A Guide to the Bidding Process in Event Management
10 Top tips for the bidding process in event management
Would you like the bad news or the good news?
The bidding process in event management comes with both good and bad news. Event management is an incredibly underrated industry in terms of the complexity and effort it takes to thrive. Many people outside of the industry may feel that managing an event is an easy task. However, as you will likely know, there is a lot more to event management than meets the eye. Planning, budgeting, and logistics are just a few of the hidden skills you need to thrive.
The bad news: nothing worth having comes easy. Starting the bidding process in event management is not something your business should take lightly. You will need to put in some time and effort to see results.
The good news: the bidding process in event management isn’t all that bad. You may find you already have the skills needed to submit successful bids. Once you have some basic knowledge, tendering can become your organisation’s best friend.
What is the bidding process in event management?
The bidding process in event management can feel like a daunting challenge. From finding the perfect tender to writing the bid, it can be tricky to know where to start.
A basic process within procurement is where the buyer will release an invitation to tender (ITT). This ITT will detail a project the buyer requires support with. It is then the supplier’s job to submit a bid to demonstrate their company’s capabilities. The bidding process in event management often requires details from suppliers which demonstrate their ability to organise a successful event.
When a business begins its tendering journey, the first hurdle is usually understanding the above process. The next task is to develop a bidding process in event management.
Top 10 tips to consider within the bidding process in event management
Read the ITT
One thing to consider when entering into the bidding process in event management is reading the ITT documents. This step is severely neglected and can cause critical time and effort to be in vain. Make sure you have noted the location and budget to ensure you are suitable for the project. Have the key dates handy so you can see if the work will affect other commitments. By properly digesting this information you will have both the confidence and competence to succeed.
Do your research
Often within an ITT, the buyer will include some background information about their organisation. It doesn’t hurt to go the extra mile and find out more about the buyer. Businesses often want their employees to be passionate about the business and align themselves with their values and goals. The relationship between buyers and suppliers is no different. Knowing more about who you are requesting to work with will give you a greater insight into their decision making. This way, you will know precisely why and what the buyer is asking.
As previously mentioned, it is important to understand the scope of work for your desired tender. It can be easy to lose sight of reality when you see an attractive opportunity. The job itself may suit your business but the location may be too far afield. You may be attracted by the budget but have other commitments in the start and end date periods. If you find yourself not meeting any requirements you must take a step back and be realistic. Don’t waste time on a bid which you cannot feasibly secure and complete. You are making life harder for yourself and wasting time that could be used securing the perfect opportunity.
Don’t put yourself down
On the other hand, it is also crucial you do not put yourself, or your business down. It is easy to feel that, as a small or medium enterprise (SME), you will not stand out against bigger suppliers. The UK government currently has a target to spend more with SME’s. Their target is to spend £1 in every £3 with small and medium businesses. This means that public sector buyers are looking to establish relationships with smaller organisations. So, you still have every chance to secure work, even if you’re a small business.
What is your USP
Having a unique selling point is essential. You must relay to the buyer what makes your business stand out from the competition. What makes you unique and what can you offer the buyer that no other supplier can? Perhaps it’s the experience in that particular type of event or your specialist resources. You may even have better working relationships with suppliers and vendors compared to your competition. Having some knowledge of your competition can be used to your advantage. Try and think from the buyer’s perspective. If you were making the decisions, what would you value in an events company?
Create a bid library
Each tender you submit a bid for will be unique. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t keep your bid documents for future use. Supporting documents such as health and safety policies and case studies can be used multiple times. Keep these filed away as part of your “bid library”. Some documents may need adjusting to suit the tender but having the outline can save a lot of time. This will ultimately result in a more efficient bidding process.
Tendering is a structured process. You must set yourself tasks and deadlines to complete the work needed. It may be worth having an internal checklist of deadlines if more than one department is involved. Make sure to give yourself plenty of breathing space for errors or delays. Many events have an aspect of complex time management, scheduling and coordination. Use these skills to your advantage within the bidding process in event management.
Social value is becoming an increasingly important factor which buyers are evaluating in their tender scoring. Our Hudson Insight Series has revealed a stronger emphasis on social value within the procurement world. At the time of writing this blog, the UK has very recently left the European Union. With this change came a change in procurement procedures. The government’s green paper gave an in-depth look at the changes which were being made. Buyers will now be encouraged to consider social value more within their bid evaluation. This means your bid should have a focus on how you help your employees, as well as the wider community. As of January 2021, government buyers have placed a 10% weighting on social value within your quality response. Make sure you stay ahead of the curve and have your social value responses prepared.
Reflect on previous feedback
If you have previously submitted a bid and have not been successful, don’t feel disheartened. Ask for feedback on the unsuccessful bid and use it to your advantage. Your feedback will clearly show your bid writing strengths and weaknesses. It may be that your pricing was too high, or your quality response lost some marks. Take the time to study this feedback and make sure you learn from any mistakes. This will ultimately improve your bidding process in event management.
Get a second opinion
Whether you are solely responsible for your bid or you’re working within a team, mistakes can be made. When you work closely on a project it can be hard to take a step back. You may not notice spelling or grammar mistakes, or you could have even left out important information. For almost two decades our team of bid writers at Hudson Succeed have been responding to tenders. They know better than anyone the importance of taking a step back to make sure your bid is error-free. Make sure you leave enough time to ask for a second opinion and make the necessary changes. Whether this is through a team of professional bid writers, or a colleague, you will benefit from their feedback.
Can I get support with my bids?
With all of these factors involved with the bidding process in event management, it is natural to need some support. You may want a professional to guide you through the process. You may also look to completely outsource this process. At Hudson Succeed, our team of bid writers thrive in creating successful bid responses. Our team also hold an 87% bid success rate. Last year alone, they secured direct contract wins totalling over £300million for our clients.
Is now the right time to get involved with the bidding process in event management?
Due to the current climate, it is easy to feel disheartened within your business. At the time of writing this blog, the UK has gone into another national lockdown. Many organisation’s plans for expansion and growth have been pushed back and put on hold. Events have been cancelled and income has been lost. You may find yourself wondering if it is worth investing any more into your business.
To set your mind at ease let’s look at the facts. In 2017, UK spending on events was £39.1 billion. This contributed 35% to the UK’s visitor economy. As one of the largest industries in the UK, it is impossible to ignore the significance of the events sector.
The Scottish Government have recently released a guidance plan which reiterates the importance of the events sector.
We want a strong events sector to help drive Scotland’s economic recovery and future prosperity. Event organisers should therefore use this guidance to look forward and engage with trade union or workforce representatives early in their plans for restart to develop workplace specific plans for a managed transition away from current restrictions”
A new campaign is also being launched in the UK to support the events industry. #WeCreateExperiences aims to raise awareness of the importance of event management to the UK economy. The campaign will set the scene for the return of live events in 2021. Simon Hughes, the co-founder of the #WeCreateExperiences campaign, says:
Live events will return in 2021 and there will be pent-up demand. Businesses who commit budgets to events in 2021 will reap the rewards and steal a march on their competitors”
Perfect your bidding process
Over any event management life cycle, you will face unexpected difficulties. Your business has likely seen a shift in security measures following the increase in the national threat level. You may have also had to shift to a more digitally focused approach to events. Social media is now widely used to safeguard events and has given more visibility to smaller events. Having to change and adapt to the current climate is not unusual for an events company.
It is vital to note there are still events opportunities out there. You may need to shift from a word of mouth approach to a tendering process. The current situation may be the perfect time to perfect your bidding process in events management. Keep evolving your business with the times to make sure you have a steady stream of work in your pipeline.
Where do I find tenders?
If you are struggling to find event management opportunities, then Creative Tenders offers the perfect solution. We have been uploading record-breaking numbers of opportunities to Creative Tenders, even throughout lockdown.
As a member of Creative Tenders, you will have access to:
- All the available events tenders within the UK, without needing to understand CPV codes.
- A dedicated account manager.
- 20 minutes of free consultancy every month with our bid experts.
- The ability to filter by keyword, location and budget.
- Discounted bid support with Hudson Succeed.
Book a free live demo with Creative Tenders to see how we can help your business grow
We source opportunities for sectors including;
Recent events management tenders we sourced include:
Provision for the service of Managed Open Access (MOA) for Winter and Summer Solstice at Stonehenge
English Heritage- Stonehenge visitors centre- South West- Budget: £480,000
Provision of Management, platform hosting and delivery of virtual events
Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland- International- Budget: Undisclosed
Grimsby Creates: Festival Director – Grimsby Festival of the Sea 2021
North East Lincolnshire Council- East Midlands- Budget: £10,000
Visitor Programmes Production Company Framework
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew – London- Budget: £ 450,000
Ordnance Survey- South East- Budget: £ 300,000
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