RFP Wish List: Agencies Sound Off on Key Pain Points

RFP Wish List: Agencies Sound Off on Key Pain Points

Five Things Agencies Wish They Could Change About the RFP Process

For the agency community, RFPs can be, well, painful. We asked a few industry veterans to name the one thing they’d change, if they could. (Hint: these things are probably on your wish list, too.) Here’s a look.


1. Offer access to decision-makers

Given the amount of investment required of agencies to participate in an RFP, agencies say it’s helpful to gain access during the process to decision-makers and those team members who will actually be working on the project. “Having the right chemistry between a brand and their agency partners is critical to make those things go smoothly. That’s the secret sauce,” says Alex Afsari, vp-growth and development at George P. Johnson.

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2. Disclose your budget parameters

Not sharing budget information can limit an agency’s ability to bring a solution that’s a good fit for the brand. “We focus significantly on the strategy, which then drives the creative, and having a void of information really hamstrings us and it makes it difficult for us to do our best work and to deliver for brands,” says Afsari.


3. Share your event challenges

If there are specific challenges brands are attempting to solve, sharing them allows an agency to better deliver against them and to also establish a baseline for measurement. If it’s your brand’s first foray into the experiential space, provide examples of work it hopes to emulate.


4. Set realistic expectations

Be thoughtful when creating benchmarks, particularly when it’s a brand’s first experiential event, because it takes time and experience to develop the most successful and well-attended experiential events in the industry.


5. Offer private Q&As with the brand

While sharing all questions and answers with every bidder is equitable, it limits the detail agencies are able to provide, for fear of disclosing a direction or strategy it’s considering to competitors. “We’re trying to fill in the gaps of the RFP, which makes the questions we ask much more critical,” says Dan Hilbert, svp at GES Events.


This story appeared in the December 2018 issue

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