Be Sure You’re Getting the Smartest Spend with Your RFP

AUTHOR: Derse  /  August 3, 2018

CATEGORY: EnvironmentsEventsExhibitsIndustryStrategy

Issuing an effective RFP is a time intensive undertaking that requires planning and experience. With over 70 years in the industry, we’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to RFPs and realize when poorly executed, you can compromise timeline, objective, and budget. To achieve the smartest spend make sure you’re not falling for hidden costs.

We’ve seen our share of “no charge” line items on RFPs and trust us, every vendor has overhead costs – if it’s costing them something, it’s costing you something. More than likely you’re seeing the impact of those costs elsewhere. We have a few ways you can be smart when spending your budget:

1. Be Transparent

Transparency can be difficult when it comes to money but in the world of RFPs it’s best to be clear on budget expectations from the start. Budgets are often left out in fear they will “limit” the vendor’s creativity, in actuality not setting budget parameters invites more ambiguity and can cloud your decision process.

2. Be Real

Use real elements from your existing trade show program when requesting price comparisons. Take your time here and ensure your list is inclusive of everything needed for a successful program. Here’s an example to get you started:

  • Don’t ask for a bucket (or comprehensive) cost of “running your trade show program”
  • Do break out the costs by line item: shipping, electrical, labor, drayage, installation, change orders, and storage.


3. Be Forward Thinking

Ideally you want to leverage the RFP process to jumpstart future projects where work submitted could come to fruition in the future. Approaching RFPs with this mindset will be cost effective and purposeful versus an exercise used to pick a new partner.

These tips will help you reach the smartest spend but being budget savvy will only get you so far when it comes to crafting effective RFPs. As we mentioned, the RFP process is intensive but doable with the right tools. If this leaves you wanting more, check out our complete eBook on Five Components of an Effective RFP.

  • b2b marketing
  • event strategy
  • Exhibit marketing agency
  • ROI
  • trade show



BIO:Derse is a complete face-to-face marketing agency and exhibit builder with more than 450 employees and six full-service divisions. Ranked as a Top 10 Experiential/Event Marketing Agency by Advertising Age and B2B Top Shop by Chief Marketer, Derse brings a smarter wins approach to exhibits, events and environments for client programs in more than 50 countries.