City University of New York Issues Event Planning RFP

City University of New York Issues Event Planning RFP

The City University of New York (CUNY) and the City University Construction Fund (“CUCF”) are releasing this Request for Proposal (“RFP”) for qualified firms to provide Event Planning and Management Consultant Services described in this RFP (“Services”).


The City University Construction Fund (CUCF), a New York State public benefit corporation, administers the University’s $3 billion capital construction program through the advancement of design, development, new construction and renovation projects for CUNY’s twenty-four (24) colleges and professional schools.  CUCF is responsible for over 300 buildings comprising 26 million dollar square feet of space. Opportunities for CUCF exist through CUNY’s Office of Facilities Planning, Construction and Management (FPCM), and include architect and engineering design services, construction, construction-related services including special inspections and air monitoring, and construction management.

Scope of Work:

The Consultant will be responsible for working with CUNY, CUCF and other key participants to provide efficient and professional event planning consultant services (“Services”) in connection with the seamless planning, production, coordination, marketing and presentation of the CUNY & CUCF supplier diversity conference (“Event”).

Specifically, the Consultant will be responsible for providing the following services and deliverables in connection with this major networking Event:

  1. Event Management. The Consultant will be responsible for providing the following “Event Management” Services:

□ Event Theme. Develop a cohesive brand strategy and theme for the 2018 Event while incorporating both CUNY and CUCF’s needs and brands. Last year’s concept was “Build Your Business: A Event on Strategy, Marketing and Relationships”;

□ Event Execution Strategy. Develop a strategy to execute this Event to generate maximum participation from MWBEs and SDVOBs. The Consultant will be responsible for proposing new strategies for the Event to expand upon positive approaches and techniques that have demonstrated success at other conferences.

□ Project Plans and Periodic Reports. Create a detailed project management plan and checklist of responsibilities, complete with a timeline of when each task is to be completed and an indication of the party responsible for each task (e.g. Consultant, CUNY, CUCF, Exhibitor, etc.). in addition, Consultant must provide the following;

  1. Submit written updates and progress reports to CUNY and CUCF such as, but not limited to, providing Event registration reporting and progress activity reporting;
  2. Attend all Conference Committee meetings (monthly meetings are anticipated to commence in February 2018 and accelerate to bi-weekly meetings closer to the Event date. Meetings will continue up to two months after the Conference); and
  3. Manage a running list of follow-up/action items from the status updates and other meetings to ensure that all tasks necessary to create a successful event are accomplished;

□ General Coordination. Assist with coordination of key participants, including but not limited to, workshop instructors, speakers, panel members, third party vendors, VIPs, Event staff, attendees, Exhibitors, and designated Venue representative(s).

  1. Speaker Selection and Coordination. The Consultant will make recommendations and coordinate outreach to prospective speakers of the utmost quality and relevance to determine availability and secure attendance. The Consultant will help secure a keynote speaker for the plenary session and all workshops. CUNY offers course work and programs related to business development. The Consultant must make every effort to make recommendations to include CUNY staff and faculty as speakers in an effort to promote the overall offerings of the University.
  2. Venue Search. The Consultant will conduct a search of potential venue options to host the Event. The list of potential venue options will include the following information for each locale: maximum attendance, access to public transportation, and parking capacity, menu of layout options, audio/visual capability analysis, and pricing. In prior years, the Event was successfully held at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. It is preferable to hold this Event at a CUNY location.
  3. Event Marketing and Promotion. The Consultant will facilitate and create all components  of the Event advertisements and announcements. A successful event will exceed the average participant (1,000) and exhibitor (70+ distinct entities) through targeted and effective marketing of the event.

□ Develop and Distribute. Prepare advertisements, announcements, and press release copy of the conference information, including but not limited to, timing/schedule of advertisements in widely circulated print and digital media and creating postcards to be distributed at other Events. Note: The University will procure the print and advertisement placement costs.

□ Press Release. Prepare press release in several languages, including but not limited to English and Spanish.

□ Design Concepts. Prepare design concepts consistent with the conference theme while adhering to CUNY’s branding standards. CUNY’s Brand Book is available at The Consultant is required to create a unique look and feel for this Event so that it is distinguishable from other events that the Consultant is producing.

□ Outreach to Potential Attendees. Manage outreach to prospective Exhibitors and Attendees.

□ Event Phone Number. Establishing a dedicated phone number (e.g. 718, 212, 347, 646) to be used by invitees, registered participants, Exhibitors, etc., for Event-related questions. Consultant must:

  1. Assign a knowledgeable, friendly and reliable staff member to handle any Event- related questions received by phone during standard business hours. The assigned staff member must have access to any tools or information necessary to respond to inquiries and assist with any registration problems.
  2. Establish a messaging system to handle Event-related questions received outside of standard operating hours;
  3. Establish a protocol to ensure that all messages received after standard business hours are responded to within 24 hours;
  4. Establish a protocol to ensure that all non-Event questions are appropriately and expeditiously routed to CUNY.

□ Event Email Address. Maintain the CUNY and CUCF conference e-mail address ( to be used by invitees, registered participants, Exhibitors, etc., as an alternate means to submit Event-related Questions or request additional Event-related information.

□ Potential Newsletter for Distribution. Prepare a brief e-mail newsletter to be distributed on April 2018 and February 2019 (estimated) highlighting new CUNY and CUCF information and announcement of upcoming CUNY/CUCF conferences.

□ Sponsorships. The Consultant is not expected to actively seek sponsorships to cover the costs of the conference. However, if potential sponsorship opportunities are presented, the Consultant will be required to facilitate the relationship.

□ Geographic Reach. The Consultant will at minimum conduct media outreach within New York State, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Online Registration Management System and Website. The Consultant will be responsible for the following Online Registration Management System and Conference website (

□ Online Registration Management System. Be responsible for the implementation and administration of an Online Registration Management System that will primarily be used to invite, register and track attendees and exhibitors. The Consultant is required to actively manage the attendees/exhibitor lists to eliminate duplicate and erroneous entries.

□ Conference Website (“Website”). Be responsible for the customization and administration of the Conference Website including any additional web design required to tailor the Website to match the proposed theme of the conference. The Website must have the following components and functionalities:

  1. Landing Page (a public page to provide basic event information; include links to the Registration Page and the Resource Page);
  2. Registration Page (to allow the user to enter their information);
  3. Resource Page (to allow attendees to download pertinent event information prior to the event.
  4. Allow for individuals to select and register for workshops using a pre- designed and pre-populated options list, if appropriate;
  5. Automatic email confirmations/thank you page upon successful registration; confirmation email must include a link to the Resource page;
  6. Automatic email reminders to unregistered invitees;
  7. Ability to send “Event Reminder” emails a few days before the Event to all registered attendees. This Event Reminder email must contain Event details, selected workshops, and a link to the Resource Page;
  8. Ability for users to download documents, pdfs, attachments, etc. using Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat (all of which should be accessible via the Resource Page);
  9. Post all relevant conference information, including but not limited to program information; location; other pertinent information;
  10. Enable the Consultant to create and submit to CUNY/CUCF weekly reports on registration status and progress activity; and
  11. Post selected photos of the Event after the Event date.

□ Direct Follow-Up Contact with Certain Event Invitees. Be responsible for contacting firms with “bounce-back”/non-deliverable e-mail addresses to assist with registration as well as following up with firms that do not register on an “as needed” basis to ensure that the Event’s RSVP limit is met.

Exhibitor Registration. The Consultant will be responsible for the following “Exhibitor Registration” Services: Invitation creation, distribution, registration, and ongoing registration management of the Event’s Exhibitors, which include CUNY campuses, Prime Contractor Exhibitors, and relevant city and state governmental agencies. Note: Exhibitors will be selected by CUNY and CUCF. The Consultant may not approve any exhibitors without CUNY and CUCF’s approval.

□ The Exhibitor Invitation must identify Consultant as the primary contact for Exhibitor questions, issues, and concerns regarding registration for the Event and it must include the Consultant’s Event-designated e-mail address, phone and fax numbers for registration purposes.

□ Consultant will be required to follow-up with unregistered Exhibitors included on the initial Exhibitor Invitation List provided by CUNY & CUCF, as needed until the RSVP Exhibitor Goal for the Event has been met.

Conference Program Booklet. The Consultant is expected to develop and create the “Conference Program Booklet” which will be distributed at the Event. The booklet – at minimum – is expected to include the program, welcome message, bios of guest speakers, information on Workshops, and other pertinent information for the Event. Note: The Consultant is not expected to secure print services but will be required to work with the selected printing vendor to ensure delivery of the program booklet before the start date and time of the Event. The final “print-ready” Conference Program Booklet must be provided at least one week prior to the Event.

Workshops. The Consultant will be responsible for working with the University to suggest potential workshops that benefit MWBEs and SDVOBs. The successful proposer should demonstrate a strategy that will produce workshops that promote CUNY and CUCF’s MWBE and SDVOB engagement strategy and produce measureable outcomes beyond the Event date. Additionally, the Consultant is expected to coordinate the effective scheduling, set-up and delivery of Event Workshops offered.

Business Meet-Ups. The Consultant will be required to work with CUNY and CUCF to develop, implement and coordinate the expanded networking portion of the Event where key-decisions makers are scheduled for a 5-minute pitch session. This includes collecting information from interested participants, scheduling and confirming the attendance via e- mails and phone calls, and managing the execution of this portion of the Event.

On-Site Logistical Management. The Consultant will be responsible for the following “On-Site Logistical Management” Services:

□ Staffing

  1. Ensure that at least six (6) professional staff members are present at all times between 7am to 5pm on the Event day to assist with successful execution of the Event.
  2. Manage a team of volunteers for the Event.
  3. Guarantee that all Event Staff/Volunteers are properly trained for the duties they will be performing on the day of the Event. The Consultant is required to document a plan at minimum two weeks in advance.

□ Set-Up. The Consultant is required to set-up the Event space the day before the actual event day. This includes but is not limited to setting up exhibitor tables, registration tables and workshop tables.

□ Event Supplies. Provide all supplies for on-site registration.

□ Event Venue Coordination. The Consultant will be required to coordinate all Venue-related components of the Event. This includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Work with designated Venue management team/representatives to coordinate pre- Event and Event-day set-up, delivery of Exhibitor materials, and delivery of food, supplies, decorations, gift bags, promotional items, and signage from third-party vendors.
  2. Work with CUNY/CUCF and designated Venue representatives to ensure that appropriate rooms are reserved and that all equipment and supplies are properly accounted for; and
  3. Coordinate and participate in pre-Event site visits and walk-thru meetings as well as any other site visits or walk-thru meetings identified by CUNY/CUCF either before the Event or on the day of the Event.

□ Workshop Instructors and Panel Members

  1. Coordinate workshop instructors and workshop panel members.
  2. b. Contact Workshop Instructors and Panel Members in advance of the Event to secure bios, photos and any other applicable documentation;
  3. c. Confirm Event logistics in advance as well as on Event day as may be requested by the University. This shall include, but is not limited to, coordinating with Workshop Instructors and Panel Members regarding the collection, reproduction and distribution of Workshop/Panel materials and to identify any specific needs or requests that these groups may need or require for the Event.

□ Exhibitor Coordination. Consultant will be required to coordinate with exhibitors including, but not limited to, the set-up of Exhibitor areas and detailed instructions including set-up and break-down time for Exhibitors as approved by the University.

□ Audio & Visual Coordination. Consultant will be required to coordinate all A/V technical products, equipment set-up, and technical staff for on-site assistance, if required, on Event day. Additionally, Consultant will be responsible for coordinating with A/V contacts, as required, for a seamless and successful event and ensuing that all A/V equipment and technical requirements are properly accounted for. Consultant may provide all of the required “Audio & Visual Coordination” services directly or through a CUNY-approved contractor. The Consultant will be expected to recommend at least three vendors for consideration by the Conference Committee. The University will procure these services.

□ Event Photography/Videography. The Consultant will be required to work with CUNY and any CUNY-approved photography and video production services contractor to coordinate the successful delivery of these services for the entire duration of the Event. The Consultant will be expected to recommend at least three vendors for consideration by the Conference Committee. The University will procure these services.

Evaluations and Post-Event Management

□ Provide reports to the University on budgets, attendance, suggestions for next year’s Conference.

□ In conjunction with CUNY and CUCF, develop the following “Event Surveys/Evaluations”:

  1. Attendee Event/Workshop Survey;
  2. Exhibitor Survey; and
  3. Workshop Instructor Survey.

□ Lead the distribution and collection of all of the surveys created.

Due Date:

April 14th


Office of the University Controller

230 West 41st Street, 5th Floor

New York, NY 10036

Attention: Ayla Bakkalli

Rubenstein PR and DKC PR are New York PR firms.

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