September 7, 2018

Hotel request for proposal (RFP) management is a tedious, detailed process. On both sides of the RFP there are many tasks to complete and lots of information to track. Hotel RFP management is how each side manages their own tasks.

Two Sides of the RFP

There are two sides of an RFP: the requester and the respondent. A single requester may post the RFP publically, inviting any and all willing respondents. In most hotel RFP cases, though, the requester will send an RFP to specific hotels from whom they would like a response. Each hotel brand, chain, or property has its own process for responding to RFPs.

There are many types of requesters. Requesters may be event planners who need lodging for their event attendees. Or they could be a couple looking for a group room block for wedding guests. The size of the group block and the frequency with which a requester plans large event lodging all influence what tools a requester can use, but the process largely stays the same.

Hotel RFP Management for Requesters

The hotel RFP management process for requesters involves many steps.

Creating the RFP

The first step in hotel RFP management is defining the request for proposal. The requester outlines how many rooms they need, the type of rooms they need, the dates of the stay, and any other amenities they may need from a hotel. All of this information is compiled into a document that can be provided to hotels so that they can bid on the need.

Sourcing Hotels

The RFP is then sent to hotels at which the requester would like to book rooms. Usually, hotels are selected based on their proximity to an event venue. Sometimes they are selected based on their unique ability to accommodate a requester’s particular needs. In every case, the requester sends their RFP digitally, in person, or via mail and begins receiving bids on their group booking.

Comparing Proposals

The requester and each hotel that responds to the RFP will negotiate terms and price. Hotels that cannot accommodate all the requester’s specific needs will sometimes respond with a proposal for what they can do. Then the requester must evaluate whether the proposal will work for them given their other options. Comparing proposals can become difficult when the number of rooms needed is large, and each hotel’s proposal is slightly different from the next. The requester needs to be organized.

Managing Deadlines

Through the hotel sourcing process there are deadlines. The requester usually asks hotels to respond by a certain date. In return, hotels then usually give the requester a deadline to accept their proposals. The number of deadlines to manage increases with each hotel invited to bid. The requester needs to have a way to keep track of their deadlines so they don’t miss out on good opportunities.

Contracting

Once a requester and a hotel reach an agreement on the specifics of a group block and associated amenities, they sign a contract. There are terms included in the contract such as a minimum number of nights or rooms to book, and any discounts or commissions the event planner will earn on each room booked.

Hotel RFP Management Software

Managing the hotel RFP process manually from the requester side can be done. It takes spreadsheets, calendars, and a lot of email back and forth. The process can be very time consuming and tedious.

Hotel RFP management software automates this process. Software makes requesters more efficient, saving time and preventing missed deadlines.

Learn more about Alliance’s Group Productivity Solution, an integrated event lodging management tool.