You’ve likely been managing your own personal finances for years, so it might be tempting to just apply the same principles you use for your personal finances to your business. But there are important differences to consider.
Writing event proposals is an artform. Those who can do it effectively are going to get gigs, while those who don’t will struggle to book solid work — even if they know they’d do a great job throwing the event.
Furthermore, not all clients are going to have the same standards when it comes to proposals. Here’s how to write a proposal for an event that even picky clients will love.
Don’t Use a Cookie-Cutter Event Proposal Template
You want to stand out as the best choice when you’re writing an event proposal. Do you think that’s going to be the case when you use the first free template you find online? Almost certainly not.
To get people to take you seriously, you need to create an event planning template that does a few critical things. First, you want it to have an appealing layout that conveys all essential information at a glance. It should follow a logical order and provide sufficient detail, while also not being too text heavy. Incorporating photos from past events and other visual items like renderings can be effective when done well. It’s a good idea to have a few people you trust look over your template before you send out any proposals so you can catch any mistakes before the client does.
You’re going to bring your own energy to the event, and clients want to see that every step of the way — including in your proposal. Incorporate branding when appropriate. This can mean logos, fonts, and overall design. It’s fine to draw inspiration and use ideas from templates you find online. But the template you ultimately create needs to be your own if you want it to dazzle potential clients.
Consider Your Word Choice
The words you use can sometimes be just as important as what you’re trying to communicate. For example, it’s important that you sound engaged and excited about working with potential clients. No one is going to be interested in hiring you if you just ramble on without telling them exactly why you’re the right person for this specific job.
It’s also imperative for you to think about what words you choose to describe the client. Do a little bit of background research to see how they talk about themselves online. Using some of the same language can affirm that you’ve done your homework and understand their wants and needs.
Prioritize the Client’s Vision
At the end of the day, the client wants to be satisfied with your services. There’s no way for them to know how well you’ll meet their expectations if you’ve never worked together in the past. You’re going to do a much better job convincing them of your capabilities if you address their vision in your proposal.
Run through all the things they’re looking for from their event. Strategically plan how you want to address all of them in your event proposal. It’s important to prioritize based on what you anticipate the client will be most passionate about.
For instance, if you’re creating a wedding planner business proposal, check off all the must-haves on the couple’s list. If they want a more traditional wedding on a mid-range budget, don’t suggest they have the ceremony on top of the Eiffel Tower. On the flip side, if a potential client says a unique location is important to them, don’t say they should have the reception in a hotel banquet hall.
You also don’t want to dedicate a ton of space to raving about the special embossed napkins you’ll have for the event. That’s a nice feature, but it’s not going to make or break the whole proposal. Instill confidence in potential clients by giving the most space to the most important elements of the plan — and work in descending order from most important to least important.
Show Why You’re Right for the Job
You know you’re the right person for the job. But how will the client know that? There’s a saying that’s about as old as time itself that always rings true: Show, don’t tell. But isn’t an event proposal supposed to be all about telling? That’s a critical assumption that’s going to cost you clients.
The words on your event planning proposal are there to give concrete details about just that — your plans. How you execute is what’s going to show the client you’re the right fit.
Everything needs to be tight. If there are mistakes in your proposal, the client is going to assume you’ll also have issues when it comes to running their event. This is another area where photos can give you a big boost. It’s one thing to say you’ll do X, Y, and Z for the client. It’s a lot more convincing when you can show a picture of you doing those things at another event in the past. Not only will this lend you legitimacy, it’ll give the client a clearer idea of what to expect.
Give Accurate Price Estimates
Cost is one of the biggest points of contention when it comes to event planning. You want to make a reasonable amount of money for your services, while the client is often going to think you’re asking for too much.
Just because pricing is a tough bridge to cross doesn’t mean you should avoid doing it. You want to give accurate price estimates in your event proposal for a few reasons. Most importantly: there’s no reason to waste everyone’s time if the price isn’t going to work out. It’s a good idea to itemize your budget so the client can see how much is being allocated to each element. Doing this will give the client a better reference for what they’re going to get for their money. Be ready to back up every price point you propose, too.
Include Policies and Conditions
It’s important to let the client know your policies and conditions as soon as possible. For example, always address how you handle cancellations. You don’t want the client to call you the day before the event to call it off. By that point, you’ll already have put in tons of work into getting things in place. Having a policy that only lets the client cancel before a certain timeframe ensures that you’ll still get paid even if they have a last-minute change of heart.
Do You Need Insurance When Planning an Event?
It’s essential that you show the client you’re insured. Most people aren’t going to hire you unless you can provide them with a Certificate of Insurance or some other proof that you’re covered against liability.
When you get events and entertainment insurance from Thimble, you’re going to be getting a form of General Liability insurance. This type of insurance protects against two important types of liability: bodily injury and property damage. So, if a third party suffers property damage or bodily injury as a result of your participation in an event, your policy will kick in to cover the costs so that you — or the client hiring you — will not be forced to pay out of pocket.
How Do You Report a General Liability Claim?
Hopefully your event goes off without a hitch. But if an accident occurs, you need to report your General Liability claim as soon as possible. The first step is always to make sure everyone at the scene is safe and you’ve complied with law enforcement. Once, that’s been done, contact Thimble’s partner organization Market Insurance Company. You can email email@example.com, call them at 800-362-7535, or fax 855-662-7535. You’ll need to provide them with these things:
- Name, email, and phone number
- Name of policy holder
- Policy number
- Name of claimant (third-party)
- Date and location of incident
- Description of incident
- If applicable, the location of insured items
- Any other relevant documentation
Once all information has been verified, you should immediately get cleared for reimbursement. Again, it’s essential you take care of this at your first opportunity, as some states have a statute of limitations on how long you have to report a claim.
Who Should Get Events & Entertainment Insurance?
Whether you’re an event planner, promoter, comedian, wedding planner, caterer, or street performer, you want to limit your liability when working. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of plans available that can fit your needs and budget. You can find rates as low as $5/hour, $10/day, and $29/month for a zero-deductible, $1 million policy.
An event proposal is your way of leaving a shining first impression on a client, so it’s key that you put your best foot forward. Following these guidelines can help your proposals stand out from the rest.
Explore Thimble’s flexible General Liability insurance for event planners today!
Our editorial content is intended for informational purposes only and is not written by a licensed insurance agent. Terms and conditions for rate and coverage may vary by class of business and state.