Your event proposal is first and foremost a reflection of your client. 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.
A Note Before You Start
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, note any ideas regarding the theme, catering, overall aesthetics, colors, or ambiance discussed during this meeting.
Getting Started on the Event Proposal
Each proposal should be written with the client in mind. Event planning is a service business, and that service, personal touch, and creative approach are what make an event successful and memorable, two characteristics that go a long way in generating new customers for your business. Proposals should be well written and thoroughly researched, providing the necessary details so that the client can envision what you have in mind.
- Introduce yourself and the project. 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. Some planners put this section at the end, much like a book author's biography on a dust jacket or back cover.
- Write an attractive event description. Summarize the actual event, including the details discussed during your meetings, such as the goal of the event, general time frame, number of guests, and possible venues. If you are not a skilled writer, find or hire someone skilled with words to give this section as much appeal as possible.
- List all services provided. This section is particularly important. The client needs to know specifically what services you will provide for this event. A checklist with bullet points clearly shows the different services that are included. This approach 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 with 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 specific services provided for each one.
- Show your previous work. If you have planned similar events in the past, include photos of these events to showcase your work. Visual representations can help the client see what you can do, and are a great assurance to you that your style matches their vision. Having things to compare against can really help streamline the event once it comes time to break ground.
- Incorporate monetary information throughout. While the client may be reading your proposal and 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. You don't want the process coming to an abrupt stop, so avoid sudden changes in the language or tone to all business and facts. Title a section “Proposed Costs” and continue to guide the client through the aspects of this event by carefully articulating the costs, while peppering prices throughout the proposal. Help your client see your proposal as a series of steps, each with different services and related costs. Provide a detailed summary that lists the price for each item and its purpose so that the client can envision the event and understand the related cost.
A Final Word
The last piece of your proposal is a thank-you for their consideration. Provide contact information—including your website, email address, and phone number—so that prospective clients can get in touch with you with any questions or, even better, to hire you for the job.