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6 steps to writing an event proposal that clients love
If you’re someone who is incredibly organized, tends to pay attention to the details, and have a knack for making something magical out of nothing, a career in event planning might be for you. However, you need to know how to write an event proposal to win over clients.
Event planning is a great freelance business option, as businesses often need to hire outside help to help them plan events, from meetings to multi-day conferences to expos. In fact, it’s a growing industry: the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a job growth of 11% for meeting, convention, and event planners from 2016 to 2026.
Growth like this, however, means it can also be a competitive industry, especially when you’re just starting out. An event proposal that stands out will help you win over clients, earn an excellent reputation for your services, and grow your event planning business.
To show you how to write an event proposal that’s irresistible to clients, here are six steps you should follow.
1. Get to know your client and their needs
Before you start to write an event proposal, or any type of freelance proposal, it’s first essential to understand what your client is looking for. Talk to your client so you can better understand things like:
- What type of event they want to hold
- Why they are holding the event
- Any goals or accomplishments they hope to see as a result of the event
- Any ideas they have about how it will be structured or how it will look
For example, the client may already have a color scheme and location in mind - or they might ask you to start entirely from scratch.
Knowing what your client wants is incredibly important in understanding how to write an event proposal. Only by being on the same page will you be able to deliver something convincing and attractive.
Consider sending the client an event questionnaire with your most pressing questions, or schedule a quick call or meeting to gather initial ideas. If you’re responding to an RFP, be sure to look there first to see if it’s already answered your questions.
As you start to get a clearer picture of what to include in your event proposal, start recording your ideas using Bonsai’s freelance proposal tool. Keeping that info within Bonsai allows you to access it whenever and wherever you need it, and you can even jot down ideas on the go using the mobile app.
2. Do your research
Now that you know what the client wants, it’s time to start planning! Working within the parameters and details they’ve given you, it’s your job to come up with an event they would be proud to host.
If the client has given you a city where the event must be held, start looking at potential locations that fit the vibe they’re looking for. Be sure to call to double-check availability before including that location in your proposal to avoid disappointing your client.
If the client has given you full creative license, it’s time to think outside the box! Have a look at what event planners in other cities or industries have done, and scan websites and social media for unique ideas. Pinterest and Instagram are both great sources of unique event ideas, for example.
3. Deliver inspirational content that tells a story
The best way to write an event proposal is to tell a story. Give your event plan a beginning, a middle and an end, with all the exciting and vivid details that any good story typically has.
Through the words and images that you use, try to help the client envision what it would be like to attend your event:
- Will it be formal?
- Will there be live music?
- What about catering?
- What will the tables look like and how will they be laid out?
- How might a guest be welcomed into the event?
If you’ve done previous event planning work, consider including a case study to show what you can achieve. Bonsai’s freelance projects tools help you keep track of all your freelance projects in one place, so you can easily go back to old projects and pull insight and ideas.
You can even try Bonsai for free for two weeks - sign up for your free trial today.
When writing your event proposal, avoid writing about the event in a linear, overly-straightforward way. While you want to communicate your ideas as clearly as possible, it’s also important to add an emotional element and some creative flair. If you can make your client envision the event, your proposal immediately becomes more convincing.
4. Talk about money
The event planning business is a lucrative one. Most companies spend nearly 25% of their marketing budgets on live events, according to Bizzabo’s 2019 Event Marketing Report. So, when it comes to how to write an event proposal, it’s important not to shy away from writing a budget.
If you turn over a beautiful event proposal but don’t indicate how much it will cost the client, they may immediately turn you down. The best way to secure a client is to provide budget options. That way, no matter what other figures other event planners are putting forward, at least one of your options will fit in the typical ballpark.
Wherever possible, provide three budget options: a high budget option, a medium budget option, and a low budget option. Of course, the level of service provided and event details will vary between them. Listing the highest budget option first provides a good benchmark, allowing your client to feel more comfortable with your lower-priced proposals (even if they’re higher than they’d anticipated.)
Don’t forget to consider any freelance expenses you will incur while planning the event, and be sure to build them into your budget.
5. Use visual content
When thinking about how to write an event proposal, remember that the most important elements of your proposal may not be writing at all. Events give you the unique opportunity to use visual content to convince your client that your plan is the best.
Use images, videos, and graphics to give your client a sense of what the space would look like and how it would feel to be there.
By using freelance proposal templates you can easily add images, videos and any other visual content to your event proposal. You can even add your branding to give the proposal a professional look.
6. Write your event proposal letter
Once you’ve gathered all the necessary information for your event proposal, it's time to write the proposal letter. This letter is likely the first thing that your client will read, so it’s crucial to put your best foot forward here.
In your proposal letter, summarize what you’ve detailed in the event proposal: everything from proposed location to the services you’re going to provide. Ideally, someone should be able to read this letter and have a solid grasp on what you’re offering, even if they don’t read anything else in your proposal.
You’re ready to send!
And that’s it; your event proposal is ready to send to your client. Be sure to give it a once-over to check for any spelling or grammar mistakes, and consider giving it to a third-party (like a friend or colleague) to review before hitting send. They’ll be able to tell you if you’ve adequately captured the event in your head on paper.
Don’t forget to follow our tips on how to make a business proposal while writing as well. Though they’re not event-specific, there’s plenty of info in there that will help you.
Once you’re ready to send out your event proposal, consider using Bonsai! Built exclusively for freelancers, it will help keep you organized, prepared to send out a freelance contract and start billing hours once you’ve landed the job. Start your two-week trial today - it’s free!