Creating winning event proposals is a great way to build your event business and your success in the industry.
The first proposal I applied for was awarded to another (larger) company, but during the interview process the client met with me to review my submission, and I learned so much from that meeting that helped me with future proposals. My biggest mistake was outlining all the requirements and giving the client one total fee instead of breaking down each component of the event and pricing them separately. I never made that mistake again!
When companies and organizations are looking for an event company, they’ll often release an RFP (Request for Proposal), which is a formal document that outlines their event needs and requirements. To bid on the job, you must submit an event proposal, which outlines how you or your event company will meet the client’s needs and why you’re best suited to the job vs. your competitors.
In today’s competitive event industry, how you share your unique skills and talents in your event proposal could indicate whether or not you get hired.
Addie Graham Kramer of The Event Company in South Dakota suggests assigning various parts of the RFP to different team members so they’re working in their strengths. Addie takes the lead on creating the budget because she’s great at it and Kimberly, her senior event designer, is strong at day-of design and setup so she develops the details for that section of the RFP.
How to Write a Winning Event Proposal
Depending on the size of the event depends on the amount of information you need to include, but there are five common elements that every proposal needs:
- Overview of the event – in a professional and organized way, provide an overview of the event showing that you understand the event requirements and offer a few suggestions based on your meeting or conversation with the client. It’s important not to give too many suggestions and give away all your best ideas. The key is to get their attention and show that you understand their event needs.
- Outline your event experience – Succinctly outline your event experience and include pictures, if appropriate, and describe your team’s organizational chart. This is an important section in your event proposal because it tells the client about you, your experience, and highlights your area(s) of expertise. If you’re a newbie event planner and don’t have a lot of event experience yet, point out your event training and any internships or volunteer experience you have.
- Showcase your Services – this is your moment to shine so describe your services and offerings, including the hours you’re available for consultations, i.e.: 9-5pm Monday-Friday. Your proposal is a sales document so reinforce your strengths and address any reservations the client might have about hiring you vs. your competitor. If your competitor is a larger company, present your areas of expertise and demonstrate how you’ll solve the client’s problem(s) and/or how you specialize in the client’s field.
- Present the Event Budget – the ‘bottom line’ is essential to making the event happen. Before adding dollar values to each component of your event proposal, identify each part of the event that incurs a cost. Your event budget helps paint a picture by first outlining cost estimates, misc. expenses, contingency fund, and then the actual costs of each event component. Get your event budget here.
- Finishing Touches – Before submitting your event proposal, finesse the document by reviewing it and ensuring it fulfills the needs and requirements of the client’s RFP. Have someone proof read the document so it’s void of spelling and grammatical errors, it reads logically and it addresses your client’s concerns. Once it’s ready, print it on high quality paper or create a landing page with a specialized URL specifically for that event proposal, and include an introductory video and a PDF download of the document.
Over the weekend I was in San Diego, California at Digital Marketer’s Traffic & Conversion Summit (T&C) – which was so well planned and organized and truly fantastic.
Throughout the 3-day event, numerous speakers took to the stage to speak about their area of expertise and to share insights about what’s trending in digital marketing today.
I cannot stress enough just how important it is to attend business conferences. The insights, inspiration, and networking are invaluable.
I had a chance to spend time with my friend and award winning marketer, Franziska Iseli. I convinced a bunch of us to go dancing one night so we had some fun, too.
Shameless plug: If today’s episode resonates with you, I highly recommend you consider joining us at Success Academy. No matter what type of events you plan, you’ll learn how to better position and market your event business. Get the full scoop by joining the list here!
Event planners from all over the world join us for this 8-week training program – we’ve had people from France, England, Australia, all across the US and Canada, India and Jamaica register.
Conference Swag Ideas
During the T&C conference itself I took pages of notes; all amazing takeaways that will add zeros to our bottom-line at Event Planning Blueprint, met experts who will help us add value to our subscribers and shuffled through tons of conference swag ideas.
In today’s video at EventPlanning BlueprintTV, I share what’s inside the conference swag bag from T&C and whether or not it’s worth it or wasteful.
Many event planners have a hard time valuing our event expertise, especially when it comes so naturally to us.
It can be even harder when we’re first getting started or we’re not sure how to create value for our event clients.
In today’s episode of EventPlanning BlueprintTV, Alex Cheung of Toronto Special Events Network joins me.
Create Value For Your Event Clients
Alex started his career as a designer but hated sitting in front of a computer from 9-5pm so he went back to school to become an event planner.
No matter what stage of being an event planner you’re in, owning your worth and showing your value allows you to charge more, do better work, work with better clients, and have more success.
To achieve the success you deserve in your event career, creating strong, long-term relationships is key and Alex shares how you can maximize your efforts with some simple strategies.
He also talks about the importance of taking action, finding opportunities, how to create value for your event clients, how generosity helps build your event career, and how thinking like an entrepreneur helps you get started in the event industry.
If you’re an event planner who struggles to get started or take action because you’re not sure how to show your value, this video is for you.
You’ve operated as a one-woman show as you’ve built your event business. You’ve worn every hat from event set up to tear down, accounting to marketing, and now it’s time to put on your HR hat to hire event staff.
You don’t need an HR department to grow your event business. In fact, most event planners don’t have a team big enough to have an entire department dedicated to hiring.
Hiring event staff is an investment in your company and it’s important to find the right mix of skills and abilities in the people you hire – whether they’re part of your day-to-day team or contracted for a specific event.
No business owner has single-handedly built a successful and sustainable business on their own and it takes a great team to thrive.
5 Steps to Hire Event Staff
In today’s video, we’re talking about 5 steps to hire event staff for your business. Pay attention to step #1 because I share why you need more than just a job description to find the right team for you, your events and your business.
After starting my event planning business in 2004, I knew my Bachelor’s Degree hadn’t prepared me to run my own business.
What I needed was real-world experience.
So for a year I juggled a full- and part-time job to get the experience I needed, to learn how to sell and to understand why people buy.
Focusing specifically on skills that I needed helped me understand the process of selling my event planning services, what questions to ask, what clients (typically) struggle with, and how I can provide value and ask for the sale.
To jump-start your event planning career, it’s important to learn the fundamentals of selling. Learning the ins and outs of sales is challenging, but manageable for anyone to learn.
5 Sales Tips To Book More Clients
In today’s video on EventPlanning BlueprintTV, I’m sharing 5 sales tips every event planner should know; whether you enjoy sales or it scares you…
When you’re shopping, do you get pulled into stores because of their branding? Maybe they have pretty storefronts, fun packaging, or services you just can’t resist?
On a recent outing, I was lured into a store called Ted Baker that sells designer clothing and accessories for men and women. At first I had no intention of buying anything but I soon walked out with a gorgeous coat because of their branding strategies; Strategies that can be applied to any event planning business to help you communicate your services effectively.
When it comes to building your event brand, you can get pretty creative – often without needing a lot of cash.
Download Your Guide to Event Branding Here
How To Build An Event Brand
If you’re feeling lost and struggling to stand out from other event planners, this is the post for you because today on EventPlanning BlueprintTV I’m sharing 3 strategies to help you build your event brand. These are simple, yet effective strategies that you can implement right away.
Have you ever felt like you want to price your event clients services properly, but you feel scared to slap a price on your services?
Maybe you imagine giving your event clients a price only to have them hire another planner…
How do you show value and influence your clients so they aren’t just focused on what you’re going to charge them?
Deciding how much to charge for your event services is a topic we’ve talked about before.
But as you know, one size does not fit all when it comes to charging for your event services. It’s important to find your sweet spot AND influence your client’s decision so you show value, and it’s not just about answering, “how much do you charge?”
Just because you’re an event planner, doesn’t mean you offer the same services as every other event planner in your area, nor should you!
It’s important to your success to consider what area of event planning you want to specialize in, your experience, and the type of clients you want to work with. For example, will you work with CEOs or brides or charities? Will you have a minimum charge or do you want to be the lowest price in town (I don’t recommend this option!)?
Today we’re going to talk about Robert Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Influence so your clients stop comparing your price to your competitor’s fees and they stop pressuring you to drop your rates!
(If you haven’t read the 6 Principles of Influence yet, I highly recommend it!)
One of my favorite parts of this book is that it creates a win-win situation for you and your clients and it uses proven ways to help make you more successful.
6 Principles of Influence
Principle #1: Reciprocation
Reciprocation recognizes that people feel indebted to those who do something for them or give them a gift. In other words, to treat others as they’ve been treated.
For event planners, give something of value: information through blog posts or case studies, free samples, a hand-written note after meeting with clients, or a positive experience and they’ll want to give you something in return.
Principle #2: Social Proof
When people are uncertain about making a decision, they rely on their peers to help them choose.
By using client testimonials it shows your prospective clients that others, who are similar to them, have used your event services and they’re more likely to hire you too.
Have you ever heard either of these two messages?
“If our lines are busy, please call again” or “Operators are standing by.”
The first response implies that other people like your offer so much that the phone lines are busy, which may persuade others to act similarly.
Principle #3: Commitment and Consistency
People like to honor their commitments and are more likely to follow through after agreeing to something verbally or in writing.
People want to be consistent and true to their word so getting clients to (publicly) commit by saying ‘yes’ makes that commitment more powerful and they’re more likely to hire you.
Ask your clients if they’ll hire you and share why your services would benefit them.
For example, don’t tell event vendors: “Please call if you have to cancel.”
Instead, ask: “Will you please call 72 hours before if you have to cancel?” because getting a ‘yes’ increasing their chances of commitment.
Principle #4: Liking
According to Cialdini, “People prefer to say ‘yes’ to those they know and like.”
And, according to his research, your event clients are more likely to favor people who are physically attractive, similar to them in some way (even having the same name helps!), or who give them a compliment.
So, event planners can improve their chances of getting hired by learning about the clients existing likes and dislikes.
Principle #5: Authority
People want to follow experts: Business titles, beautiful clothes, or even driving an expensive car can lend credibility to any individual because when clients are uncertain, they look to get information and answers from others.
Getting client testimonials for your event portfolio and website helps clients respond and buy because it positions you as an authority in he event industry.
Principle #6: Scarcity
The more rare and uncommon something is, the more people want it.
If you’re a Zappos shopper like I am, you’ve seen the ‘1 More Left” signal, which makes me want those leather boots even more!
Cialdini says that, it may be worthwhile to switch your messaging to show the potential for a wasted opportunity and to highlight why your event services are unique or rare.
– “Don’t miss this chance…”
– “Here’s what you’ll miss out on…”
I’d like to hear from you.
Let me know…
Which of these 6 Principles of Influence are you currently using and which ones are you going to start using?
I’m excited to hear your thoughts,
In our live event planning courses we often talk about how to differentiate yourself from other event planners and the idea of creating a tagline for your event website becomes a topic of conversation.
Creating the perfect tagline like Nike’s ‘Just Do It!’ or L’Oreal’s ‘Because You’re Worth It’ is something many event planners wrestle with.
The truth is, you don’t absolutely need one but it helps describe your event services and it helps others describe you too.
We can often sit for hours trying to come up with the best business name and the best tagline for our event website, but often it shows up when we least expect it. Like when we’re singing in the shower or daydreaming as we sit in traffic.
The problem with taglines – we often try to get too creative or say too much and the message gets lost altogether.
6 Tips To Write a Tagline For Your Event Website
If you want to create a tagline for your event website and to brand your event services, here are 6 tips to help you create a tagline that creates opportunities to communicate your purpose and differentiate you from other event planners.
- Short and sweet is best – the tagline that you’re going to use on your event website and other marketing materials, should be short and simple.
- Describe who you are – the goal of your tagline isn’t to be overly creative; it’s to describe who you are and what you do best. How do you make your client’s lives or jobs easier, for example?
- Be clear – painting a picture of your event services is all about communication and proper branding so be clear, not clever. L’Oreal’s tagline stands for beauty and female empowerment and it’s used throughout their product lines, it’s philanthropic endeavors and it celebrates women.
- Be you – Your personality sells your event services and so should your tagline. By capturing your personality, your clients identify with you and your brand – and if they don’t, then they may not be the event client for you.
- Identify your advantage – knowing this allows you to charge premium prices and differentiates you from your competition. Ask yourself: What benefit do I want my client to gain? How do my event services make my client’s life better? How is my business better than my competitors? Note: when answering the last question – think beyond price!
- Don’t be vague – by speaking directly to the benefit of working with you, and by being specific, your tagline should not be generic – it’s meant to set you a part from your competition.
Creating a tagline for your event website may not be at the top of your list but taglines build value over time and can be a memorable part of your marketing strategy.
It’s the glue that holds your brand together.
Many event planners start an event management business from home because it’s cost effective.
When you’re just getting started, it feels like there are loads of things to do, learn and take care of.
But, before making headway and preparing your list of things to do to start an event management business from home, it’s important to know why you want to be in business in the first place.
There are many reasons why event planners start their own business. Some believe they’ll make more money if they’re in business for themselves, some want to leave a job they don’t like, and some see a gap in the marketplace that they want to fill.
No matter what your reason, it’s important to understand why you want to start an event management business and whether or not you are doing it for the right reasons.
If you’re considering starting an event business then watch today’s episode of EventPlanning BlueprintTV because these 10 steps provide an essential checklist to help you start an event management business from home.
In this training video, you’ll learn:
- Brainstorming ideas so you know what type of events you want to plan
- How to create a plan and map out your goals
- What resources you need to get started
- Discover how to secure and register your business name and URL
- Decide which social media platforms are best for your business
- Decide if business cards are right for you, and how to design them
- Learn why a launch party is a great promotional tool for your event
- Understand how to choose a niche market
- Know how to determine your pricing
- Understand the difference between benefits and features and why they’re important to setting yourself apart in the marketplace
Do you have trouble with procrastination or following through on tasks until they’re done?
Do you wonder how your big vision or dream actually comes to fruition?
While some people seem to focus on one dream and accomplish it, so many struggle with procrastination or fear of success, which gets in their way of attaining their dreams.
How To Take Command of Your Next 90 Days
In today’s video on EventPlanning BlueprintTV, Dominick Quartuccio and I share how to take command of your next 90 days and how to create habits that allow you to see your bigger vision through to the end.