How to Write a Great Event Proposal: A Practical Guide

Tom Hooker
April 20, 2024

Every conference, trade show, and exposition starts with an event proposal.

An event proposition is a superb tool that can help you communicate your vision and its benefits to sponsors and other key decision-makers. But, creating the perfect event proposal is more similar to an art form than an exact science.

Crafting an effective event proposal requires a deep understanding of the attendees you want to attract. That said, it’s also essential that the event marketing proposal presents your ideas in a clear, engaging way.

This will help paint a picture of your event’s benefits for sponsors, attendees, and the community as a whole.

In this article, we’ll go over the steps and provide best practices to help you create an event proposal that you can then use for all future events.

What is an Event Proposal?

As the name suggests, an event proposal is a document that contains everything about a potential event.

An event proposal includes everything that sponsors, and other stakeholders need to decide if they want to get involved. For this reason, the event proposition includes everything - from organizational requirements to overall benefits and everything in between.

Event proposals are crucial because they contain the purpose of the gathering, its logistic elements, the suppliers that need to participate, and other essential details.

As an event planner, you may find yourself creating event proposals because you received a request from your company or a sponsor. However, there are also cases where you create the event proposal first in order to showcase your skills and improve your chances of getting sponsorship.

In addition to organizers, some of the entities that find value in event proposals include:

  • The advertising department, when attempting to set up a promotional event
  • Event planning agencies making pitches to potential clients
  • Sponsors because they use these proposals to choose where to invest their budgets

What Are the Key Elements of an Event Proposal?

Before going over the essential elements of every event proposal, it’s important to note that there is no exact formula for creating the perfect proposition. Every event is different, so following generic event proposal templates won’t do the trick.

Your best alternative is to find a personalizable template that includes the basic elements but can also be customized to your specific requirements.

With the above in mind, some of the crucial components you should include in your event planning proposal include:

  • Event Overview: This is a short description designed to explain the event. The overview should be a summary that states the type, general location (country or city), and other basic details of the proposed event, setting the tone for the rest of each upcoming section.
  • Event Goals: The event goals should describe the objective of the prospective gathering. Every event has different goals, so you need to be as specific as possible and include measurable objectives. Having a clear way to measure success can help create better sponsorship opportunities.
  • Event Timeline: Rather than an exact schedule, the timeline should clearly outline the time required to plan, organize, and finalize the event. This is a key part of every project because it impacts the event’s logistics, budget, marketing strategy, sponsorship opportunities, and many other areas.
  • Event Budget: In simple terms, the budget highlights the price of running the event and breaks down the individual costs. The proposed budget may be adjusted by sponsors, the company or organizing entity, and other stakeholders, so it’s important to get written approval before working on your project.
  • Event Stakeholders: From the company or organization creating the event to the sponsors, every event has a distinct list of stakeholders. Some stakeholders will be reviewing your proposal, so use professional language and explain the role each one plays in the event.  
  • The “Wow” Factor: Your proposal should include your event’s “wow” factor. In other words, detail the part of your event that’s designed to surprise, delight, and leave a lasting impression on attendees. This is a major part of portraying your vision, so include as many details as you can.

How to Write a Winning Event Proposal

What is event proposal and how to write it

Whether you’re creating a proposition for potential clients or your company, taking an organized approach will increase your chances of success. Plus, it will help simplify the event planning process later on.

Let’s go over the steps on how to write an event proposal that engages your audience.

1. Get the Details Together

The first step is to collect as many details as you can about your event. Now, every event is different, so you’ll need to list all of the variables that you’ll need to verify to achieve success.

This step is particularly important if you’re writing an event proposal for a potential client. You need to understand all client variables, including the industry, business needs, target audience, vision, and general expectations. This will help you create a compelling pitch that captivates the client.

Collecting all the details is also imperative when creating a proposal for internal stakeholders, the company executives. These decision-makers may not have clear expectations or understanding of the business event you’re proposing. So, you need to understand what details these stakeholders find important and use them during your proposal writing process.

2. Describe Your Event in a Way That Lets the Reader Visualize Its Success

Once you’ve collected as much information as possible, it’s time to create your event overview. In short, this should be a compelling summary that includes key details. For example, the goals, date, location, exact venue, and other event information.

Describing your event in a concise and engaging way is necessary if you want stakeholders to see the value of the event. This will ramp up their enthusiasm, which makes this one of the most important parts of your entire event proposal.

Keep in mind that this part of the proposal should be very informative. It should outline the steps you’ll take to actually set up and run the event. Plus, you also have to highlight exactly how the event fulfills the vision and goals of the company or organization.

Because of this, the overview should not only include all the logistic details but explain the process you'll take to bring the event to life. This is a great chance to exercise your creative storytelling skills and make the event proposal as appealing as possible.

3. Introduce Your Event Team and Their Areas of Expertise

You need to evaluate collaborators and create a team before you write an event proposal. The reason for this is that your proposal will introduce your event team members and showcase their areas of expertise.

Sponsors and other internal decision-makers will want to know information about everyone who is playing a role. So, this section should mention the specialty and responsibilities of each contributor, as well as achievements and credentials.

The goal here is to be as attractive as possible for the client or internal stakeholder. If possible, highlight the performance in past events and the overall track record of your team. Where applicable, provide measurable statistics that highlight the value of working with your team. For example:

  • Total registration
  • Ticket sales
  • Change in social media sentiment
  • Return on income (ROI)
  • Total attendance

Keep in mind that introducing your team is especially important if you’re preparing a proposal for a company event or project. In simple terms, the team introduction tells internal stakeholders who they need to communicate with whenever they need something or have additional resources.

4. Outline How You Plan to Carry Event Out

By now, the reader is aware of the benefits of working with your team. Now, it’s time to clearly detail the process you’ll follow to actually carry out the proposed event.

If you’re preparing a proposal for a prospective client, this is where you’ll detail the different services you’ll provide and how much they cost. You’ll also establish the scope of the job and set expectations for event planners.

This is an essential section because you need to highlight your unique selling point and share the benefits of your service without disrupting the client experience. Some of the services/tasks you’ll want to include are:

  • Event planning
  • Schedule creation and management
  • Hiring professional staging
  • Venue location
  • Registration
  • Ticketing
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Vendor sourcing and management
  • Day-of event management and coordination
  • Speaker sourcing, outreach, and coordination
  • AV services
  • Graphic design, signage, and decor
  • Swag bags, contents, giveaways, and other activities
  • Sponsor communication and management
  • Logistics, such as transportation and accommodation
  • Post-event surveys

If you are working on an internal business event or project, it’s equally important to include a step-by-step breakdown of the vent. This will help company decision-makers justify the budget as well as any resources you leverage.

It's important for company decision-makers to justify the value of their investment, and this section should help them do exactly that.

This section is going to be beefy - it’s a good idea to bring back each step to the vision and objectives of the event. This will keep readers excited about the proposed event and help them understand why the pricing, timeline, and scope need to be aligned.

5. Describe Your Ideas for Promoting the Event

It doesn’t matter how well you execute all other parts of your plan, your event will only succeed if you promote it properly. And, rather than leaving it up to the imagination, your event proposal should have a whole section dedicated to marketing and advertising in your event proposal.

The best and most obvious way to promote an event is through the internet. Digital is a relevant channel for almost all age groups, plus it’s easier to update than an expensive sign next to a busy highway.

With that said, you need to rely on your target audience research and choose a strategy that aligns with the company’s prospective attendees. For instance, if the potential client wants to attract demographics that don’t spend a lot of time online, traditional advertising may be the best alternative.

The marketing strategy needs to be in place before the event planners start organizing everything. So, take the time to analyze the audience and build a detailed event promotion plan that’s relevant to the client’s ideal attendees.

In case you’re working on an internal proposal, it’s a good idea to speak with the marketing department to gain a better understanding of the company’s customers. This, in turn, will allow you to build engaging promotional materials that align with the business brand story.

6. Describe How You’ll Achieve the Event Goals (and Why They Matter)

Creating a proposal for an internal event is challenging because it usually means requesting approval from an executive or manager.

If this is the case, it’s a good idea to include a section about the importance of the event. For example, you can highlight how an event can help the company achieve some of its marketing objectives, like collecting leads or improving its professional reputation.

Likewise, you should discuss the mechanisms you’ll use to measure the success of your event. This includes steps like meeting with planners to share the event objectives, working with a professional survey service provider, and setting measurable business metrics.

Some of the relevant metrics you may want to track include the following:

  • Event ROI
  • Social mentions, shares, and other interactions
  • Registration volume
  • Attendee satisfaction markers

Now, it’s also imperative to have a section on achieving the event goals for potential client proposals. In this scenario, it’s a good idea to include the projected or estimated metrics, especially if you have access to metrics from past events.

7. Finishing Touches

Last but certainly not least, the final touches of your event proposal.

Whether it’s for a company decision-maker or a client, the proposal document should be presented in an organized format. Each page should have headers that label each section and help guide the reader through the entire document.

You need to execute the design of your proposal to perfection, so don’t be afraid to work with the company’s design team. Furthermore, if you’re preparing a client’s proposal, don’t be afraid to hire a professional designer. The investment may very well be worth it!

In case you’re putting together a proposal for a client's event, the document needs to feature a signature area.

The signature section should be located at the end of the document, preferably on its own page. Like the rest of your proposal, it should be clear, concise, and easy to review and sign.

Also, take a moment to review the overall pricing and cost for each individual service. You also want to review the schedule, event management scope, vision, and all other parts of your proposal in order to cover your basis.

Finally, the design of the proposal should be professional and instill confidence, plus the agreement needs to be written using impeccable grammar.

Best Practices for Writing Your Event Proposal

While it’s true that every event proposal is different, there are many best practices you can follow to increase your chances of success.

Whether it’s for your company or a client, consider the following when crafting an event proposal.

  • Use Your Storytelling Skills: Your proposal will include a lot of numbers and details about logistics. Don’t be afraid to spruce it up by leveraging your creative skills to help tell the story.
  • Use Eye-Catching Design: Cohesive colors, clear fonts, and descriptive photos will contribute to a better reader experience. Moreover, photos also give you a great chance to illustrate some of the event planning tasks that need to be fulfilled.
  • Try to View Things From Your Reader’s Perspective: Putting yourself in the client’s or decision marker’s shoes will help you craft a more engaging proposal. Try to think like the reader during every step, from choosing the photos to presenting the price for each service.
  • Show What Makes You Stand Out: It’s normal for the client to lean towards the most affordable option. Your best bet is to change the client’s perception by highlighting the reasons why your services stand out from the crowd.
  • Be Transparent: Whether it’s a company or client event, you need to be transparent in every part of your proposal. From the price of the services to the schedule, verify that every single piece of information on the proposition is accurate before sending it to stakeholders.

Develop an Innovative Proposal with Advanced Event Technology

Your event proposal is one of the cornerstones of your pitch, so you need to take every necessary step to showcase your talent.

Incorporating innovative technology into your proposal is a great way to impress clients and decision-makers within your company.

Set yourself apart from competitors by detailing the role that technology plays in your events, instill confidence in your clients, and empower your team members in one single move.

Our team can show you how technology can take your event proposal to the next level. Schedule a demo to see Bevy in action today.

Tom Hooker
Content Specialist
April 20, 2024

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