NORWALK, CT, November 20, 2009 -- Red 7 Media, a business media company headquartered here, has launched a new online tool that enables buyers and suppliers of event-related products and services to create, issue and respond to Requests for Proposal (RFPs) and Requests for Information (RFIs) via an online system. EventSupplierSelect allows buyers to create sophisticated questionnaires that can be issued and answered online, with the responses scored, weighted and analyzed using charting tools.
The EventSupplierSelect system reduces the administrative burden of supplier evaluation and selection, and creates a more efficient and less error-prone process for both buyers and suppliers in the event industry.
The increase in the number and type of events being utilized by corporate marketers -- as well as the demand to create measurable ROI – has heightened the importance of identifying the right supplier partners, as this decision directly impacts the success of a marketing program. However, until now, there has not been a “go-to” resource for marketers and suppliers to use as a standard for issuing and responding to RFPs. As a result, event professionals spend an enormous amount of time on inefficient processes that were originally designed for non-event purchases.
Event Marketing Institute research indicates that 74 percent of event marketers do not have a documented procurement strategy; and only one in five (19%) utilize any kind of system to manage their RFP process.
“To say that the RFP process for the event industry is broken is an understatement,” according to Red 7 Media president & CEO Kerry Smith. “Buyers and suppliers have told us that creating and responding to event RFPs is incredibly time consuming, labor intensive, expensive, and often frustrating. The reason is that, with no efficient way to standardize the process, RFPs and RFIs come in all shapes and sizes, creating a huge workload for both sides and ultimately little or no institutional memory. We’ve solved this issue by creating a system that gives users the flexibility to create and respond to RFPs and RFIs that are specific to their needs, but also does so via an online management tool that provides incredible efficiency and time-savings.”
Unlike emails, documents and spreadsheets, EventSupplierSelect manages the entire sourcing and evaluation process in a single, integrated, multi-user application that is simple, flexible and affordable to use.
The system’s simple four-step process enables users to 1. Create a Project: Define your evaluation criteria, create your questionnaire(s) and add any supporting file attachments (photos, documents, etc.); 2. Invite Suppliers to Respond: Pick suppliers from your private address book, invite by email, or select from EventSupplierSelect’s database of over 300 of the leading event-industry suppliers, including complete supplier profiles fed via Event Marketer Magazine and Event Design Magazine supplier directories (There is no cost for suppliers to view and respond to RFPs and RFIs, so buyers are not limited to a small universe of vendors); 3. Respondents Answer Online: Respondents can have multiple people working online, answering different sections and questions in the questionnaire, and uploading supporting documentation; 4. Score, Analyze and Compare Respondents: Supplier responses are automatically aggregated to support comparative scoring, weighting, and evaluation through graphical charts.
“We’re not replacing the important human element of the RFP process,” noted Smith. “We’re addressing the biggest headache of the process, which is the screening and information exchange.”
EventSupplierSelect is pre-loaded with over a dozen RFI questionnaires across a number of common purchase categories, providing buyers with templates they can use or adapt, including RFI questionnaires for sourcing event agencies, destination management companies, event staffing firms, virtual event platforms, photo activation/data capture companies, exhibit builders, conference/event management companies, mobile vehicle fabricators and more. In addition, the system includes free best-practice templates for creating RFPs for hiring Event Agencies and other partners, including checklists, scorecards and other useful resources that were developed by the Event Marketing Institute.
Use of the system is free for vendors responding to RFP/RFI invitations. Buyers can establish an account and use the system to create RFPs and RFIs at no cost, and are charged a fee of $495 for each project that is activated in the system (Members of the Event Marketing Institute get two free active projects), with discounts provided for multiple projects.
A full demo of the system is available at www.eventsupplierselect.com.
About Red 7 Media
Red 7 Media (www.red7media.com) publishes business magazines and produces executive conferences and trade shows in the event and media industries. Among the company's market-leading brands are (in the event industry) Event Marketer, Event Design, Best Events, and EXPO magazines, as well as the Event Marketing Summit, Best Event Expos and Event Design Summit conferences. In addition, the company runs the Event Marketing Institute and the Exhibit Designers & Producers Association. In the media industry, the company's leading brands are FOLIO Magazine and Audience Development, as well as the FOLIO Show, Folio Growth Summit, and the Audience Development Show. The company has also launched the FOLIO Media Management Institute, a membership-based resource for business intelligence for media executives.
The privately-held company, founded in 2002, is headquartered in Norwalk, CT, and was named by INC Magazine as the fastest-growing periodicals company in the U.S. in 2007 and 2008.
Kerry Smith, Red 7 Media