Watch your head – the pendulum has swung back and it’s a seller’s market for groups. With a limited supply of full-service hotels and renewed demand in the business/corporate travel sector, many groups have been pushed to look at other cities or to change their dates or patterns. But with the right marketplace and timing, there still are great deals for groups. Remember in negotiations, if you don’t ask, you don’t get so ask away! The request for proposal (RFP) is a great vehicle to contain all of the various requirements and “wish lists” of groups. The RFP should also include key contract provisions.
Groups should include the following items in a Request for Proposal (RFP):
- Background on the group, its attendees and its history from recent meetings;
- Technology requirements including number of users (with multiple devices), speed and bandwidth;
- Concessions list including concessions the group has typically received or those it would like to receive;
- Room block attrition requirements such as establishing a minimum room pick-up of 75% of the contracted room block;
- Key function space provisions such a prohibition against the hotel booking competitors or conflicting groups;
- Audio-visual requirements including use of outside vendors and the group’s own equipment at no additional charge;
- Cancellation fee requirements such as a sliding scale, credit for resold rooms and a provision addressing cancellation by the hotel;
- Key rights of cancellation without liability including force majeure, construction/renovation and change in hotel management company; and
- Indemnification provision requirements
Barbara Dunn is a Partner with the Association and Foundations Practice Group at Barnes & Thornburg where she concentrates her practice in association law and meetings, travel and hospitality law. Barbara can be reached at (312) 214-4837 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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