Request For Proposals
Request for Proposals for Marketing Agency

Project Name: Agency to develop advertising campaign promoting outdoor/recreation/nature
activities and experiences for Tourism Alive, the Suburban Cook County Travel, Tourism and
Hospitality Economic Initiative.


Timeframe: April 1, 2023 – December 31, 2023, with option to renew for one year.


Introduction: Tourism Alive, the Suburban Cook County Travel, Tourism and Hospitality
Economic Initiative has received a grant through Cook County’s Bureau of Economic
Development to assist in pandemic recovery through their award of American Rescue Plan Act
(ARPA) funding. This grant was awarded to promote the resiliency of regional travel, tourism
and hospitality in the suburban area, and to address bringing back the revenue and related jobs
for lodging, dining, retail and small businesses that were lost during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Suburban Cook County has five state-certified convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) that
serve as the destination marketing organizations of their respective regions in suburban Cook
County, IL to bring group and leisure travelers to their areas. The CVBs have long worked
collaboratively on programs that serve the broader Cook County and Chicagoland travel,
tourism, and hospitality community. To maximize the impact of available funds, the five CVBs
have come together to develop a coordinated program that works at both regional and specific
community levels to support the resurgence of the hospitality sector of Suburban Cook County
as it recovers from the damaging effects of the pandemic.

Chicago’s North Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau (CNSCVB) is the grant subrecipient, the
fiscal agent, and the administrator of this effort that encompasses the five Suburban Cook
County CVBs (Chicago’s North Shore CVB, Chicago Southland CVB, Meet Chicago Northwest,
Rosemont CVB, and Visit Oak Park.

Scope Of Services

This RFP is for a specific element of the grant program focused on the following countywide


● Develop a program to promote outdoor recreation, leisure and nature-related assets in
suburban Cook County to visitors planning trips to the area.


Working with the Tourism Alive Communication Strategist, Program Director and CNSCVB,
services will include:


● Developing the branding and advertising campaign for this initiative.

● Identifying key target audiences and media used (digital, social, print and radio) based
on best use of media dollars.

● Developing and presenting general concepts and approaches for a minimum of two
creative campaigns and a media strategy for a year-round advertising campaign.

● Securing and purchasing media for two seasonal campaigns from the awarding of this
contract through12/31/23. The media budget will be in the range of $250,000 for the
combined spring/summer campaign and a fall/winter campaign.

● Working in collaboration with the Tourism Alive team.

● Providing written monthly updates to Tourism Alive Communications Strategist, Program
Director and CNSCVB.

● Providing a final campaign wrap-up report detailing performance of campaign elements
and key findings.


Quantitative Metrics

To measure the success of the projects and programs and evaluate progress towards
accomplishing goals, the Communications Strategist will be required to track, evaluate, and
report key data including but not limited to:


● Paid social media performance

● Display advertising performance

● Web site engagement

● Brand awareness


Submission Requirements


Applicants should submit a thoughtful, clear and well-organized proposal that details the
Proposed Scope of Services including the methodology to execute the aforementioned
deliverables. (Note: there is no set scope so be creative in laying out a plan).
Please provide a description of each deliverable and a proposed timeline, fee schedule and
samples of completed projects. Lastly, please provide a resume and a written statement detailing appropriate experience with projects involving multiple stakeholders and the processes
set up to manage multiple projects with competing deadlines. Please include any other
assignments known to date that will be managed by your team during the time period of this



Technical Proposal Elements


1. Description of the proposed approach, costs and work plan. Activities and timelines
should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-oriented. Include a
timeline of major tasks and milestones and fees associated with each component.

2. Person who will be the primary point of contact with the Program Director and
Communications Strategist.

3. Qualifications of the Proposer to provide the requested services including capability,
capacity, similarly complex projects and related experience and client references.

4. Commitment of qualified and available project team, including names and qualifications
of individuals leading this effort.

5. A description of the outcome monitoring and evaluation plan including a list of tools to
track process, output and outcome measures for each quantitative metric, as applicable.

6. Three (3) professional references.


Selection Criteria


● A strategic and creative proposal that demonstrates the approach to the work.

● Experience in the travel and tourism industry, with understanding of both business and
leisure travel. Examples of previous work are welcome.

● Demonstrated experience in efforts to promote economic development, civic projects
and government initiatives.

● Particular attention will be paid to experience that includes managing multiple
stakeholders and projects.

● General outline of estimated costs for the scope of services presented with estimated
dates they will occur.

● Knowledge of Suburban Cook County’s Travel, Tourism and Hospitality assets is



All questions regarding this RFP should be directed to Program Director Nina Winston at No phone calls please. No questions will be answered after March 14,

Deadline for Submission

Proposals should be created as PDFs and submitted no later than March 17, 2023 at 5 PM to