Meeting Mentor Magazine

December 2018

Data Confirms Anecdotal Reports

eRFP Volume Rose ‘Significantly’ for Many

Research from the Global Business Travel Association confirms many anecdotal reports over the past few years: the volume of electronic requests for proposal (eRFPs) for meetings has significantly increased from buyers and third-parties, and even more notably for supplier recipients.

The April 2014 survey was conducted by the GBTA Foundation at the request of the GBTA Meetings Committee to help the industry contain eRFP volume for suppliers, maximize eRFP responses for buyers, and quantify the impact of multiple RFPs on business processes. Here are some key findings:

More eRFPs: Meeting eRFPs issued in 2013 “increased” or “greatly increased” over 2012 for 53% of third parties and 31% for buyers. Not surprisingly, just about two-thirds of suppliers increased or greatly increased the number of eRFPs they responded to. For each meeting held in 2013, third parties sent eRFPs to nearly twice as many properties (14) as buyers did (8), on average — “a big surprise” to Joseph Bates, GBTA’s vice president of research.

Response rates: Third parties received proposals from an average of 11 properties, buyers from an average of six properties, perhaps reflecting the different volume of eRFPs each group originally sent.

More sent as meeting value rises: Buyers (32%) and third parties (28%) say they are required to send an eRFP to a minimum number of properties if the value of a meeting is above a certain amount.

Incomplete information: Suppliers ask for additional information to complete an eRFP 42% of the time.

Response time: Buyers and third parties each take a median of two person-hours to prepare an eRFP, while suppliers take a median of one person-hour to respond.

Priorities: With the increasing stream of eRFPs, responding suppliers give priority to eRPFs direct from an existing client, followed by direct from a new client. The top three reasons they declined to bid on an eRFP in 2013 were: unavailable space (74%), unavailable rooms (69%), arrival/departure pattern (54%).

Inside the survey: 412 responses in early March from 61 buyers, 291 suppliers and 60 third-party agencies; 48% of buyers work for companies that spent less than $5 million on group meetings in 2013, while 53% work for companies that spent $5 million or more. For more information about the survey, contact gbta.org.Maxine  Golding

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ConferenceDirect is a global meetings solutions company offering site selection/contract negotiation, conference management, housing & registration services, mobile app technology and strategic meetings management solutions. It provides expertise to 2,500 corporations and associations through our 325 Associates globally. www.conferencedirect.com

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