Background: Event operations is a multi-billion dollar segment of the travel industry. Every major travel destination has several Destination Management Companies or event planning firms that coordinate local venues and service providers and manage logistics for meetings and events in the area. Every event starts with a proposal process, where these firms bid against each other to win the business. Industry standard turnaround time for a sales proposal is 3-4 days and requires a lot of manual desktop publishing drudgery.
Problem: How can event operators speed this process up in order to win more business and outmaneuver their competitors?
Solution: We analyzed the processes that sales staff at event operators used to create proposals and applied automated tools to eliminate manual and repetitive tasks, allowing them to focus on the creative aspects. An online database held the operator’s offerings and pricing, and a content management system allowed for drag-and-drop authoring and instantaneous publishing of web-based interactive proposals that wowed clients. Average proposal creation dropped to 2-3 hours. Post-deployment, proposals were often created, received, approved, signed, and the program was started before competitors’ proposals arrived by Fedex. This prompted competitors to also adopt the platform.