How To Make Your Event Proposal Stand Out

Every event planner knows the importance of writing a good proposal. Putting your ideas down on paper and presenting your vision and budget to the client are a necessary part of earning new business.

We’ve already shared our 5 Tips To Write A Winning Event Proposal, and you know what standard elements should be included in your proposal. But, especially if you’re new to the industry, how do you make your proposal stand out among a sea of larger, more experienced firms? Our tips below will help you get your event proposal noticed!

Use These Tips To Get Your Event Proposal Noticed!

#1 – Do Not Use A One-Size-Fits-All Proposal

A quick Google search will give you hundreds of proposal templates that can easily be filled in with your information. Although these might provide a good starting point, your proposal won’t stand out if it looks the same as everyone else’s. Each client is unique, but most importantly YOUR event planning business is unique.

Showcase your style and tie it into the client vision. The effort that you put into personalizing your proposal will indicate to the client the level of detail and customization they can expect from working with you.

#2 – Include Images & Design

The old idiom, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” rings true for event proposals. Images capture the client’s attention and can help you to better communicate your vision for the event. In 2015, the average adult attention span was 8 seconds that’s shorter than a goldfish’s attention span! So maximize the short time you have by making sure your proposal is eye-catching and engaging for your reader.

Think about including people in your pictures to help the client imagine themselves at the event. If you can use high-quality images from past events instead of stock photos, that’s even better.

Your images should complement the story you’re telling throughout your proposal. In addition, think about consulting a graphic designer to help polish your work. A small investment up front to improve your brand and image could mean big gains and top clients down the line!

#3 – Let Them Know You’re Listening

The worst type of event proposal focuses on the event planning company’s experience and capabilities instead of on the client’s goals and expectations. You might be the best planner in the industry, but if the proposal is all about you, the client is going to have a hard time imagining how you fit into their vision.

Be sure to recap their RFP, highlighting their goals and tying pieces of your proposal back to how those goals will be achieved.

Do your research on their brand and attendee demographics to be sure your proposal has the right tone of voice. Make it clear that customer service is your number one priority and you’re willing to work with them to fulfill their event vision.

In today’s video, we’re talking about how to create an event proposal so clients are calling you back to discuss their event needs.

#4 – Speak With Authority Remember, you are the expert event planner. When making recommendations in your event proposal, avoid wishy-washy language like “I feel” or “we think.” These words can make you sound unsure of your strategy.

In addition, using those pronouns puts focus on you as the author of the proposal instead of the content within the document. Here’s an example: Instead of saying: “I think this floor plan will best facilitate the flow of your event.”

Try saying: “This floor plan will best facilitate the flow of your event.“ Notice the big difference made by removing those two little words? Be sure your proposal conveys confidence in your vision so the client will have confidence in you!

Identify Your Niche Market

#5 – Find Your Niche

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 116,700 event planners in 2016. With a saturated market and many big players, it’s important to differentiate yourself from the competition. This may mean narrowing down your scope to become an expert in one particular industry or type of event.

Take a moment for self-reflection. A past career may help you relate to professionals within a specific industry. Your passions and hobbies can be capitalized on to add a unique touch to your planning. Maybe you identify with a particular community and can focus on being the go-to event planner for them.

When you craft that unique value, it will shine through in the design and layout of your proposal… and will likely lead to referrals from other clients that fit into that niche!

#6 – Include Budget Options We’re going to let you in on a little secret – most companies aren’t 100% sure what their budget should be when they send out a request for proposal.

It’s likely that they are also using the RFP process to weigh their options and help finalize spending for their event.

Give Them Options

So, providing budget options in your proposal will demonstrate your flexibility while helping you showcase the range of things you’re capable of. Start with the most expensive option first.

That way, the client feels like they’re getting a deal when they ultimately choose your middle-of-the-road option (which should align closely with their initially stated budget). This section of your proposal should also include ways you’ll be helping your client earn revenue from the event. For example:

  • Detail the ways you plan to attract sponsors to the event. How will sponsorship signage, booths, or giveaways seamlessly fit in with the rest of the event?
  • Suggest tiered ticketing prices, including deals for early-bird specials or buying multiple passes. An online ticketing platform can make managing this super easy. Plus, if you manage ticket sales online, you can promise your client a report including contact information so that they can re-engage with attendees after the event!
  • Offer merchandising options. Sales of t-shirts, water bottles, or other souvenirs not only provide added revenue during the event, but also serve to promote brand awareness as people use them in the future.

If possible, include statistics from your previous events in the budget section as well. Perspective clients feel more comfortable with your capabilities when they see you achieved a 200% ROI or increased attendance by 45% year over year.

In the comments below, let us know…

What questions do you have about event proposals?

Or, if you’ve had success with a unique event proposal idea, share your insight in the comments below!

Thanks for your insights and for helping the thousands of event planners that join us every week.

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6 Comments

  1. Avatar Ucha G May 22, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    Great article, finding one’s niche is important in my opinion. I think it provides a great opportunity for one not only to gain more focused experience in a specific type of event planning, but to also develop a steady list of clients and whatnot so they can be called upon in future work.

    Reply
  2. Avatar Sara August 16, 2018 at 11:12 pm

    Really helpful post. This will help people new in the industry to grow their business. I’ll try these tips in my next proposal.

    Reply
    1. Avatar Event Planning Blueprint August 17, 2018 at 8:26 am

      Glad they’re helpful, let us know how they work for you!

      Reply
  3. Avatar Florentia June 3, 2019 at 9:43 am

    Hello, thank you for the video. I would like to ask a couple of questions
    1. What is a mock setup? I am sorry, English is not my first language
    2. A proposal shouldn’t be written in a formal way? Like how far can you go on designing the layout etc?

    Reply
    1. Avatar Event Planning Blueprint June 3, 2019 at 10:31 am

      Hi Florentia,

      A mock up is when you create a (pretend) event for photo purposes so you can show your work and take professional images and videos. Your proposal should reflect the event and client in terms of layout, design and information required. We include a professional proposal here so you know exactly what you need: https://eventplanningblueprint.com/eventplanningtemplates

      Reply

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