Looking for the best event RFP template to help you find the right event platform that fits perfectly with your event tech stack and helps your company achieve its business goals? You’re not alone.
Finding the event platform that keeps omnichannel engagement high and seamlessly feeds data into your CRM for any type of event can be daunting. Especially in high-touch industries where having compliant event technology is crucial.
That’s why we’ve made the event request for proposal process easy for you. We’ve created two comprehensive event RFP templates based on our 20+ years’ experience working with leading life sciences and professional services companies in the event tech industry.
Join the 10,000+ professionals who have already downloaded our event management RFP template. And find the event platform that ticks all your boxes and drives you toward your business objectives fast.
Event RFP (Request For Proposal) template: What is it and why send one?
If you work for a large pharma company that runs thousands of in-person, hybrid, and virtual events a year, you must find a compliant event platform that can handle all your needs. One that can help you achieve your goals at any type of event, from medical standalone and speaker training events to congresses and satellite symposia.
The same goes if you work for a large professional services or technology company that runs hundreds of mixed event types every year.
That’s where an event RFP (Request for Proposal) template comes in. It’s like a pre-made shopping list of all the features you’re looking for in an event platform. And you can use it to invite different vendors to submit their solutions for your consideration.
The best event RFP templates give you the information you need to decide which event platform is right for your company. They help you assess each vendor’s capabilities by measuring how well they understand the project requirements and how well they can deliver on them. This is especially important when working with high-touch industries like life sciences that require specialized services that go beyond just hosting events.
By having all the relevant details at a glance, you can quickly compare potential solutions and vendors side-by-side. And with an event RFP template and process in place, you can save time and money while ensuring that your events are successful from start to finish. This allows you to focus on delivering exceptional omnichannel experiences for attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors alike.
Event RFP template and process: How does it work?
You can issue an event management RFP template either directly to chosen event platform vendors and/or post it on their website or procurement portal for vendors to find and complete.
The event management RFP process is similar to posting a job description and inviting prospective employees to submit a cover letter and resume/CV. Just like when HR posts a job opening, using an event RFP template allows you to screen out and whittle down potential vendors to select those that are most likely to help you reach your goals.
Using an event RFP template is like looking for a new employee/team member because the end goal is the same: to find the best match.
The initial stage of the event RFP process usually involves a company asking potential vendors to complete and send back an event management RFP template (usually in Excel).
The key is that the searching company (in this case, you!) chooses what the event RFP template looks like. This means you determine and include the criteria and requirements that you need (and discard the ones that you don’t). This enables you to choose a vendor that is a tailored and exact match for your needs.
Once you have your initial selection of vendors who passed the first round of screening, you might start to invite vendors for subsequent meetings. This will help you dig a little deeper into their capabilities and likelihood of meeting your needs. Eventually, you will end up with a winner.
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Event RFP template and process: Who should be involved?
There’s no pre-defined set of requirements here. And a lot will depend on the context of the event RFP template itself.
For example, large companies in high-touch industries like life sciences run thousands of different event types in various formats every year. The event platform they choose will affect several departments and have a huge impact on the business. So, it’s likely that several people will work on the event RFP template and process.
Whatever the context, there are some basic inputs you will need to make a well-rounded decision on which vendor is best.
Here are 4 types of inputs to consider:
Someone with the technical knowledge of your company’s requirements and needs. In the case of a SaaS event platform vendor, this means someone with the expertise to decide if the solution can be integrated into the existing tech stack, meets security and privacy requirements, and that the data inputs and outputs are what is needed.
Someone who will use the solution on a day-to-day basis to input on the usability and impact on daily processes and workflows.
It’s key to take cost and finances into account during the event RFP process. You want to make sure that the event solution you choose is the right fit for your budget now and in the future.
As important as the day-to-day is, it is also a great idea to have a line of sight into the future strategic direction. The last thing you want is to have to switch event platform vendors every so often when you outgrow them.
Besides these inputs, internal politics (especially on larger and cross-departmental impacting event RFPs) may dictate that you will need a high-profile champion to help add credibility and authority to any decision-making process.
Identifying the right event platform with an event RFP template
Finding the perfect event platform that meets your needs and expectations can be overwhelming. But, one of the best ways to ensure you choose the perfect event platform is by using an event RFP template that gets at the heart of what your events need and helps you compare potential solutions against one another.
You need to give event platform vendors a comprehensive overview of your company, the scope of work, the event details, and budget considerations. It is vital to make sure vendors understand your needs and why you think their event solution could be the perfect match for your company’s goals.
An effective event RFP template should include:
An overview of your company
Include a brief overview of your team, what you’re looking for in a technology partner, and any other information that would be helpful for vendors to understand.
Make sure to include any budget considerations so vendors can provide realistic solutions.
Include the date when proposals are due and provide details about any milestones or deadlines you have during the selection process.
The type of technology partner you are looking for
Describe the size, experience, and services that you need from your partner.
A list of requirements
Be as detailed as possible in order to ensure vendors are responding with solutions that meet all of your needs.
Questions for vendors
Ask specific questions related to their product offering, innovation, customer service, and more.
Our event RFP template (both the one for the life sciences industry and the enterprise edition) have a list of specific questions to help you quickly and easily fill out all the above details.
- What is your overall goal?
- How will you measure the success of the project?
- How will you measure the success of the chosen vendor?
- What type of event(s) are you hosting?
- Why are you searching for a new vendor?
- What barriers to success are you trying to overcome?
- Is there a maximum budget for the project?
- Any many more
By having a comprehensive event RFP template ready before starting the selection process, you will be able to quickly compare vendors and select the right platform for your organization.
What should an event RFP template include?
Your event RFP template should be clearly structured. We suggest splitting all the features you are looking for into groups. That way event platform vendors can easily navigate and fill out your event RFP template. Plus, you know you will get all the key information you need.
In our free Event RFP Template for the Life Sciences Industry and Event RFP Template – Enterprise Edition, you’ll find 8 groups of requirements that include 100+ features you should look for in your event platform. We’ve updated our list on the latest event platform features available in the market:
Everything you need to logistically create and run your event, including registration, branding & customization, and the ability to send notifications and alerts.
Activation & engagement
All the tools you need to turn your event into an interactive experience for your audience, including polling, Q&A, home feed, gamification, and chatbots.
Networking & communities
The features that help you connect your audience to one another, including recommended connections, 1-1 and group chat, LinkedIn profile integration, contact requests, and audience profiles.
Everything you need to put on the live portion of your event, including streaming capabilities, live audience reactions, speaker bios, whiteboard sessions, and 2-way video.
How you offer on-demand access, including searchable content library, hosting live sessions and pre-recorded video, offline capabilities, and summary digests.
How you can turn your event into business impact, including lead collection, usage and behavior analytics, and audience signals/alerts.
The details of the platform itself, including hybrid + virtual lobby, web and native mobile applications, language support, and branding & app publishing capabilities.
How the vendor can support you, including global support presence, email/phone/web support, hours of support (are they 24/7?), integrations, and SSO capability.
How does an event RFP template work?
Worksheet #1 RFP Outline
This section is for you to complete (i.e., the company searching for an event platform vendor. It’s your chance to tell prospective vendors what your event management RFP template is all about, set the tone for the responses, detail what you need the vendor for, and what your goals & dates are, etc. Plus, it’s a chance to detail logistics like contact information and deadlines for questions and responses.
Worksheet #2 Vendor Response Sheet
This section is the blank event RFP template that you send or make available to prospective vendors. They will then complete the details, and return their answers to you within the allotted time.
Worksheet #3 Response Comparison Grid
This handy sheet is a framework for you to compare each of the prospective vendor responses side by side within your event RFP template. It helps you speed up your decision process.
Ready to find your perfect vendor with the best free event RFP template?
Finding the right event platform that fits perfectly with your event tech stack and helps your company achieve its business goals doesn’t have to be stressful.
We’ve done the work for you, so you don’t need to worry about listing all the different features you might need for the thousands of events your pharma or professional services company runs every year.
Other resources to help you find the best event platform vendor for 2024:
We suggest reading our article about the 13 corporate event trends that will make your events stand out in 2024 and then checking out the following guides to help you succeed in the upcoming year:
- The 25 best conference + mobile event apps for 2024
- The virtual events platform comparison chart
- The 15 best hybrid event platforms in 2024
- The 9 best event platforms for HCP events in 2024
- SpotMe event platform demo