How to Get the Most Out of Your Hotel RFP Process

So you’re planning a big event. 

Maybe you plan to host speakers, a conference, a large meeting of the minds for your business/industry—or even a convention. 


There’s only one little problem. 

Now, you need to find a hotel. 

You’ve heard along the grapevine that sending out an RFP is the best way to get started, but you’re not sure where to start. 

If this sounds like you, don’t worry. We understand, and we’re here to help.

An RFP, aka a request for proposal, is a document that you send to hotels to get their quotes on your event. 

Hotel Engine does a great job of explaining this:

A request for proposal is basically an open request for bids to help your company find the best prices on event venues, meeting rooms, and blocks of hotel rooms.

But sending out an RFP can be a daunting task. 

Finding basic instructions online is fairly easy. 

But what should you really watch out for while doing it?

There are, admittedly, a lot of things to think about—and it’s easy to make mistakes. 

That’s why we’ve put together this handy dandy guide—to help you get the most out of your hotel RFP process and avoid those dreaded pitfalls.

Here are 6 of the most important tips to help you get started on the right foot:

1. Start by doing your research

Before you send out any RFPs to any hotels, take some time to research the different hotel options that exist in your area. 

  • What kind of events do they tend to host? 
  • How often do they host events?
  • Which types of events (if any) do your favorite hotel options specialize in? 
  • What are their prices like? 
  • What kind of amenities do they offer? 

The more you know about the hotels in your area, the better equipped you’ll be to write a targeted RFP that’ll speak right to the heart of the person reading it.

And that, dear RFP writer, is exactly what you want. 

2. Be clear about your needs

When you’re writing your RFP, be as clear as possible about what your specific needs are. 

  • What kind of event are you planning? 
  • How many people are you expecting in attendance? 
  • What kinds of hotel services and amenities will you need? 

The more specific you are, the easier it’ll be for hotels to give you super-accurate quotes.

Bonus tip: Be extra specific about each one of your individual needs. The more specific you get, the more the hotel will realize that you mean business (and they’ll see your request as a real opportunity worth responding to). 

3. Include all the relevant information

In addition to your event details, be sure to include all the relevant information in your RFP. 

This includes things like your budget, your timeline, and your transportation needs. 

The more information you provide, the better-equipped each hotel will be to give you a full, comprehensive proposal.

Bonus tip: Use clear and concise language.

4. Proofread your RFP carefully before sending it out

Proofreading your RFP carefully before sending it out is an absolute, 100% essential piece of the puzzle. 

This will help to eliminate errors in your document, and will also ensure that the language is clear and easy to understand. 

It’ll also show that you’re actually a professional and that you’re organized—which will make a good impression, and once again make the event look more like an opportunity worth responding to.

Bonus tip: Your document should be super clear and easy to understand. Try plugging it into the Hemmingway App and shooting for a 3rd-grade reading level at the highest!

Avoid using technical jargon or terms that the hotels may not be familiar with.

5. Get everything in writing

Once you’ve received quotes from a few different hotels, it’ll be important to get everything (all the details) in writing. 

This basically helps you to avoid any big or complicated misunderstandings down the road. 

Also, make sure to include all the details of your agreement—such as the quoted price, the planned dates, and the services that will be expected to be provided.

6. Follow up

After you’ve sent out your RFPs, be sure to follow up with the hotels. 

This will show that you’re serious about booking with them, and it will give you a chance to answer any questions they may have.

Bonus tip: Also make sure to highlight the benefits of your event for the hotel. As stated previously—you want to make this look like an amazing opportunity for them as well!


There you have it!

Follow these tips, and your RFP process is sure to be a blast. 

You’ve got this. 

Now get out there and make it happen.