What's the Best Proposal Format? 3 Burning Questions for APMP 2016

5/23/16 11:10 AM Anna Duin RFP Responding


The last time I was in Boston was for a father-daughter trip. I was 15, the city was ablaze in fall foliage, and my dad and I tossed earl grey tea into the harbor, thereby reenacting the great Boston Tea Party. (Which the ducks then tried to eat. Whoops.) 

Many moons have passed since that trip and I'm very excited to be going back in just 2 days for the 2016 APMP Bid & Proposal Conference

And this year, along with some pretty awesome swag, the RFP365 team has 3 burning questions we're bringing with us. 

Q1: What's the greatest challenge for proposal writers today? 

First, and foremost we're excited to connect with other APMP members. The APMP works incredibly hard to put an end to bad RFPs everywhere, and they even have a specialized subcommittee called the Procurement Improvement Committee (PIC).

The PIC's primary mission is:

"meeting with government executives, policy makers and congressional representatives in a collaborative environment to discuss how to make government procurement more effective and less costly for government and industry." 

PIC continuously researches, evaluates, and makes recommendations for practical ways to better procurement. We really want to meet them and pick their brains because we consider them to be industry heroes. 

Their extensive efforts include an impressive industry survey, including responses from more than 500 industry and government procurement/acquisition professionals, about challenges and potential improvements within the procurement process. (Free for APMP members, $99 for non-members.) 

See report details here

Additional PIC resources

We've found their reports and webinar very insightful and look forward to meeting some of the committee members. We're hoping they'll share more insights into how we can improve collaboration within the RFP process. 

Our burning question for PIC: what do you think is the greatest challenge in responding to RFPs?


Q2: How can we do better? 

It's really easy to think you know you what your customers need, but assumptions are always dangerous.

Especially in proposal management software

Which is why trade shows like APMP are the perfect place to connect with your users. We love grabbing a drink or dinner with clients face to face and hearing about their success as well as getting their suggestions for improvements and new functionality.

Not only do these conversations test all of our assumptions, but they also provide lots of inspiration to take back to the white board. 

Our burning question for the customers we're meeting with: what's working for you, and what can we do better? 


Q3: What's the best proposal format? 

Everyone knows "content is king."

Which is why it's so important to learn to write well, and why we're so jazzed about the great proposal writing tips sessions on the line up..

With titles like A Writing Model for Reluctant Writers, Enigmatic Engineers, and Circuitous SMEs (presented by Lohfeld Consulting) the presentations speak for themselves. 

We're excited to take advantage of these industry gurus and learn how to build better proposal formats, and write more persuasive content. 

Our burning question for the experts: what's your best proposal writing tips?  


Commiseration coasters anyone? 

If you're joining us at the show this week, be sure to check out APMP's great Know Before you Go checklist; and if you're wondering what to pack, check out our handy How to Pack Like a Pro infographic we made for our last trade show. 

Please stop by our booth and say hi, booth #25.

We'll give you a funny-because-it's-true commiseration coaster that looks like this: 

RFP365 Swag.jpg 

We can compare RFP horror stories. 

If you can't make the show but want to connect with other proposal writers, take a look at the APMP LinkedIn discussion group

Final burning question: is anyone bringing Boston cream pie? Because I will blog for pie.


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**Feature image Credit: Unsplash, Negative Space