What is an Event Proposal?
An event proposal, or event planning proposal, is a document that outlines the who, the what, and the how of an event. This document is sent to prospective clients that have either requested it or that you’re contacting for the first time.
Event proposals–and other business proposals–contain enough information for your future client to decide that you and your business skills are a fit for their event.
In an event planning proposal, you’ll include:
- The cover page and introduction
- Event details and description
- Description of services
- Previous work and testimonials
- Timeline, milestones, and deliverables
- Pricing summary
- Payment options and terms
- Event policies
You, better than anyone, know that successful events require a lot of planning and preparation. The first step towards success is an outstanding—and thorough—proposal that sets out how you’ll approach the project. One that gives a full event description for event managers to dive into.
However, achieving a good event proposal that will turn prospective clients into happy testimonials is no easy job. The proposal needs to be as complete as possible, detailing all the necessary information. It also has to be persuasive and look professional–just like you.
That's why by using an event planning proposal template, you're making things easier for you and your freelance business—allowing yourself time to spend your creative and event planning juices on your work–not the paperwork.
Note: Join over 500,000+ freelancers and sign up to Bonsai today to start using hundreds of free proposal, contract, invoice, and quote templates. Prioritize the growth of your business, today.
What to Include in the Event Proposal
Now that you understand what an event proposal is, let's get to the nitty-gritty and cover what each section needs to address to help you bag that event gig you know you’re perfect for.
The cover page is the first thing clients see in your proposal, make sure it’s good! You’ll need to include all of your contact details–and your client’s too. This ensures they know that the proposal is meant for them, and that it isn’t a generic proposal that’s being sent to everyone and anyone.
Some proposals can look minimalistic. Some have high-quality images and branding elements. Whichever way you go, adapt the style to your prospective client and start showcasing it right here, on your cover page.
Bonsai top tip: When using images, try always to use high-quality and relevant images–better yet, showcase some of your previous events with an eloquent picture of them.
Scope of work
The scope of work is the most important part of your proposal. Here, you'll define what you'll do and how you'll do it. Nailing the details so your client can really understand how you'll achieve their dream event is key to moving from the proposal to a contract.
One thing to remember throughout this section–and your entire proposal–is to think about your client. Stay client-centric. Show that you have done your research and understand exactly how they like to operate. Showcase what services they’ll specifically need from you to create an event truly unique to them.
A successful proposal requires a lot of planning, and being the event planner that you are, you understand this requires a lot of research and previous work experience. Know your prospective client from head to toe–figuratively speaking–and you’ll be one step closer to doing business with them.
Previous work and testimonials
If you’re trying to convince a prospective client to close a business deal with you, the best thing you can do is showcase your previous work. Use great quality images to show that fun concert you planned, or the 2000+ people conference that was a total success thanks to your hard work.
Additionally, this might be a great place to add a few testimonials. Let your prospective client know what it’s like to work with you. What your previous clients have said about your punctuality, problem-solving and time-management skills–and the great attitude you bring on board.
Don’t have testimonials? It’s never too late to reach out to an old client and ask. Who knows, it may land you another project!
Bonsai top tip: Adding testimonials and previous work examples are great, don’t over do it though! Showcase only the very best, two to three great testimonials will do the trick.
Timeline, milestones, and deliverables
All project managers want to understand the time period that a new project will take, especially when it comes to an event. Not only this, but every new client wants to know when results or deliverables can be expected—we’ve all got calendars to upkeep!
Will the conference be scheduled, planned and happening in a matter of weeks, or will their dream event take a few months? This is the place to let them know.
Make sure you clarify any doubts that the prospective client might have about deliverables, milestones, or the specific timeline for their project.
Bonsai top tip: There are two things to keep in mind when it comes to timelines. One, make it visually appealing. Two, make it realistic. There’s no use in saying you’ll be done in a few weeks if your event planning will take a few months. Setting realistic expectations keeps everyone happy and on the same page. It will improve your chances of a referral and maybe even a shiny new testimonial for your next proposals.
Pricing summary and payment options
An event proposal wouldn’t be complete without a fee summary and payment terms and options.
This section gives event managers a detailed breakdown of what resources will be needed, for which services and deliverables, and how they will be used.
Additionally, this can also be a great section if you know there will be a need for sponsorships during the event. Maybe even show your client you can go one step further and provide a sponsorship proposal–this can be done super quickly using a sponsorship proposal template.
Bonsai top tip: Event planners aren’t writers, but there is something that can make you write a better proposal: mind your language around money. There’s a difference in saying ‘the event will cost you XYZ’ to ‘the investment for the event will be XYZ’. Give a positive connotation to the language you use in this section—it will help you stand out from the competition.
To close your event planning proposal it’s always good to include your event's policies or terms and conditions. This allows everyone to understand what is truly being signed on and clear any legal procedures before starting. It protects you and your client—legally.
How to Write an Event Proposal
Event proposals written from scratch–using event proposal samples found on the internet–take a long time to make. That’s why customizable event proposal templates save you time and effort, and make sure you’re providing the very best proposal for your client.
Whether you’re in the event planning industry or in any other industry, you’ll need to learn how to write a proposal. They’re essential elements you’ll need for growing your business and skyrocketing your freelance career.
However, as we mentioned before, creating one every time from scratch might lead to more headaches than dollars. Using a template is the best way to go about proposals–and other important business documents.
An effective event proposal template will include the necessary sections discussed previously. However, it must also include some features that in today’s world are basically a requirement:
- 100% customizable
- Online payment options
- Notifications and tracking
Using a template isn’t necessarily all fun and games–there are some risks to using templates, but also ways to avoid them:
Risks of using a template
There are five main risk of using a template for event planning or any other proposal:
- Not including the required information
- Not mentioning terms and conditions
- Forgetting to change the prospective client’s name when sending a new one!
- Forgetting to proofread
- Not tracking how the proposal has done once you hit send
By choosing the right template from the start and making sure you proofread the whole document before sending it, you’re making sure you only seize the benefits, and don’t fall prey to any of the risks.
Creating an Event Proposal is Simple with Bonsai
Bonsai’s event planning templates check all the boxes of a perfect template, they:
- Are 100% customizable
- Are legally-vetted
- Provide E-signature options
- Offer online payment options
- Send notifications and track your proposal
- Include all the necessary sections
- Are sent and approved without leaving the app
With Bonsai, sending an outstanding and professional event proposal that will wow your soon-to-be clients takes almost no effort and only a few minutes.
All you have to do is sign up for free, download, edit, send, and have a celebratory margarita–it’s that simple.
Event Proposal FAQs
How is an event planning proposal different from an event management proposal?
Usually, an event management company makes an event management proposal to explain how they will manage an event that the client has already prepared and planned.
An event planning proposal, on the other hand, considers the creative side of designing an event from scratch; it can even mention that the management of it all will be done by someone else or offered as a service that will be provided.
How is an event proposal different from a quote?
Quotes are more common if they're trying to base their decisions on costs, whereas proposals are usually requested in cases where the client has a shortlist of options for the task at hand.
If you want to know exactly when and how a proposal or a quote should be used, head over to this proposal vs quote explanation to find out more.