By Sara Riojas
Whoever works in the world of meetings or “MICE” knows the meaning of bidding congresses and surely have had the experience of participating in national and international bids.
But, How to choose which congresses to bid? Or Should we only bid if they invite us ?, other questions may be:
How much budget should we invest for the bidding process ?, what are my chances to win ?, who should I ally ?, among others …
Sooner or later we will have to bid congresses if we want to hold them in our venue or destination. Unless we are lucky to have them confirmed or they only need an invitation. We always have the alternative of searching and prospecting leads or practicing the “exchange of leads”. I remember to have the opportunity of participating at this practice during the ICCA Congress in Rhodes (International Congress and Convention Association). It is very interesting that someone tells you the story, features and requirements of the congress to interchange with your story. It enrichs both parties and is fully a win-win example.
I consider as a good practice to have a workshop or conference to discuss bidding cases of congresses, it is always very interesting to hear the horror or shame stories of those cases where occured vote buying, bribes to the steering committee members, absurd cases, as of those countries competing, but also supporting the competitor. But also there will be many success stories to learn the successful experiences, which can give us a better chance to win and enrich our strategy, this is certainly a cheaper option than consulting.
Congress are like people, each one of us have characteristics, needs, size, personality and different composition. Therefore we can never use the same strategy for every congress. We need to make a *FODA analysis, consider always the competitor, their strengths and weaknesses, the economic and time investment, etc.
It is also a good idea to share experiences with our colleagues either of a venue, hotel, CVB, Tourism bureau, DMC or anyone with experience on bidding congresses We can always learn from others experiences. At this time that I’m writing, I remember some cases that I lived of bidding International Congresses, it doesn’t matter if it was in Australia, Germany, Africa or Mexico, I learned from each case something that I used afterwards to improve the next one. probably making a more profesional biiding book, more efficient or creative bidding process, at the end, trying to be the best one and making the best effort to win.
*Feature-Oriented Domain Analysis (FODA)