Marketing RFP Issued By Iowa Tourism Office
This RFP is issued for the ITO/IEDA to seek proposals from bidders to develop, implement and
administer a Meeting & Event Marketing Incentive Program, designed to stimulate business travel,
sports, meetings, conventions, conferences and group travel in Iowa. The program should
leverage public and private partnerships and be an effective marketing and sales tool for Iowa
entities to attract groups, sporting events, meetings, conventions, etc. to the state. The pandemic has inordinately impacted the meeting, convention, event and sports tourism
market. Nationally, Q4 2021 group bookings remain 26% below 2019 levels and are expected to
remain suppressed throughout 2022 (US Travel Association). Therefore, this program should
directly address the challenges of slow-to-return business travel and mid-week slumps at lodging
This RFP is designed to provide Contractors with the information
necessary for the preparation of competitive Proposals. The RFP process is for the ITO’s and
IEDA’s benefit and is intended to provide the ITO and IEDA with competitive information to assist
in the selection process. It is not intended to be comprehensive. Each Contractor is responsible
for determining all factors necessary for the submission of a comprehensive Proposal.
Iowa Tourism Office and Iowa Economic Development Authority
The mission of the Iowa Tourism Office is to make Iowa the choice for both people and business.
We do this by increasing awareness and consideration of Iowa’s benefits as a place to visit, live
and work and increasing visits and associated tourism expenditures within the state. Iowa
Tourism Office is part of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, which exists to promote
economic development policies and practices that stimulate and sustain Iowa’s economic
growth. For more information about the ITO and the IEDA, visit our websites at
Scope of Work
The successful Contractor shall provide the services to IEDA and use the Contract in accordance with the specifications as provided in this Section. The Contractor shall address each requirement in this Section and indicate whether or not it will comply with the requirement. If the context requires more than a yes or no answer or the section specifically indicates, the Contractor shall explain how it will comply with the requirement. Proposals must address each requirement. Merely repeating the requirements may be considered nonresponsive and may disqualify the Contractor. Proposals must identify any deviations from the requirements of this RFP or requirements the Contractor cannot satisfy. If the Contractor deviates from or cannot satisfy the requirement(s) of this section, the IEDA may reject the Proposal.
Deliverables listed are the minimum expected from the Contractor. Additional information and deliverables based on the Contractor’s experience with similar projects are encouraged. The IEDA is seeking a Contractor to develop and provide services according to the following Tasks.
Develop Incentive Program
The selected contractor will collaborate with IEDA to develop the incentive program.
In the RFP response, the Contractor should develop a detailed program proposal that
will attract sports, meetings, conventions and group travel planners/visitors to the state of Iowa.
Up to $1,000,000 is available through this incentive program.
The program proposal should outline, at a minimum, the:
– Eligible applicants to the program, including eligible reimbursable costs,
timing of eligible events, whether already-booked events/meetings qualify,
whether events previously held in Iowa qualify, minimum eligibility guidelines
in terms of number of overnights and number of event participants, as well as
justification for these guidelines.
– Minimum and maximum reimbursement incentive amounts and/or
percentages, as well as justification for these amounts.
– How the incentive program will leverage public/private partnerships.
Manage Application Submittal, Review, and Execution
The selected contractor will collaborate with IEDA to develop the program timeline and
manage the application process. In the RFP response, the Contractor must provide a
proposed program execution timeline, with the intent of disbursing all funds by
December 31, 2022. The timeline should include details on application submittal and
review, eligible event timing, and any other information the Contractor deems necessary
to demonstrate that the program will be executed as intended.
The RFP response should also detail:
– The technology/process to be used in building an application, reviewing, and
– How applicants will be notified of their application status and award
– How Contractor will ensure applicants are adhering to IEDA certification
– How information will be transmitted to IEDA for timely disbursement of
incentive/reimbursement payment to successful applicants.
Program Reporting, Evaluation & Reimbursement
The selected Contractor will report eligible applicants to IEDA to request
reimbursement/rebate payments, track program funds, and evaluate the economic
impact of the program. In the RFP response, Contractor should describe the proposed
reporting, tracking, and evaluation processes.
January 31, 2022 / 4:00 PM CDT
Proposals Required to be Submitted to:
1963 Bell Ave, Suite 200, Des Moines, IA 50315