Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Proposals, Part Two

Our post on August 17 has sparked some discussion.

According to our poll on this blog, 58% of those responding already have information about the proprietary nature of their proposal included; 35% don't at this time, but do plan to add this language. That's a resounding 90%+!

Only 5% of the responders indicate they don't have this kind of language in their proposal, nor will they add it. Paul Ferguson, an ADME member in San Juan, writes: I’ve read the pre-proposal disclaimer and while I applaud the directness of the verbiage, I’m afraid that in a highly competitive environment like Puerto Rico where we fall all over one another sometimes in our eagerness to get close to a potential client, and in an overall climate where the buyers are becoming more and more sophisticated, with elaborate RFIs in order to pre-qualify potential DMCs, using such a statement would be a real turn-off unless our major competitors were to follow the same practice – which will not happen.
If anyone comes up with a kinder and gentler version of the disclaimer, I’d love to see it for our possible usage.

So, to continue this discussion, please take a look at our new poll... and feel free to note your comments in our comments section (just click on the comments link below).

ADME in the news....
Two meetings industry i-newsletters, Meeting News Extra and Corporate Meetings & Incentives have announced the launching of this blog... and noted the topic of proprietary information in proposals as an interesting one to follow.

Meeting News Extra notes:

Tip Sheet
The Dish on DMCs, etc.
There are two new blogs in town. DMConversations is geared to destination management company professionals and is hosted by the Association of Destination Management Executives. One recent posting dealt with a sensitive issue in the meetings industry, that of idea theft. "If there is one issue that all DMCs are concerned with, it is the proprietary information they include in proposals ... and how to make the point to clients that they just can't take these ideas and execute them on their own--or take them to another DMC to execute,"

1 comment:

pferguson said...

On the proprietary language issue and the new poll. . .the pre-proposal example given is pretty fairly worded for the proprietary information (intellectual property, etc.) aspect - the part that makes me most uncomfortable in the latter section dealing with site inspection services. If I were to use that portion of the disclaimer I would definitely be giving my competitors an advantage - not an unfair advantage, but perhaps an unwise advantage.

I do not feel that the meeting planner's use of proprietary information is inevitable and agree that we have to fight this practice continuously. I would like to find softer language for that first section however rather than setting the stage right off the bat for an adversarial relationship - when we first make contact with a potential client we're look for exactly the opposite chemistry.

Back in the days when we were pretty much the only game in town we wouldn't have worried about using the entire statement, but times have changed and in Puerto Rico at least, the client is King.