April 14 2016
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You have some excellent leads and RFPs that you received during your appointments and while networking at the Symposium.  Now the work really starts.  Here are some ideas on what to do next. 

We are in a relationship business.  Follow-up by mail, email or with a phone call to the people that you met at the Symposium and even those with whom you were interested in meeting but were unable to connect due to scheduling issues. 

Reach out to your community to get your local partners, facilities and sports experts involved in the RFP evaluation and bid process. 

Review the RFPs or information that you received and investigate if the event is a match for your community AND for the event planner.  Make sure that the event will be a win for both you and the rights holder.  There are sporting events and meetings that will work for all communities.  Not all events will be a match for you and the planner.  It is best not to pursue an event where you and the planner can’t both be successful. 

  • Many RFPs are a starting point in the bid / negotiation process.  RFPs can be a wish list / ideal situation for a planner.  
  • If you are interested in pursuing the event but can’t fulfill all of the elements of the RFP, contact the planner to counter offer and make your pitch on why the event would be successful in your community.  “I can’t do X but how about if I provide Y and Z instead?”  Try to be a problem solver with creative alternative ideas.   Find out what the planner “must have” vs. what would be “nice to have.”

Continue your research by contacting cities and regions that have hosted the event in the past. 

  • Did the planer deliver on the number of room nights, economic impact and other elements outlined in their RFP? 
  • Use the internet as a tool and call the CVBs / Sports Commissions that have hosted these events in the past.  CVB contacts are listed on the NASC website. 
  • Based on the RFP and your discussions with the planner, prepare a comprehensive and concise bid document.  Be prepared to present in person and to host the planner for a site visit.  


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