General Tips, Planning Tips, Your Event Career
How to Write an Event Proposal (with a Template and Tips)
As a professional event planner, you know that writing an event proposal is one of the most important steps in the planning process! After all, a well-written proposal can help you secure a client and get them excited about your proposed event. In this blog post, we will break down how to write an event proposal from start to finish.
We’ll also provide useful tips for making your proposal stand out from the competition. Finally, we will even provide you with an example template that you can use to write your own event proposal.
So, let’s get started!
What is an Event Proposal?
First thing’s first: an event proposal is a document that outlines the details of an event. Furthermore, it explains why it should be approved.
What Should Be Included in an Event Proposal?
Your event proposal serves as a sales pitch to potential clients, outlining the benefits they can expect from your proposed event. A well-written proposal should include all necessary information about the event, such as:
- Venue selection
- Staffing needs
- Guest list
- Marketing plans, etc.
Ultimately, the goal of your event proposal should be to persuade the client that you can provide a successful, professional event.
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Is an Event Proposal the Same as an Event Plan?
This is a VERY important question, as many people mistakenly believe that a proposal and a plan are the same thing. But the truth is, they are two different documents.
An event proposal outlines what you intend to do. Think of it as the sales pitch!
On the other hand, an event plan is a document that outlines all of the details of how you will actually execute the event once it’s been approved. It includes all necessary steps, such as guest list management, staffing needs, catering needs, rental orders, etc.
How Do You Write an Event Plan?
If you’ve come this far and realized that you’re actually trying to put together an event plan, and NOT an event proposal, we highly recommend these two helpful blog articles:
- Free Template: How to Create a Winning Event Plan (by Eventbrite)
- How to Write a Great Event Plan (by True Film Production)
They’ll definitely be able to guide you in the right direction!
However, if you ARE looking for help to write an event proposal, keep reading…
Creating an Event Proposal: What to Know Before Getting Started
Before you even begin writing your proposal, it’s important to understand the basics of how to write a successful event proposal.
How Long Should an Event Proposal Be?
When it comes to length, the answer really depends on your client’s requirements. Some clients might prefer a detailed, 10-page proposal while others may simply need a one-pager. Therefore, make sure you research what they are expecting before starting to write your proposal.
What is the Proper Format for a Proposal?
The best way to format an event proposal is to use a standard business letter format. This includes:
- Header with contact information
- Subject Line
- Introduction of your company and the event you are proposing
- Details of the event, such as date, time, location, goals, etc.
- Discussion of budget and other details
- Call to action
- Closing statement
Furthermore, you should also make sure to include a signature line at the bottom, along with your printed name and contact information. This will help make the proposal appear more professional!
Paper or Electronic?
Again, this really depends on the preferences of your client. Some clients may prefer a paper copy while others might prefer an electronic one.
If you decide to go with an electronic version, make sure to save it in a PDF format so that it can be easily opened and viewed by anyone with a computer or smartphone.
Understanding the Fundamentals
Next, you can’t write an event proposal if you don’t understand the scope of work, budgeting needs and expectations, how to research competitors, or how to create a timeline. Only once you understand these requirements can you begin crafting your document with confidence!
So, let’s take a closer look at each one…
1. Scope of Work
The scope of work is essentially the foundation of your proposal.
Here, you should outline what will be done, who will do it, and how long it will take to complete. If possible, you should also include a breakdown of tasks with estimated deadlines. This will give the client an idea of what to expect from you!
A well-crafted proposal should include a breakdown of the budget for each component of the event. Additionally, it should also include details about how much funding is needed, who will be responsible for what expenses, and any other relevant information related to budgeting.
3. Research Competitors
Researching competitors is a great way for you to get an idea of how much the event should cost. Not to mention, it’ll help you see what services are offered by other vendors in your area. In turn, this can help you determine the best pricing for your services and make sure that your proposal looks competitive!
4. Create a Timeline
Lastly, creating a timeline is essential for an event proposal! This will show the client that you have a plan to get everything done on time. Be sure to include all necessary steps and estimated dates of completion so that they can see how well you are organized!
PRO TIP: Make sure to download our FREE sample event planner checklist (6 month timeline)!
How to Write an Event Proposal from Start to Finish
Now that you understand the basics of creating an event proposal, let’s take a look at how to actually write one from start to finish!
What are The 5 Steps in Writing Your Proposal?
Step 1: Gather the Necessary Information
Before beginning the writing process, you’ll need to gather all of the necessary information about your event. This includes facts such as date and time, location, activities, budget, and more.
Step 2: Determine Your Audience
After you have the necessary information, it’s time to determine who your audience is for this proposal. Is it a potential client? A company looking for vendors? Knowing who you are writing the proposal for will help you create content that speaks directly to them.
Step 3: Start Writing
Now it’s time to actually start writing the proposal. Begin by introducing yourself and your company, as well as outlining the event you are proposing. Then, include details about what will be done, budgeting needs, competitors, timeline expectations, and more.
Step 4: Proofread and Revise
Before submitting the proposal, it’s important to proofread and revise your work. A good rule of thumb is that the first draft is NEVER the one you want to submit at the end. By revising and proofreading your event proposal, you can ensure that all information is accurate.
Plus, it’ll give you an opportunity to make changes or additions if necessary.
Step 5: Submit the Proposal
Once you are happy with the content of your proposal, you can submit it to the client or company!
Writing an Event Proposal: Tips and Tricks
Although following the steps outlined above can help you craft an effective event proposal, there are a few more tips and tricks that you should keep in mind:
- Make sure to tailor each proposal to the specific job or client.
- Always include contact information for yourself or your company.
- Keep it concise – no one wants to read a long and boring proposal.
- Outline the benefits of working with you or hiring your company.
- Make sure to highlight any special skills or qualifications that you may have.
- Include testimonials or references from previous clients, if possible.
Following these tips can help ensure that your event proposal is successful!
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Critical Mistakes to Avoid
When writing an event proposal, there are some critical mistakes that you should avoid in order to make sure your document is as professional and organized as possible. Here are the top five:
Mistake #1: Not doing enough research.
It’s important to understand who you’re writing for, what their needs are, and how you can meet them. Not doing adequate research could mean that your proposal is not tailored to their needs.
Mistake #2: Not including enough detail.
You want to make sure that you provide enough information about the event, budget, timeline plans, etc. Make sure to include all of this in your proposal so that the client has a full understanding of what they are hiring you for.
Mistake #3: Not proofreading your work.
Proofreading is essential before you submit any document! Even if you think the proposal looks and reads well, it’s always best to double-check and make sure that there are no spelling or grammar errors.
If you need help proofreading your event proposal, we recommend any of the following options:
- Asking someone you know (who is good at grammar) to review it.
- Using a professional proofreading service, such as Grammarly.
- Using an online spellchecker or grammar checker tool, such as ProWritingAid.
Mistake #4: Trying too hard to impress.
It’s important to sound professional and show enthusiasm for the project, but don’t go overboard with trying to impress the client! If your proposal is too flowery and/or borders on brown-nosing, it could have a negative effect.
Mistake #5: Not following instructions.
Lastly, many clients will provide specific instructions on how they want to receive the proposal. Make sure to follow these instructions and submit the document in the format requested.
By avoiding these five mistakes, you can make sure that your event proposal is professional and effective!
How to Write an Event Proposal for a Sponsorship
Now, writing an event proposal for a sponsorship can be a bit more challenging. After all, you’ll need to create content that directly speaks to the sponsor and outlines the benefits of partnering with your event.
Typically, if you’re seeking the assistance of a sponsor, it’s because you need help with some of the costs associated with hosting your event. In this case, you’ll need to include the following in your proposal:
- A detailed outline of the event and its purpose;
- An explanation of what type of contribution you’re expecting from the sponsor;
- And details on how the partnership will benefit both parties involved.
Tips for Writing an Effective Sponsorship Proposal
When writing a sponsorship proposal, it’s important to keep in mind the following tips:
- Be clear and concise. Make sure your message is easy to understand and avoids any kind of jargon or technical terms.
- Make sure to highlight what makes your event unique and why it’s worth sponsoring.
- Include specific information on how the sponsor’s contribution will be used and the potential impact it could make.
- Provide detailed information about your target audience, marketing plans, etc.
- If you can, provide past examples of similar events that have been successful in getting sponsorships.
- Most importantly – be sure to thank your prospective sponsor for their interest, regardless of whether or not they choose to contribute.
PRO TIP: Get sponsorships for your events with these 4 tried-and-true strategies!
3 Event Proposal Examples
Example #1: Corporate Event Proposal
In this first example, let’s imagine that you’re a corporate event planner with your own business. Your business is called “The Event Planners” (imaginative, we know) and you specialize in event planning for corporate clients.
Your client is a large tech company that is looking to host an exclusive event for the launch of their new product. For the sake of this example, the product in question is a new type of smartwatch. Their budget for the event is $50,000.
In this case, the event proposal might look something like this:
“The Event Planners specializes in hosting successful corporate events. We have extensive experience in planning and executing a wide range of projects for clients within the tech industry, including product launches, conferences and special events.
We understand the importance of making your event stand out from the competition, which is why we create custom solutions tailored to your specific needs. For this event, we will create a unique atmosphere that reflects the excitement surrounding the launch of your new product, while also providing an enjoyable experience for your guests.
Our services include the following:
- Securing venue and catering services
- Creating custom decorations and ambiance
- Designing promotional materials
- Managing audio/visual services
- Providing entertainment options
- Coordinating logistics and transportation
The total cost of the event will be $50,000. In return, we guarantee you a successful event that effectively showcases your product and leaves a lasting impression on your guests.
We have extensive experience in the tech industry and are confident that we can create a unique event that meets all of your expectations. Please let us know if you have any questions or need more information.”
Example 2: Nonprofit Event Proposal
In this second example, let’s imagine that you’re a nonprofit organization looking for sponsorship to help cover the costs of hosting your next event. Your nonprofit is focused on providing educational resources and support to underserved communities, and you’re planning an event to raise awareness about these issues.
The goal is to secure $5,000 in sponsorships to help cover the costs of venue rental, food and beverage, decorations, audio/visual services, transportation and other expenses associated with the event.
Your proposal might look something like this:
“We are a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing educational resources and support to underserved communities. Our mission is to ensure that everyone has access to quality education and resources, regardless of their background or economic status.
We are in the process of planning an event to raise awareness about our mission and the issues facing these communities. Our event will be a celebration of our progress as well as an opportunity to educate people on how they can get involved and help support our cause.
To make this event successful, we need to cover the costs of venue rental, food and beverage, decorations, audio/visual services, transportation and other associated expenses. As such, we are seeking sponsorships in the amount of $5,000 to help make this event a reality.
In return for your support, we will provide you with numerous opportunities to promote your business to the attendees of the event, as well as recognition on our website and social media outlets.
We are confident that this event will have a positive impact on our organization and those we serve. By partnering with us, you can help make an invaluable contribution to our cause and be part of something truly special. Thank you for your consideration.”
Example #3: Wedding Proposal
In our third example, let’s imagine that you’re a wedding planner looking to secure a contract for an upcoming wedding. You have experience in planning and executing all types of weddings, from traditional ceremonies to large-scale events.
Your proposal should include information about your services, pricing, and other details relating to the event.
Here is an example of what your proposal could look like:
“We are a wedding planning company with years of experience in creating and executing dream weddings for couples all over the world. We specialize in helping couples create the perfect wedding that reflects their personal style and taste.
For this particular event, we will take care of every detail from start to finish. Our services include:
- Helping the couple select a venue
- Designing their wedding decor
- Creating their wedding menu
- Organizing the entertainment and activities for their guests
- Booking vendors
- Coordinating logistics and transportation
- And much more
The total cost of our services is $20,000. This includes all necessary fees associated with planning and executing the event.
We have the necessary experience and expertise to make sure this wedding goes off without a hitch. We look forward to working with you and helping to create a beautiful and memorable celebration for the happy couple.”
Event Proposal Free Template
Finally, here’s a free reference template that you can use as inspiration when writing your OWN event proposals in the future. Enjoy!
- Event Title: [Insert here]
- Target Group(s) of Event: [Insert here]
- Proposed By: [Insert here]
- Hosting Organization: [Insert here]
- Event Date(s): [Insert here]
- Venue(s): [Insert here]
- Amount Requested for Budget: [Insert here]
This section should include a brief overview of the event, its purpose, intended target audience and desired outcome. Importantly, make sure this section includes:
- The expected number of hours/days the event will be held;
- Number of guests/attendees expected;
- The venue where the event will be held;
- Your event objectives;
- The most important feature of the event (e.g. keynote speaker);
- Any other notable features or activities planned;
- Why it will benefit the organization, stakeholders, etc. to take part in this event, etc.
Proposed Event Program
Here, you will spell out the timeline for the event. Include a day-by-day (or hour-by hour) breakdown of activities, such as panels, keynote speakers, workshops and other activities that have been planned for the event.
Additionally, make sure to get real specific about the following details:
- Arrival times (if any);
- Start and end times for the event/event activities;
- Presentation times;
- Speeches and/or special announcements;
- VIP arrivals and departures, etc.
In this section, include information about any staff needed to support the event. This could include volunteers, speakers, a moderator and/or panelists, as well as any other personnel that would be necessary for the event.
Next, you’ll want to discuss why you’ve chosen the particular venue you have – and how that venue will benefit the event. This is also the section to discuss any special accommodations necessary, such as audiovisual equipment, seating arrangements, etc.
PRO TIP: Learn more about properly researching and finding the PERFECT venue for your event!
Scope of Work
Here, you’ll want to outline exactly what services your organization will provide for the event. This includes:
- Any contacts/vendors you will be working with;
- The design of invitations/registration forms;
- Provide food and beverage for the event (if any);
- Organizing logistics, such as transportation and accommodations;
- Coordinating event photography and/or video recording;
- Providing any additional materials needed for the event, such as decorations or props;
- Managing post-event activities, such as follow-up emails or surveys.
You’ll use this next section to break down a detailed budget for the event. This should include the following:
- Personnel costs (e.g. speakers, moderators, volunteers);
- Venue rental;
- Catering expenses;
- Marketing/promotional costs;
- Cost of materials (e.g. decorations, props);
- Travel expenses (if applicable).
This section is particularly necessary if you intend to get government funding or some sort of sponsorship for your event. Here, you’ll want to explain why it’s important to measure the success of the event and detail how you plan on doing so.
Measurements of success might include (but aren’t limited to):
- Number of attendees;
- Attendee/participant satisfaction ratings;
- Sign-ups for a newsletter/follow-up activities;
- Amount of media coverage;
- Number of new recruits;
- Increase in bookings, etc.
PRO TIP: Here are 23 helpful KPIs (key performance indicators) to help you measure your event’s success, courtesy of Bizzabo!
No event proposal is complete without a risk management plan. Here, you should include any potential risks that may arise during the event, as well as strategies for mitigating such risks.
In this particular section, you might find it easiest to create a chart. We recommend breaking up the chart into five categories:
- Risks Identified;
- Probability of Risk;
- Severity of Risk;
- Priority Rating;
- And Risk Treatment.
By formatting your Risk Management section this way, you’ll make it much easier for everyone to understand and track the potential risks associated with your event.
Event Equipment Needs
Next, you’ll want to list all the equipment that will be necessary for the event. This could include audiovisual equipment (e.g. microphones, projectors, etc.), as well as seating arrangements and any other relevant items.
Again, you might find it easiest to put everything together in a chart. If this is the case, we suggest the following categories:
- Description of the Equipment
- Total # Required
- Ready in Stock (Y/N):
- Current Condition (Excellent, Good, Poor)
- Need to Borrow (Y/N)
- Where to Borrow From (and Cost)
- Need to Hire (Y/N)
- Where to Hire From (and Cost)
- Need to Purchase (Y/N)
Depending on the type of event you’re hosting, you may need to secure certain permits or licenses. In this section, you’ll want to detail why you need the permit/license, as well as explain how and when it will be obtained.
Transportation and Accommodation
Lastly, discuss any transportation and accommodation needs for your event. This could include booking flights for speakers or guests, rental cars, or lodging nearby the event venue.
At this point, you should also make note of any special requirements for attendees or speakers (e.g. dietary needs/restrictions). This way, you’ll be sure to provide adequate accommodations for everyone involved in the event planning process.
Once you’ve completed all the previous sections, your event proposal should be complete. Congratulations!
Now, your job is to make sure that everyone involved in the planning process understands and agrees with the proposed plans. Be sure to read through your document one last time before submitting it for approval.
Good luck – and happy planning!