JAPA Meetings director, American Express Meetings & Events
An American Express study on virtual and mobile technologies revealed some interesting findings.
What exactly is RFP spam?
It is a meeting request that is sent to a large number of hotels for the same meeting to obtain availability and rates. With so many meeting requests being sent to hotels, they have to make a determination of which RFPs are most likely to result in new business.
Why is this happening?
The RFP sourcing technology that is available today allows the planner to select as many hotel properties in as many cities to be included in the RFP process. While the technology has provided efficiencies in the RFP process for the planners, it can result in a new problem for the hotels.
How will a hotel handle so many requests?
With so many RFPs crossing a hotel sales manager’s desk on a daily basis it has become very important for a hotel to prioritise the requests. As the hotel sales manager sifts through the requests they must prioritise their responses. They may look at how detailed the request is i.e. whether they need to make follow-up calls, whether the business requesting the meeting has a strong history of buying with the hotel or hotel chain, and whether the request is coming from a key client. Answering “yes” to any of these questions will likely put the RFP to the top of the priority list.
Tips for avoiding the pitfalls associated with RFP spam
Provide as much information as you can when booking your meeting – this way you can refine the list of hotels that you approach and are more likely to get a rapid response from venues contacted. It is also important to keep the goals and objectives of your meeting front of mind so that the hotels sourced fit your exact requirements. Remember, by providing more details when you request a meeting, you are also helping to reduce RFP spam.
American Express Meetings & Events takes RFP spam seriously and we make a concerted effort not to add to the problem. We partner with our clients to clearly understand the needs and objectives of their meeting to determine which hotels would be the best fit and focus the RFP to match.
With our hotel relationships and the sheer volume of room nights booked by American Express across the globe, an RFP from American Express rises to the top of the priority list. Hotels know that when American Express sends a RFP that it is a serious request. By following our proprietary process and providing the hotel with the details they need upfront, we are able to mitigate the time required by the hotel sales manager to provide a quote.