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Effective strategies to win rfps for hotels and destinations
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Effective strategies to win rfps for hotels and destinations


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  • 1. Effective Strategies to Secure and Win RFPS for Hotels and Destinations
    Keith Johnston
  • 2. About me
    How do I know what I know
  • 3. I currently consult with corporations and associations that are looking to build effective online strategies using social media to promote meetings and events
    Keith Johnston
    I have been in the meetings industry for 15 years
    I have worked with clients including The Economist, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Pepsi Cola, The State Bar of California and many more companies and associations
    I am a board member of the Chicago Chapter of Site International
    I have brought many programs to Mexico where thousands of my attendees have had amazing experiences
    Today, we are talking about strategies to secure and win RFPs
    Publisher and Chief Writer for the Industry Blog
  • 4. Your current situation
    A look at what many hotels and destinations do to win RFPs
  • 5. Getting RFPs from a CVB or other destination organization
    What are you currently doing to secure RFPs
    Sending Brochures?
    Making Phone Calls
    Relying on technology solutions that deliver RFPs
    Attending some industry events
    This is OK, but it is also the reason you lose RFPs
  • 6. You need a new equation
    Winning RFPs is the easiest thing to do if you are securing good RFPs
  • 7. Forward Thinking + Strategy = Quality RFPs
    Quality RFPs convert faster to a sale
    The most effective strategy to winning RFPs is to start long before a planner ever sends you the RFP
  • 8. How do you secure and win quality RFPs
    5 Simple Ideas
  • 9. Lose the bad habits
  • 10. Be 100% clear about numbers in the proposal
    Get out of bad habits to win RFPs
    Return the RFP on time
    Return the RFP according to instructions
    Do not try and hide or bury costs
    Do not try and deceive
    Biggest Problems Meeting Planners “Know” They Have with the RFP process -
  • 11. Winning and securing RFPs is more than a technology solution.
    Technology is a tool; you should have many tools in your toolbox to get good RFPs
    You cannot build a house with just a hammer
  • 12. A relationship is the most important tool to secure and win RFPs
    “Relationships! We all got ‘em, we all want ‘em. What do we do with ‘em?”
    --Jimmy Buffett
  • 13. Patience and Understanding
    The keys to a successful sales relationship
    Peer to Peer Interaction
  • 14. If you are not building relationships, you are losing RFPs to hotels and destinations that are.
  • 15. When you have a relationship
    A planner will give you more information than they give others
    A planner will let you revise the RFP
    A planner overlook simple mistakes
    A planner will choose your property even if it costs more
    A planner will fight to give you the business
    A planner will be more honest about the RFP process
  • 16. This process is good but slow
    How do you start the relationship?
    You can meet planners at industry events
    You can meet planners on site inspections
    There is a better way
  • 17. Attack social media
  • 18. Use social media to find and interact with planners
    Social Media is an untapped market for most hotels and destinations
    Hotels and destinations that are using social media properly are winning RFPs
    Social media builds HONEST relationships with planners
    Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are all you need
    Allows you to be in contact with hundreds of planners on a daily basis
    A planner will buy from who they know
  • 19. Destinations use social media
  • 20. Destinations use social media
  • 21. Destinations use social media
    Partnering with sites with a strong social media presence is very effective
  • 22. Hotels use social media
    This is the Facebook page of the Atlantis in the Bahamas (if 1% of the 200,000 fans are planners, that leaves 2000 meeting and event planners)
  • 23. Planners use social media
    This is the Twitter page of Mike McCurry of Experient
  • 24. Planners use social media
    MPI Chapters use social media effectively to reach and educate their members and other planners
  • 25. If you are not using social media, you are losing RFPs to hotels and destinations that do
  • 26. Answer what you can win
  • 27. Stop answering RFP’s that you will not win
    Planners price point is too low
    Identify if the meeting planner is fishing
    Program does not fit your property
    Concentrate on RFPs that are in your sweet spot
    Respond to ALL RFPs (even those you turn down, explaining why you are not submitting)
  • 28. If you are wasting time on RFPs that you cannot win, you are losing the time to properly win GOOD RFPs
  • 29. Confront the mediA
  • 30. Facts and figures are confusing
    Violence and H1N1 issues in the case of Mexico
    Confront the media head on
    Americans are the smartest stupid people in the world
    Stick to simple to understand narratives
    Other destinations should do the same – The Gulf Coast, Japan, etc.
  • 31. You must confront the media issues facing your destination because other destinations are using it against you to win RFPs
  • 32. Dress for success
  • 33. Question
    Would you let this man operate on you?
    Then why would you book a resort destination from this man?
  • 34. Khakis and a simple button down are perfect
    Wardrobe has a lot to do with winning RFPs
    American Meeting and Event Planners are more casual than in other parts of the world
    Leave the suit at home, it makes Americans uncomfortable (suits usually mean bad news)
    Sell me your destination by what you wear
  • 35. If you are not dressing for success, you are losing the battle with other destinations and properties
  • 36. Stop Answering BAD RFPs
    The Wrap Up
    Eliminate Bad Habits
    Build relationships
    Confront the American Media
    Dress for Success
  • 37. THAnk You
  • 38. QUESTIONS -
    Contact Me:
    Twitter: @plannerwire
    LinkedIn: KeithGJohnston