Conference Systems Upgrade

Request for Proposal
December 7, 2021

Executive Summary

This request for proposal (RFP) is for project management and product selection and implementation services to be provided to the Online Learning Consortium as it relates to the identification and evaluation of a replacement conference management system and virtual event platform, along with the management of that overall process. Overall budget for this RFP is $2,500 – 5,000.

RFP Sent: December 7, 2021
Responses Due: December 22, 2021

Send proposals and any questions on the RFP to our RFP email address:

Primary point of contact will be Robert Pope, OLC Director of Technical Operations.

Timing Goals

Starting project and product development services: January 11, 2022.

Selection of vendor for replacement system: April 8, 2022.

Refer to the Timeline section below for further details on project milestones and deadlines.

Company Overview

Vision and Mission

Vision: Setting the global standard in online, blended, and digital learning.

Mission: Creating community and knowledge around quality online, blended, and digital learning while driving innovation.



The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) is a collaborative community of higher education leaders and innovators, dedicated to advancing quality digital teaching and learning experiences designed to reach and engage the modern learner – anyone, anywhere, anytime. OLC inspires innovation and quality through an extensive set of resources, including best-practice publications, quality benchmarking, leading-edge instruction, community-driven conferences, practitioner-based and empirical research, and expert guidance. The growing OLC community includes faculty members, administrators, trainers, instructional designers, and other learning professionals, as well as educational institutions, professional societies, and corporate enterprises.

The Online Learning Consortium, Inc. is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization.

MEMBERSHIP VALUE: We are a non-profit organization that focuses on support of the whole institutional strategy for online, blended, and digital learning through our professional development and leadership development offerings; research; consulting; and conferences and networking opportunities.

Recipients of services under this RFP and stakeholders involved:

  • Recipients: Director of Technical Operations and Chief Financial Officer
  • Stakeholders: Cabinet members and the following teams: Conference, Online Events, Global Events, and Institute
  • Ultimate end users of updated system: OLC members, faculty, speakers, internal OLC staff

Core Objectives

  • We currently don’t have the capacity to internally manage the project. We need a party familiar with project management processes and requirements, while also possessing the necessary technological background and experience with academic technology and conference systems to be able to manage this project from start to finish.
  • We currently have disparate systems which require significant manual intervention for data transfer. We need a long-term, stream-lined solution to improve efficiencies and effectiveness in carrying out our activities, while also enabling us to scale and grow over time. Refer to phase illustrations in Appendix A.
  • Our current system doesn’t meet the industry best practice standard when it comes to user experience. As an organization that promotes quality virtual learning and user experiences, any new system needs to reflect industry best practices.

Project Scope and Deliverables

Minimum requirements would include:

  • Knowledge and experience in project management of academic technology transition projects, including:
    • Conducting needs analysis and summarizing outcomes
    • Drafting RFPs and managing RFP process
    • Setting and revising timelines, milestones, and activities within financial and time constraints
    • Identifying and communicating risks, issues, and challenges throughout the process
  • Knowledge and experience with academic technology and conference systems, including:
    • Familiarity with the process for identifying and evaluating academic technology and conference systems to match the outcomes of the needs analysis
    • Experience with evaluating new academic technology and conference systems as it relates to functionality requirements across both existing and new systems
  • Preferred requirements would include:
    • Familiarity with conference management systems and virtual platforms, particularly the functional capabilities, industry leaders and typical initial implementation and annual maintenance costs

Target audience for replacement product:

  • Existing institutional and professional members will use the replacement system when attending conferences and events
  • Partners, faculty, and facilitators will use the replacement system to submit Calls for Papers (CFPs), access conference and event information for presenting, facilitating, and attending the conferences and events
  • Internal OLC staff will use the replacement system for planning, managing, and executing conferences and events from start to finish


Date Milestone
Dec 7, 2021 Project Management Services RFP sent
Dec 22, 2021 Project Management Services RFP responses due
Jan 11, 2022 Finalists selected and contacted
Jan 18, 2022 Project commencement date
Jan 31, 2022 Needs analysis summary
Feb 14, 2022 Functional RFP sent
Feb 25, 2022 Functional RFP responses due
Mar 4, 2022 Evaluation of vendors and recommendation of finalists due
Mar 18, 2022 Demonstrations with finalists completed
Apr 8, 2022 Select vendor

Budget Details

As listed in the executive summary, our budget for this RFP and the services provided under it is $2,500 – $5,000. While we of course prefer the most cost-effective solution, all proposals that fall reasonably within this range will be considered and weighed based on their merits and how they propose to achieve the aforementioned objectives. All invoices for this project must be billed before 4/30/2022.

Proposal Requirements

Please include the following in your proposal response:

  • Overview of your company
  • Overview of how you will meet our objectives
  • Explanation of your experience and familiarity in:
    • Project management and product selection
    • Academic technology and conference systems
    • Conference management systems and virtual platforms
    • Licenses and certifications
  • Outline of your strategy for executing and managing the project from start to finish
  • Recent examples of similar projects
  • References, if appropriate
  • Any key differentiators about your team and approach
  • Terms & conditions

Criteria for Selection

Criteria by which we select our vendors:

  • Portfolio and past projects, including experience with academic technology and conference system selection
  • Experience with Salesforce systems and integration projects
  • Past experience in higher education and conference industries
  • Strategy for executing the project
  • Qualifications of applicant and team members, if applicable

Thank you for your interest in responding to this RFP with a proposal for project management and product selection services. We look forward to your response.

If you have any questions, please contact us at


Appendix A

Current State

Phase I

Phase II

Phase III

Phase IV

Ideal Final State