You can’t dance at every wedding.
This year more than ever this statement can be applied to our industry when it comes to responding to RFP´s. I have spoken to many of our partners in Barcelona who seem to have a similar dilemma, should we respond to every single request that comes in even if we are almost certain it will never result in a successful outcome? Today as DMCs in Barcelona we must work even harder to exceed expectations on all levels to be in with a chance on winning a bid. I think we all agree that this is a good thing as it keeps complacency and mediocrity at bay. However when a RFP has been received with such scant information and a confusing brief, what are we to do? What should our course of action be when we find that many other destinations are being proposed with at least 4 agents working on each destination? When time is short how do we divide our time between a request that needs time thought and creativity and one that needs to be prepared “by 5pm tonight”? Well the answer is not an easy one but we are finding that our approach has been paying dividends over the past few months.
What, where, why, when, how? Asking questions is the key, when it comes to getting clarity on a brief. For example, we are often asked for the WOW factor but what does that mean and what are the different interpretations by the stakeholders involved in making the decision? We now find it imperative that we speak to all RFPs that come in simply to push for clarification of the brief. Most people appreciate the extra 10 – 20 minute phone call it takes to go through some key points in order to make sure the proposal we send is not full of superfluous information.
As alien as this may seem in the present climate, sometimes is it worth looking at how much time we put into writing a proposal and valuing our time accordingly so that we can make a decision as to the value in actually working on a proposal. I know it sounds counter intuitive but it is hard to stay motivated when you know your work has been put forward just to make up the numbers in a basket of other proposals especially if all of your proposals are fully bespoke and tailor-made.
The corporate events market in Barcelona has become very fragmented and fiercely competitive over the years, I think that the only way to remain viable and attractive to potential suitors is to remain focused, and not to try and do everything. As the title says, you can´t dance a every wedding.