As a professional event planner, you already know that a good event proposal can help you stand out from the crowd and win new business. After all, event proposals show your client how you plan on applying your style to their vision. And since your proposal is the first creative impression you get to leave on a potential client, there's a lot of pressure to get it right. Show them you have what it takes by sprucing up your event proposal template with these 10 ideas.
1. Personalise the Cover
The easiest way to get your clients running to the competition is by sticking to a one-size-fits-all template. But here’s some good news: making a good first impression is as easy as having the right cover. That said, keep in mind that there's more to an event proposal cover than finding one image and changing the client's name.
For example, using the same background for a wedding and a birthday party could start the process on the wrong foot. Since some events are more formal than others, think about modifying your proposal cover design accordingly. That way, you’re making sure that your client sees they aren’t just another potential business deal.
Apart from the formality of the occasion, another thing to consider is the budget. While there's nothing wrong with organizing lower-end events, you don't want to project the wrong image. For instance, if your potential client has a limited budget, you don't want your event proposal to look too expensive. Not adjusting your design according to the client's budget could make your services seem too expensive and have the client running to the competition.
2. Let Them Get To Know Your Company
You can't truly like somebody without getting to know them first. And if the client likes you more than the competition, you're one step closer to closing the deal.
So, before you jump into event details and budgeting, take some time to show the client why they should work with you.
Winning your client's trust is the first step towards getting their business. That's why your event proposal should outline your experience and be written in a confident tone. In addition to highlighting your professionalism and experience, you can also:
- include testimonials from previous happy clients
- mention any professional certifications
- refer to relevant experience in similar events
- introduce the types of events you organized in the past
- provide them with a brief bio of your company
3. Include Your Full List of Services
More often than not, clients feel confused and nervous about their upcoming events. Not knowing where to start is one of the reasons they're looking for an event planner in the first place. So, it's safe to assume that they aren't completely sure what services they want from you.
Luckily, you already know what goes into an event and have a general list of services you can offer.
To help your client event proposal template find what they're looking for, you can include more than the basic set of services you plan on providing for this event. Keep in mind that your clients will rarely know exactly what you can make happen for them. So, if you want to create room for adding on additional services (and additional income), make sure to include them in the proposal.
4. Tell Them a Story About Their Event
Once you know what your client's needs and goals for the event are, you can start crafting a story about how you will help them get there. Seeing their needs summarized and applied to your vision for the event will reassure your client that you understand them. To make this happen, simply repeat what the client told you about the event in a more organized way.
This may include:
- The proposed venue and available facilities
- Entertainment options
- Catering and bar information
- Seating arrangements
While painting a picture of the perfect event, try to give additional suggestions. While these might not always be what the client asked for, they will show your expertise. Remember that the goal isn't to overwhelm the client, but look for other options they might like within their budget. Make sure to include images wherever you can - it will help your client see exactly what they're getting and gives you a better chance of winning the job.
5. Make Your Timelines Matter
There's a lot that goes into organizing a successful event. And while you will have a to-do list that goes on for miles, what your client should see is just a piece of that process. There's no need to include each and every step that will get you from the planning to the execution stage in the event proposal.
Remember that the timeline in the proposal is intended for the client. In order not to overwhelm them with too much information, include only the stages that require their input. That way, your client knows what to expect and how much they'll need to participate in the process.
6. Showcase Your Team
Besides you, who will the client be working with? Consider using your event proposal to showcase your team and let them shine. That said, don't go overboard and include their entire resumes. Instead, only include team members that will be working on the project and the skills that are essential for making it successful. Since your event proposal should reflect the event you're trying to win, make sure to present your team accordingly. Always pay attention to the tone, level of formality, and your client's personality.
7. Make the Budget Requirements Less Scary
Now that you have the client excited about the event, it will be easier to present the costs. Make sure that your client knows that the event budget isn't set in stone, but also keep it very close to reality. That way, you won't come in too high or hurt your business by delivering the service under the market price.
While the budget is usually the scariest part to present to the client, there are ways you can make it easier. As you already know, the price of an event can always go up or down depending on the services that the client wants. So, to make the budget discussions more comfortable, think about presenting your client with more than one option.
For example, consider including low-, mid- and top-tier pricing with items that go into each. That way, your client can see what they're getting with each option and the budget discussions should be easier for both of you. And if you're including an itemized list of costs, try not to use industry-specific jargon. The last thing you want is a client confused about what they're paying for.
8. Give Them Some Examples
There's no better way to prove that you're the right person for the job than giving the client examples of successful events. Granted, this will be easier if you've already planned a similar event. But even if you're planning this type of event for the first time, you can show off your skills by:
- Including photos from previous events you're proud of
- Showing the client sketches or other visuals for their event
- Adding snippets from social media
As an event planner, you can use social media as one of your biggest assets. Besides using your previous clients' event photos, you can also take snippets of the comments. Whether it's the client, the attendees, or someone else, you can use their positive reviews to your advantage. That way, you can show your new client what they could miss out on if they don't hire you.
9. Make the Proposal Visually Appealing
If you think your clients care more about the pricing and event details than the design of your proposal, you're probably right. But if you think that the design doesn't matter at all, we're sorry to burst your bubble.
The truth is, we are now in a highly visual world and clients will judge your competence based on your event proposal design.
While using photos, graphics, and videos is a good start, there's more to design than slapping a few pictures onto a page. Yes, all of those elements help you drive your point home and visuals can help you:
- Paint a picture of the event you will create
- Reassure your client
- Deliver your message
But they won't help you stand out from the crowd. The thing is, there's barely anyone who doesn't use visuals in their event proposals these days, even if the event is online . So, to make sure your proposal is the one that stands out, pay more attention to the overall design.
In addition to the cover page mentioned earlier, consider how to make your proposal more user-friendly.
For example, you might want to add a table of contents so your client can skip to the section they're looking for. Throughout your proposal, make sure there's enough space between the elements. And to take it a step further, you can also add visual representations of any numbers that you mention in the event proposal. Whatever color scheme choices and graphic design elements you opt for, they should represent your business properly.
10. Kick That Old PDF Proposal to the Curb
Creating and formatting all your event proposals manually can be a hassle. What's worse, the entire process can make you less inclined to personalize them - and your clients will notice. So, to make your proposal writing easier, think about using online software.
Aside from giving you layout and content ideas, it will help you tailor each proposal to the specific client. And the best part? You can add a digital signature line and make it easier for your client to move forward with your company.
Marketing your brand and services doesn't stop at the event proposal stage. That's why you should think about your proposals as marketing documents. At the end of the day, they help you present your company to your customers and can make you stand out from the competition. So, what are you waiting for? Start implementing these ten ideas to your event proposals now and win more business.
Petra Odak is a Chief Marketing Officer at Better Proposals , a simple yet incredibly powerful proposal software tool that helps you send high-converting, web-based business proposals in minutes. She's a solution-oriented marketing enthusiast with more than 5 years of experience in various fields of marketing and project management.