"The greatest enhancement in so much available technology is simply automating the RFP process with an online form that sends bids to more properties simultaneously. To me, that’s not innovation."
How do event planners feel about the current state of event-venue RFP software and the RFP process in general? In short, they're frustrated, says Aventri's Brad Langley. But this is no time for complacency.
"A better phrase is tolerance, and when I say that, I mean many planners in the meetings and event industry have settled for RFP tech solutions that really haven't innovated much over the last 10 years," explains Langley. But if you were to really take a good look at the available event tech, there have been a number of innovations surrounding the RFP process. Langley believes many planners just haven’t discovered the new innovations — or might be hesitant to try something new.
"It's as if too much technology forgot the planner on the other end, and all the associated downline work that occurs after hitting 'send'."
"Well-designed technology should keep the planner in control of the RFP process with one cohesive dashboard, one tool that automatically syncs together all of the different steps and communication channels," explains Langley. Here, in a conversation with technology editor Michael Shapiro, Langley walks planners through some of the benefits of a robust sourcing platform — such as the Aventri-powered Northstar Event Venue Finder.
Northstar's event-space finder equips meeting planners with the tools that help them complete the RFP process -- from beginning to end, with:
· A global search of as many as 225,000 properties to choose from on a single platform
· Filters to narrow down the field of properties most eligible of being a perfect match
· An automatic email campaign implemented after the RFP is sent to request property responses
· Service from sourcing specialists that aid in the RFP process
"If a planner has not considered shifting to new technology, there are two trends going on right now that should be absolutely driving them to do so," explains Langley. Listen to our podcast to hear Langley’s take on those trends and how the right technology can help planners manage the associated challenges.
"The responses come back, and that’s where most other technologies stop. What do you do now? Instead of saying 'Okay, it's your problem now to figure out,' we compile the bids and give planners tools to help them determine the best value for their client’s budget."