When competing for a lucrative Federal contract that you’ve been waiting for a long time now, your management team should follow all the process needed to prepare a compelling proposal. Once you decide to bid for a contract, you start your preparations to accomplish all your goals on time, and successfully. Indeed, early preparation will help you manage your proposal development more effortlessly.
Generally, when a Federal agency releases a request for proposal they describe everything you need to do as a potential contractor during the competing process. One of the procedures that must be conducted is participating in pre-Proposal Conference. There are cases when they are mandatory, but not necessarily. Nevertheless, site visits and pre-proposals are probably the most efficient ways to gain valuable information about your customers, and in the meantime asses your competition.
Pre-Proposal Conferences are organized to describe the procurement requirements. Certainly, they are announced to all potential contractors known to have received an RFP and attendance is mandatory if the value of the contract exceeds $25,000.
These conferences are held after the prospects are given enough time to familiarize with the request for proposal solicitation requirements, needs, and objectives. Still, they are held sufficiently before bid opening so that they can use the knowledge they obtained in the conference and use it in the process of proposal preparation.
The event normally takes place a week or two after the solicitation issuance date. Usually, the pre-proposal conference is held at the site where the work for the project will eventuate. Together with answering questions for prospect contractors, a pre-proposal conference will allow them to visit and sometimes even take a tour at the work location.
These conferences do not follow a strict process or a uniform style. Each of them varies from contract to contract, depending on the Federal agency and other factors. As we already mentioned above, some pre-proposal conferences are mandatory, while some are optional. Potential contractors have this information available once they receive the RFP, in the solicitation specifications. If participation in the conference is obligatory, it will be noted in the documents as “mandatory”. On contrary, it will be specified as “optional” or “non-mandatory.” However, it’s advisable for you to attend this conference due to many reasons. You can establish a relationship with your customer, clarify your uncertainties and increase your business growth chances in the future.