Craft the Perfect Event Proposal Template Now
This article was originally written by Jordan McArthur and has been updated for relevancy.
Your career as an event planner lives and dies by your event proposals. Event proposals are the embodiment of your style applied to your clients’ vision, and they’re either winning your business or opening the door for your competitors to slide in. With so much at stake, what are you doing using a one-size-fits-all event proposal template you found on the web?
The key to finding the best event proposal template is creating your own event proposal template. Once you find a style that works for you, it will be easier and easier to replicate success as you go.
The best part about creating an event proposal template for yourself is that you only have to do the hard work once, then refine it as you get feedback and negotiate deals along the way. We’re all about streamlining – and you should be too!
To find out how to create the best event proposal template for yourself, we asked many event planners about their proposals and what makes them work. We’ve taken the liberty of condensing all their wonderful advice for you.
Tell a story
One thing we heard over and over again is that your event proposal is a story. Keep in mind that, at the end of the day, humans are reading this – and humans connect to a beginning, middle, and end. Thinking about this will also force you to consider your overall structure – and structure leads to greater readability!
“Think as if you were creating a motion picture that needs to captivate and hold an audience’s attention.” -Greg Jenkins, Bravo Productions in Long Beach, CA
Plan your positioning
Be the expert
Take a look at one of your past proposals and read it from a client’s perspective. What is the voice? Does it instill trust? Would you want to collaborate with this person? If you put thought into how you want to position yourself, you’ll be able to take greater control over how you are perceived by the client.
“Position yourself as the expert and make recommendations for success…That’s your value add as an event planning professional. It’s not just taking orders but work as a partner in driving successful events.” -Elizabeth Bennett, Evergreen Partners in Warren, NJ
Prime them for price
You’re not getting out of this without discussing money – that’s a fact. Take comfort in the fact that you can tee them up for the price conversation with plenty of excitement. We all know you’re going to give the client their money’s worth, but it’s worth making sure they understand that to avoid any potential sticker shock.
“We’re asking for money from the client, bottom line…We build up the event and our expertise working with the particulars they mentioned and conquer the stress factors before we even mention price.” -Gregorio Palomino, CRE8AD8 in San Antonio, TX
Prove you understand the vision
People like to work with good communicators for a reason. If you can prove that you’ve understood your client’s greater vision for the event and can deliver on that, they’ll know that they’ve been heard and that you won’t go rogue. Sometimes all it takes is simply recapping what they expressed to you in your initial fact-finding interview to make it clear you really “get it.”
“In your writing don’t be shy, make sure you state that you know what the event goals is and how you are going to reach and honor it.” -Peggy Kelley, Timeless Celebrations in Pasadena, CA
All in the details
Logistics are key
Now to the meat and potatoes – the nitty gritty of how the event will be executed. You can really highlight your attention to detail by giving a solid rundown of how the gears will all fit together to create one spectacular event. Make them feel secure about your ability to execute your plans and you’ll find yourself securing a new deal.
“It sounds very basic, however without these simple building blocks there is nothing relevant to bring to the table.” -Raquel Padilla, Arizona Forward in Phoenix, AZ
Do what you do best
A good event proposal is powered by your company’s distinguishers. People will be drawn to your unique take on their requests. It might help to think about your personal style. What’s the thread that connects your events? What would your past clients say is your hallmark? (Hint: it never hurts to ask them!)
“Showcase your company’s strengths and give specific reasons why they should hire you. You can do it through strong visuals, client references, project relevance, and how your company can exceed their expectations.” -Greg Jenkins, Bravo Productions in Long Beach, CA
The “Sizzle” Factor
To you a design proposal is an everyday thing. To your clients, however, this is the moment they’ve been waiting for. An expert has interpreted their vision into something tangible and quantifiable! Don’t let them down and be sure to deliver an experience. Layout counts, and good layout can help communicate in clearer ways. Maybe it’s time to run one of your proposals by a graphic designer?
“Make sure the information in the proposal is clear, accurate, and easy to follow and understand. Present it in a manner that is pleasing to the eye, and makes you want to see more.” -Bob Gregory, PBC Events in Los Angeles, CA
Looking to cut some words out of your proposal? A picture is worth 1,000 of them! One of the most common suggestions we got from our event planning experts was to spice up your event proposal with images. It really is the best way to communicate with your clients about the proposed feeling of the event and goes a long way towards helping them visualize the space.
“Sell the sizzle and insert pictures, provide color sketches and renderings – even working models to demonstrate all aspects of the event.” -Greg Jenkins, Bravo Productions in Long Beach, CA
“I like to include a photo or two to inspire my client and so they can see that I “get” their creative vision especially if a specific vision has already been discussed or a color palette determined.” -Peggy Kelley, Timeless Celebrations in Pasadena, CA
How do I talk about money?
Here’s where we started to get some real differing opinions from our event planning experts. It makes sense that money can be the trickiest part of an event proposal. It’s obviously very important to the event itself – somebody’s gotta pay for it – but you don’t want it to be all about the cash.
Each event planner will have to decide how the money conversation fits into their own style, but here are some sensible perspectives from the experts.
List it out
The client knows how much they want to spend and you know how much all that stuff they want is going to cost. If you give an honest assessment up front of what they can expect it to add up to, there isn’t much that can be done about it – even if it includes a reality check on their part.
“Create a line-by-line budget estimate that is fair and reasonable – and perhaps might even come below the client’s budget bottom line.” -Greg Jenkins, Bravo Productions in Long Beach, CA
“I try to have exact prices, so the client knows precisely what to expect as opposed to having rough or general prices – again stalling the proposal or killing it. This can cause tension and animosity, especially with the final invoice.” -Heather Piper, Thrill of the Hunt in Latrobe, PA
The best event proposal template is your event proposal template
For your next event proposal, take the time to do the following:
Tell a complete story with a beginning, middle, and end.
Take a stand with clear positioning as the foremost expert.
Nail the details by proving you’re a logistics wizard.
Make it sizzle with good design and visuals.
Give some thought to how you approach the money conversation.
If you address those five things, you’ll be on your way to one killer event proposal template that works for your company and your clients.
Once everything goes well, be sure to start building out your event app. You can manage your app from your phone and tackle any last minute changes like editing your schedule or announcements. With Guidebook’s very own Builder, you can create the app of your dreams without any technical knowledge! Click the button below to start building.