Invitation to Tender; Royal Wedding Services

We should have seen last week's big announcement coming - here' s an advert we spotted on Compete4Gov a few weeks back - we wondered what it was all about!

Invitation to Tender - Royal Event Management Services

Spend Master Category: Professional and HR(H) Services

Spend Category: Travel, Entertainment and Hospitality

Sub-Category: Royal Events (inc, weddings, divorces,  funerals, coronations, ill-judged charity events e.g. It's a Knockout)

The DWP (Department for Weddings and Princes) is pleased to issue this Invitation to Tender for a complete outsourced service for a forthcoming major Royal / State occasion (further information available after November 16th).  The service applies to a ceremonial event (henceforth termed 'the Do') and a subsequent social function for attendees ('the Knees-Up').'

Whilst we cannot disclose full details at this stage, the successful bidder will be responsible for the entire management of the Do and the Knees-Up with the exception of:

  • Choice of key participants
  • Choice of event-related jewellery / clothing

All other services are in scope (but see notes below), including

  1. Management of pre-Do celebrations (2) for key participants
  2. Selection of venue for the Do and delivery of ceremony
  3. Management and delivery of subsequent Knees-Up
  4. Selection and management of guests (2,500 approx)
  5. Organisation of music, officials, etc for the Do and the Knees-Up
  6. Security services, inc. men in funny uniforms

The focus will be on providing an acceptable event with excellent value for money given the economic situation. As far as possible, the full specification (available shortly) will be output based, leaving considerable scope for innovation from potential providers.

Note 1: Pre-event celebrations (2) will be held in non-UK locations (e.g. Prague, Tallin, Dublin); you should explain how you will source items including but not limited to; novelty false breasts; 378 pints of Black Velvet; attractive young women of unusual discretion; ditto male strippers; and 47 T-shirts (slightly too tight) printed with, "He's not a frog, he's a f*****g Prince!"  (Note: Equalities legislation will NOT apply to these events).

Note 2: The Do itself should be held in an appropriately licensed premises.  We cannot expand on that at the moment but let's just say we don't mean Wetherspoons....

Note 3: In the interests of economy, the Authority is interested in innovative, low cost high quality venues capable of accommodating around 2,000 people.  (e.g. a large warehouse with some flags and stuff suspended from the rafters would probably do).

Note 4:  The event may be chargeable to guests and the expected revenue for this should be offset by the bidder against the proposed costs.  Gainshare and innovative risk / revenue sharing options will be considered.  The catering should also be highly cost-effective; frankly, if someone gets an invite, they should be jolly grateful for a sausage roll and a glass of warm Prosecco. We are looking for high-value solutions here e.g. fish 'n chip suppers, perhaps wrapped in old copies of Horse and Hound / Tatler.

Note 5:  While it is traditional for the Archbishop of Canterbury to officiate, we are aware of the cost pressures arising from sub-contractors who hold monopoly positions in the supply chain. Hence we will consider any suitable qualified officiant (although additional marks will be given in the evaluation for gravitas and impressive beards).

Note 6: Partnering arrangements with the Paras, Grenadier Guards, the Household Cavalry, the Miami Dolphins cheerleaders and the Anglo-French Defence Force (baguette division) will be considered.

Evaluation process

The key evaluation criteria will be:

  1. Cost
  2. Service levels
  3. Ability to talk like what Julian Fellows does

Up to three short-list bidders will be selected to attend the final interview, to be conducted in the Victoria / St James's Park area of London.  The interview panel will consist of:

Jim Smith - Chair  (Procurement Officer, DWP)

Elizabeth Mountbatten-Windsor (Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith)

The Chair will have the casting vote (subject to summary banishment to Aquitaine).

If you have any questions, please write them very clearly in curly script on parchment and have your man deliver it to... actually don't bother.  One just wants one to get on with it.

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