Marketing RFP Issued By Iowa Tourism Office

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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 and

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

tracking applications;

– How applicants will be notified of their application status and award


– How Contractor will ensure applicants are adhering to IEDA certification

requirements; and

– 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.

Closing Date

January 31, 2022 / 4:00 PM CDT


Proposals Required to be Submitted to:

1963 Bell Ave, Suite 200, Des Moines, IA 50315

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