- On October 6, 2015
- 0 Comments
- corporate events, creative partners, Live events, social events
Finding the right creative partner for your live event is hard. Understanding things from the other side will drive success.
As you begin the process of putting together a live event, some basic questions come up early and often. What is the budget? What is the time line? What is the location? What are the needs? And what are the wants? We can argue about the order, or the specific wording but ultimately these categories drive the conversation and outline what can or should be accomplished. As with most events, (corporate, social gatherings, weddings etc.) you want YOUR event to have an impact. You want it to convey a message, create an atmosphere and/or generate a buzz.
Unfortunately, when you begin the process of putting an RFP together, you ultimately handicap the partners you are trying to bring into your circle. Here are some key reasons to avoid the RFP process and instead, look for a true designer/consultant/partner:
REASON 3: We Are in this Together. As I get involved with an event, it now becomes the most important event that I have to work on. So the flow of information, details, timelines, content, imagery, ideas, stress, pressures (and the list goes on) of doing an event are also on my plate. We are now partners who have the same goal in mind, a successful event.
When an RFP has been built, the person/company sending it may be hiding behind a wall of fear. Fear that whomever is bidding is looking to take advantage or get as much money as possible. Get in and out, like a thief in the night. This is even more amplified if the person sending out the RFP is not very experienced.
The key to success for you, as the orchestrator of a live event, is to find a partner you can trust and feel comfortable asking questions to. I am always looking for ways to create solutions or give insight into how an event can be enhanced. Often times during the design process, even if I am bidding out against other firms, I will offer professional tips and suggestions for you to consider regardless of who you ultimately select.
If your RFP process does not allow for or include a walk through of the space, full disclosure of details and access to a creative session, then we are not truly in this together. Companies will have to create a proposal that hedges their bets. Creating a safety net so that they do not fail at the execution portion of the agreement. Ultimately, this will spend your budget money inefficiently and risk the overall success of the event.
REASON 2: Money limits creativity. That’s not to say you need to have an endless flow of capital to be creative or accomplish your goals. But, if your RFP is comparing apples to apples within a set budget, it can strip away the ability to add true value to a good design or concept.
I can offer my clients options that will ultimately drive the “wow factor” that would potentially never be discussed in the early stages of the RFP . Dynamic ideas and solutions to undisclosed challenges are usually not discussed or outlined beforehand.
Knowing you have a set dollar amount to work with is great for ballpark ideas, but how you spend that money can be skewed based on the parameters of an RFP. Pre-established guidelines on paper that may change (the time line for instance), will have a dramatic affect on how you allocate the budget.
REASON 1: Trust the Experts. Sometimes, RFP’s are too vague. Maybe it doesn’t have a budget or, it specifically outlines what you believe you need. The draw back here is that once again, the power of our experience and creativity is removed by crafting an order to the details you have already pre-determined.
I work with a very creative team of people who have thousands of events under their belt. The technology, new trends, logistics and design experience is what makes us the experts in our field. Our primary focus is to deliver an amazing result, closely followed by taking the pressure and stress off of your plate. Trust is the ultimate goal for any partnership. However, in the RFP process; there will always be an artificial barrier during the bidding phase.
At the end of the day, there will always be a need for the RFP. Government events as an example need to find the best budget before spending our tax dollars. In the instances when you have to, or believe you need to use an RFP, stop and think about what you are trying to get out of your event. Did you just handicap yourself or your potential partners with this process? Have you done your homework to source and find trusted entities to be a part of this? Your approach to this process can be the difference between “getting what you paid for” and creating a lasting experience for everyone involved.