Request for Proposal for 2012 Conference Planner Services Virginia Educational Media Association

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1 Request for Proposal for 2012 Conference Planner Services Virginia Educational Media Association 1. REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL Respondents to the RFP must submit a proposal that addresses all components set forth in this RFP. Incomplete responses may not be considered. This document is available to all qualified providers that request a copy prior to close of business on Wednesday, July 6, Copies of the RFP may also be obtained from the Virginia Educational Media Association website The Virginia Educational Media Association will be referred to as VEMA in this document. The Executive Committee will be referred to as the Committee. The Board of Directors will be referred to as the Board. The Conference Planning Committee will be referred to as the CPC. The President Elect/Conference Chair will be referred to as the Chair. The responding organization will be referred to as the Provider or the Conference Planner. RFP deadline is Thursday, July 14, No proposals submitted after this date will be considered. 2. BACKGROUND INFORMATION The Virginia Educational Media Association (VEMA) is the professional association of Virginia s school librarians. Its members consist of approximately 1,300 school librarians and other professional educators concerned with its mission to improve student learning by promoting literacy, information access and evaluation, a love of literature, effective use of technology, collaboration in the teaching/learning process, intellectual freedom, professional growth, instructional leadership and lifelong learning. The Board of Directors consists of elected officers, elected regional representatives, and appointed committee chairs. The Board is responsible for the affairs of the organization, except those requiring a vote of the membership. The Executive Committee consists of the organization s elected officers: the President, President-Elect/Conference Chair, Past-President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Executive Director (ex-officio). The Committee researches issues and makes recommendations to the Board, prepares a budget, and evaluates the performance of contracted employees. VEMA is in the process of changing its name to Virginia Association of School Librarians (VAASL), pending a vote by the membership at its November 2011 meeting. The change will take place on January 1, VEMA sponsors a 2.5 day annual conference each fall, in various locations throughout the state, and one-day spring regional meetings in each of the seven regions. The Conference Planner, in partnership with the President-Elect/Conference Chair and the volunteer conference committee, works diligently to ensure that all duties associated with scheduling, coordinating, and sponsoring the annual conference are met. The annual conference targets approximately 1,000 K-12 school librarians and includes concurrent sessions, paid workshops, an annual general meeting, keynote events, a reception, meal events with featured speakers, exhibits, and networking and social opportunities. 1

2 3. REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL The VEMA Board request proposals from experienced Providers (individuals, organizations, or teams) to organize and manage the 2012 Annual Conference. This conference will be held at the Hampton Roads Convention Center and Embassy Suites Hotel November 7 10, Registration, exhibit hall set-up, and on-site preconference meeting with hotel and conference center staff will take place on November 7. Program offerings are scheduled November Typically, the conference concludes with a luncheon event on Saturday. The Provider will play the key organizational role in the conference s success. She/he will be responsible for ensuring that events come together effectively by working closely with and advising the Conference Planning Committee. Strong organizational skills, people skills, excellent communication, attention to detail, and excellent correspondence are essential, as are the ability to coordinate special events and use computer software effectively to organize information and communicate with others. 4. TERM OF CONTRACT The term of this agreement begins on January 1, 2012, and continues for 12 months, through December 31, 2012, unless terminated or cancelled as provided herein. If the contract is terminated, the Conference Planner is responsible for completing all necessary business on VEMA s behalf. It is customary for the Conference Planner to attend an interest meeting on Saturday of the current year s conference. 5. SCOPE OF WORK Definition: Serve as the 2012 Conference Planner for the Virginia Educational Media Association Annual Fall Conference. The Conference Planner works directly with the Conference Chair, the Conference Planning Committee, the Treasurer, the Executive Director, VEMA s graphic designer and printer, and the Webmaster. The Conference Planner is responsible for all conference planning functions for this event. The Conference Planner serves as liaison between the organization and the hotel and/or convention center. All final decisions must be make in consultation with the President-Elect/Conference Chair. Supervision and Guidelines: Reports to the President-Elect/Conference Chair. May receive general guidance from President. Deliverables: 1. Logistics, Coordination, Administration, and Project Management Support Coordinate and provide counsel to the overall logistics for the 2.5 day conference, including: 1.1. Assist with site/facility selection and inspection (as needed or when possible); Contact hotel facilities and research availability, price(s), and accommodations for future meetings. Solicit proposals Perform competitive analysis. Establish and convey recommendations. 2

3 Negotiate contract with facility Schedule and attend pre-conference meetings with conference hotel staff as requested by the Conference Chair. There will be at least one meeting and walk-through at the beginning of the planning process and one pre-conference meeting just prior to the event Work with the Chair to create a critical path for CPC with timelines and deadlines for all CPC volunteers Attend quarterly conference planning committee meetings Identify problems and advise/negotiate as needed Serve as the liaison between the venue staff, the Chair, and the CPC to Ensure all rooms meet specified and agreed-upon requirements, and all other contractual obligations are met Acquire materials (such as menus) and provide counsel related to catering, facility management, and other relevant and required services Ensure that all room reservations contractual obligations are met Serve as the liaison between venue staff, the Chair, and the CPC, and/or advise as required on the supply of all on-site services as required. Assist CPC volunteers with coordination of Audiovisual requirements; Printing for conference materials; Easels for signage and placement of signage; Food and beverage requirements; room blocks and additional facilities as needed, such as additional rooms for workshops, banquets, and membership hospitality; 1.6. Contract with a provider for setup of the exhibitor hall Serve as liaison with exhibitor/vendors before and during event, forwarding conference information and invoicing vendors for booth rental. 2. Design, Production, and Assembly of Registration and Handout Materials Coordinate with the Conference Chair regarding the design, printing, and mailing of conference promotional materials. The Chair may delegate this task to a CPC volunteer Conference publicity materials may include the following. The pre-conference materials and vendor s packet may be online publications Pre-conference notification Vendor s packet Onsite program (70+ pages) Mediagram (quarterly newsletter, with deadlines of January 15, April 15, July 15, and October 15) Coordinate the design, development, production and dissemination of the Conference s informational material to its identified target market(s) Advise/assist CPC volunteers in writing promotional materials. 3

4 Verify that promotional materials are complete Provide copies to CPC in advance of publication deadlines for editing and correction Disseminate conference promotional materials to vendors, school administrators, and librarians Coordinate the general marketing and promotional functions of the conference in the form required for the event as and when required Coordinate distribution of invitations to VIPs, such as school administrators. 3 Registration Administration and Management Provide general administration, management, and /or counsel regarding registration including: 3.1 Work closely with Webmaster and the Chair to design support online registration function, providing Information about schedule, menus, paid events List of reports and persons who should receive reports Feedback on design of online registration Support to members during registration process 3.2 Submit timely event documentation to the Chair, Executive Director, and Treasurer using reporting features of the conference registration software. Information shall include but not be limited to documentation of registrations, memberships, donor contributions, meal reservations, special ticket purchases, etc Generate invoices for school purchase orders and reconcile payments received with invoices Deposit funds and process credit card payments promptly Work closely with sponsorship chair to solicit contributions, invoice sponsors, and reconcile sponsorship payments with invoices Maintain balanced and accurate financial records of all registrations and income. Provide monthly reports to Treasurer and the Chair Collect any additional funds due after the conference and ensure that all money is received, deposited, and recorded within thirty (30) days of the end of the conference Provide Treasurer with a list of refunds due to VEMA members within two (2) weeks of the end of the conference Prepare a preliminary report for the Executive Board within 30 days of the conference outlining: conference registration, attendance at each event other than concurrent and general sessions, cost and attendance at meal functions, cost and income generated from paid workshops, income generated by vendor registrations and sponsorships, list of in-kind donations, hotel and conference center expenses, and exhibitor set-up fees Submit a final report to the Executive Board within sixty (60) days of the conference. 4

5 4. Onsite Support 4.1. Provide on-site coordinator for duration of the conference to manage or support onsite logistics such as exhibit space, meeting facilities, session staging, audiovisual needs, catering and signage Provide staff to assist VEMA volunteers at registration booth, to distribute vendor and attendee nametags, event tickets, programs etc. and to assist with registration issues on-site during registrations hours Serve as point of communication between CPC volunteers, venue staff, and/or AV supplier to provide immediate resolution of problems with AV or other technical issues. VEMA is responsible for: 1. Letterhead and envelopes 2. Conference printing expenses 3. Conference mailing expenses 4. Name badge and stock inserts 5. Ribbons The Conference Planner is responsible for their own business expenses 1. Expenses may include office expenses, mileage to conference planning meetings, hotel expenses. 2. The conference planner will not receive a commission from the hotel or convention center (for number of rooms sold, etc.). The Chair is responsible for: 1. Contracting with keynote speakers, workshop presenters, authors 2. Calls for proposals 3. Scheduling concurrent sessions and other conference events 4. Schedules, menus 5. Proposal Guidelines 1. The cost of preparing a proposal is the bidder s responsibility. 2. Submissions must not exceed 15 pages. 3. Bidder will supply 6 copies of the proposal and work sample. 4. Submissions must include: Work plan describing the general approach or project development strategy for each deliverable in Section E Activity plans with detailed task list and timeline addressing each deliverable in Section E Explanation of how the RFP requirements will be achieved, including software used, delegation of responsibility to team members, follow-up plan, support provided to CPC volunteers, etc Description of Provider s previous work in related areas Three references, including client name, contact person, phone number, project description and budget. 5

6 5.4.6 Comprehensive estimate of project costs, including labor, equipment, materials, travel, incidentals. 5. In addition to the allotted 15-page response, please include a sample of previous work with related references. Sample work could include a conference final report, conference promotional material, etc. 6. Criteria to be used in Assessing Proposals 1. Work Plan: 40 points Proposed methodology is complete, clear, and well-explained. It indicates clearly what is included in cost estimates. Clear description of strategy, task lists, outcomes and timelines demonstrates a full understanding of the scope of the project. Plan, including task lists, outcomes, and timelines, is comprehensive, logical, and sequential. Plan demonstrates how Provider will communicate with and collaborate with Webmaster, the Chair, CPC volunteers, the Treasurer, and the Executive Director. 2. Demonstrated Capacity to Do the Work: 40 points The proposal indicates that the Provider has experience in conference planning and event management. The proposal provides evidence of specific qualities, including: Thorough understanding of conference and hospitality industry practices; Relevant knowledge, skills, and experience to perform this task successfully; Experience planning state-wide conferences and/or knowledge and experience in largescale event planning; Ability to work as a team and work congenially with volunteers; Ability to take the lead in generating solutions; Creativity; and Demonstrated capacity to negotiate business agreements and represent VEMA s best interests. 3. Cost: 20 points Costs presented for tasks to be performed are reasonable and feasible. 6

7 VEMA may use References to validate information provided in the proposals. References will be asked to rate the overall performance of the Provider and the Provider s ability to estimate their own costs and price for the event. Inquiries related to the RFP are to be submitted by to Mary Keeling no later than Thursday, July 7 at 12:00 noon. No questions will be answered by telephone. All responses to all inquiries will be made available to all respondents. VEMA reserves the right to issue clarifications and/or modify the conditions of the RFP up to the closing date of the RFP. VEMA reserves the right not to enter into a contract with any of the bidders. VEMA intends to select a short list and interview not more than three consultants. Bidders will be notified of an interview. Interviews, if required, will take place in Richmond, VA on Friday, August 5, Travel expenses for interviews will not be paid. A conference call using Skype or other conference call technology may be an option for out-of-town bidders. All bidders will be notified of the final decision by September 1, Deadline for receipt of this proposal is Thursday, July 14, Proposals sent by fax or will not be accepted. Respondents are to submit 5 copies of their proposals via US Mail, FedEx or UPS to Mary Keeling, President Virginia Educational Media Association 46 Ramshaw Lane Newport News, VA Daytime phone: (757) , x

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