RFP for Hosting an IFWTWA Annual Conference

International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association IFWTWAIFWTWA is a non-profit global network of journalists who cover the hospitality and lifestyle fields, and the people who promote them. Our members cover a broad spectrum of travel destination attractions, such as active and passive adventure activities, ecology, historical, culture, fairs, festivals, business events and special events.

The IFWTWA Conference is hybrid, since half is professional development and half is a media trip experience. As a result, it means that the public relations, sales, and conference departments have to work together at the property and the city and state frequently are involved for the touring. While this can happen, it does present a challenge. In any event, we work with you to achieve maximum return on investment for the destination.

The benefit to you is that 80% or more of those attending write a minimum of one story about some aspect of your destination. In addition, they do pay a media rate for their rooms, as well as their own air. So costs are not as high as a regular media trip. We also provide a Media Trip Results Blog. The Las Vegas Conference took place 5.5 months ago and this is the blog to date: ifwtwa.org/2012/06/las-vegas-annual-conference.html. In addition to the many stories shown, more links will be added as they come in. At this conference, there were 75 in attendance with 80% journalists. We expect the figure to increase to 100 in 2013 and 2014, as our organization is growing.

Our Conference & Media Trip Committee is willing to work with you as closely as possible to help achieve these goals.

Conference & Media Trip Co-Chairs:

Maralyn D. Hill, mdhill@noralyn.com & Michelle M. Winner, mwmediaone@gmail.com.

Respond to both Maralyn and Michelle. They will review contract and make adjustments, gain board approval and then send it to the Executive Director, Patricia Anis at admin@ifwtwa.org for signature.

Event Location:

Contact/s with email and phone/s:
Facility Name (We strive for a 4 or 5 star experience):
Facility Contact/s with email and phone/s:
Facility Rate (We prefer $99 or less as a media rate with the ++) and have gone up some depending on the property.

Additional Nights:

We like to offer our members a rate for 2 nights pre and post at media rate or as close as possible. Many are coming from Australasia and arrive early. In addition, we would like our board members to come in a day early to attend a board meeting the afternoon before. Conference/Media Trip Committee would arrive 2 days early–day one for pre-con and day two for board meeting.

Event Type:

Conference/Media Trip

Event Frequency:

Annual since 2009.

Facility Concessions Required:

No charge for meeting rooms (usually 2 or 3 set for 50), AV included or at a highly discounted rate. Internet access for presenter included, and for everyone would be a bonus. No charge for registration area in lobby where we could hand out nametags, schedule, etc. (Welcome gift/s if desired).

Free WiFi in sleeping rooms, no resort, access, or additional fees for services including health club. It is fine to charge for incidentals and services.

We need the rooms for Conference Chairs to be comped.

Event Overview:

To provide professional development as well as stories and a variety of story angles about the destination. Writers are required to write a minimum of one article. Most write more. We are delighted to have the host take part in our professional development or even a breakfast or lunch where someone from each department of the hotel sits at a table and discusses what they do. Investment is often maximized when place card is on each table, so people can join departments they prefer to learn about.

While one of our goals is to provide professional development, the other is also to provide host and sponsors with a high ROI by showcasing their facilities and locations.

We like to secure many local partners to sponsor events including meals, tours, wine tastings, cooking demos, attractions, and spas. Partners may include historians, town planners, state representatives, nearby locations, etc. All sponsors receive equal recognition. The opening night usually has a sponsored cocktail reception.

We realize you know your area more than we do and want to provide as much excitement around it as possible.

If the hotel or off-site facility would allow us to ship in wine, we could have wine contributed for a wine tasting and someone else could sponsor the set-up and tastes to go with it. In a sense, it would be co-sponsored by winery and another host. Usually, corkage fees are waived, but this depends on the property and where it is taking place.

Attendee Profiles:

  • Expected total: 100 to 120
  • 80 % vetted journalists, photographers, bloggers
  • 10% associates
  • 10% guests

Preferred Date:

2013 and 2014 are secured. The next open date would be 2015. We will work around a time of year when we can get the best hotel rates and showcases the city well.

Nights:

4 nights

Meeting Room Set-Up:

Usually classroom with AV screen, computer hookup, podium, mike, and standing mike in two rooms set for 50. You may prefer to set for 60, as hotel and local tourism representatives are welcome to attend and frequently do.

One morning, we would hold a Marketplace, with 25 to 30 skirted tables with two chairs on each side. No draping would be required. It would last from 9:00 to noon and would have to be ready for associates to set up tables an hour before. Hosts do not pay for their table. We would need to know if there is a fee for cartons of brochures sent a day or two early. There would not be many as number of exhibitors is not that high. We are aware of the constraints on the hotel from excessive storage. The morning of the marketplace, we would not need the two meeting rooms. We would prefer the marketplace to be the second morning of the event. However, we could move it to the first morning, in order to to eliminate the breakdown and set up of the two classrooms. It is easier if the marketplace is in another ballroom area, since it requires more square footage.

Room Revenue:

We collect cost of room++ for the 4 nights of the conference together with our registration fee. For any additional nights, our members would call in with a code (IFWTWA is the easiest) and reserve the rooms if available.

We would tier our registration to three deadline dates. That way, we would start paying the room revenue 120 days before the event. The final payment would be paid in total 60 days before.

Being non-profit, we do not have excess in our budget to pay a lot up front. However, we recognize being responsible. With our upcoming 2013 conference, our deposit was $500 upon contact signing and total due is 60 days out, even though they will get some sooner.

Room Block:

We would like to block 75 rooms, with the ability to raise or lower block until 5 months out by 30% without a penalty. Frequently, since we often have people who want to register late, we would like the rate extended on a space available basis.

We would like to block 10 rooms for 2 days prior for early arrivals with more on a space available basis. For late departures, that rate would also be based on space available.

Just for information, below is the room block pick-up for Las Vegas. Naturally, we’ve not opened registration for Hawaii yet, so that information is not available.

Liability:

All of our members have to sign a waiver of liability to hold harmless our association, the hotel, and destinations. If you have specific liability waiver you want signed, we would include it with the application.

Post Trips:

If any post trips to others regions can be offered as Media Trips, it would help those attending discover more of your area. You may find 2 to 4 options something you would like to consider. Members would pick trips at the same time they register for the conference if you have them confirmed. Otherwise, we would say to be added by a given date and you could indicate space limitations. If they have a guest and you need to add guest charges that would be fine as long as we list it.

Decision Making Process:

Direct all questions to Conference & Media Trip Co-Chairs.

Other Bids:

Next open bid is for 2015.

International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA)

1142 South Diamond Bar Boulevard #177 • Diamond Bar, CA 91765-2203
Phone & Fax: 877-439-8929 (877-IFW-TWA-9)
International Phone: 1-909-860-6914 Fax: 1-909-396-0014
Email: admin@ifwtwa.org
Websites: www.ifwtwa.org and Global-Writes.com