How to Write an Event Planning Service Proposal
Customize Proposals to Reflect Unique Services and Skills
Knowing how to write an event planning service proposal is an important part of operating a successful event planning business. Any business selling a service will need to prepare some sort of business proposal in presenting their company and services to a potential client. But event planning services are unique and the proposal you create should reflect the customized services that you will provide. Here are some easy-to-follow tips for writing an effective event planning proposal.
An Event Planning Service Proposal
An event planning service proposal is a comprehensive proposal that outlines the event and the services you will provide. This proposal is your opportunity to sell your business, skills, ideas, and vision of the event to a prospective client. It is also designed to present you as the best person to execute the event, one the client can trust. Proposals should be well written, thoroughly researched and provide the necessary details so the client can envision what you have in mind.
Don’t Take the Shortcut
Templates abound for all sorts of business documents, from service proposals and invoices to bookkeeping records and expense reports. Using these templates can certainly help you draft a proposal quickly and efficiently. But resist the temptation to download a generic template, fill in the blank spaces and send it off as a representation of your business and event planning services.
Your event proposal is a reflection of you, your event planning business, and the services you provide. Because planning an event requires customizing that event to suit your client’s needs and budget, your proposal should reflect an event that is personal and unique. You can use a template as a general guide to getting started writing your event proposal, but then tailor it and include the individual services provided for each client.
First Step: The Meeting
The first step is to meet with your prospective client to discuss what they have in mind for this event, what the purpose is, the number of guests, and what they hope to accomplish. In addition to date, time and desired location, take note of any ideas regarding the theme, catering, overall aesthetics, colors or ambiance discussed during this meeting.
Getting Started on the Event Proposal
So you had an initial meeting with your client and have an idea of what they have in mind for their event. And you downloaded a few general templates to get you started writing the proposal. Now you may be staring at a blank computer screen wondering what to include in your event planning proposal.
Each proposal should be written with the client in mind. But do not simply restate all the ideas they shared with you during your meeting and simply tack on a price tag for your services to deliver exactly what they just described. Event planning is a service business and it is that service, personal touch and creative approach that makes an event not only successful but memorable. And events that are memorable can go a long way in generating new customers for your business.
So prepare your proposal in a tone and style that reflects you and your business. Present your event idea in such a way that it is clear to your client that you are incorporating their thoughts, hopes, and concerns into your approach to this event. Understanding your client’s needs is very important and conveying this in your proposal can make the difference between them hiring you or somebody else. Here's what to include in an event planning service proposal:
Begin with a brief introduction to you and your event planning business. Include specifics such as how long you have been in business and your professional background.
This next section is a summary of the actual event. This should include details provided during your meetings such as the goal of the event, general timeframe, number of guests, and possible venues.
This section is particularly important. The client will need to know – specifically – what services you will be providing for this event. A checklist with bullet points is a great way to show the different services that are included. This works well for smaller functions such as bridal showers or celebratory dinners and is easy for the client to see what you will do and any vendors you will use. For larger events that have multiple functions, such as a cocktail hour or luncheon, you may want to create sections for each aspect of the event and then list the services provided under each section.
Show Your Work
If you have planned similar events in the past, include photos of these events to showcase your work. These visuals can literally help the client see what you can do.
Money, Money, Money
While the client may be reading your proposal taking in all the details and images of the event you envision, this mindset usually shifts gears when it comes to the section that talks about money. Often, it is an abrupt stop. To try and avoid this, don’t suddenly change the language or tone of your proposal to all business and facts.
Title this section “Proposed Costs” and continue to guide the client through the aspects of this event by carefully articulating the costs. Help your client see your proposal as a series of steps, each one with different services and related costs.
Provide a detailed summary that lists the price for each item and its purpose. For example, if you are renting table linens, list that as a separate cost. If you are hiring servers, list the number of servers, cost per hour, and total cost for the duration of the event. Use this method for each line item, describing each one so the client can continue to envision the event and understand the related cost.
Only after these sections are itemized with their costs do you tally them up at the bottom of your proposal to list a total cost of the event. If you offer any discounts for booking early, list them below this final number.
The last piece of your proposal is a thank you for their consideration. Provide contact information including website, email address and phone number so that prospective clients can get in touch with you with any questions or – better yet – to hire you for the job.