Steps on How to Write a Proposal for an Event (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published May 19, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Event planning is a suitable career option for people who are interested in and skilled at organizing various events, such as milestone celebrations and formal meetings. It's a competitive field where interpersonal communication and organizational skills are necessary. Learning how to write event proposals is important to achieve success as an event organizer. In this article, we discuss how to write proposal for an event, define an event proposal, discuss its importance, and provide tips to create one.

Related: How to Become an Event Planner in 5 Steps (With FAQs)

What is an event proposal?

An event proposal is a document an event planner or organizer submits to a client that provides a detailed view of the plan for and outcome of an event. It enables the organizer to present their ideas through the use of written content, images, and videos. It also includes information about them such as their experience, skills, and other important qualifications. A proposal helps the potential client envision their event and ultimately decide if they want to work with the event planner.

How to write a proposal for an event

If you are wondering how to write a proposal for an event, here are the steps to writing an event proposal:

1. Arrange an initial meeting with the client

It's important to schedule a meeting with your potential client before drafting an event proposal. A conversation about their event allows you to gather the information you need to create a comprehensive proposal. It also helps you establish rapport with them, which is important if they decide to hire you as their event planner.

Strive to make a good first impression on your initial meeting with the client. You may be one of several event organizers they are considering hiring. As a result, how you project yourself can affect your chances of getting the job. Dress appropriately and conduct yourself in a professional yet friendly manner. Remember that your main goal in this first meeting is to know your client and understand their needs, so make sure to ask the right questions and note their answers.

2. Write a comprehensive event description

The event description usually contains a clear and orderly summary of the client's needs and objectives for their event. It's an important part of your proposal because it helps reassure your potential client that you understand what they want to happen and that you're there to make their vision a reality. Make sure to include all the relevant information you gathered during your initial meeting with them, such as:

  • Basic details like the nature of the event, its date and time, and the number of guests

  • Their budget for the event

  • Possible locations or venues

  • Ideas for layout, seating arrangement, theme, colour scheme, and decorations

  • Ideas for food and entertainment options

  • A list of vendors that includes their preferences and your suggestions

  • Proposed structure for the event

3. Showcase your work as an event planner

An event proposal is an effective marketing tool that many event organizers implement to attract clients. When creating your proposal, include a short but detailed summary of your event planning career. Provide a brief history that reflects your years of experience in the business and a description of what you do. It's also a good idea to mention relevant information about yourself, such as the skills you have that help you plan and manage events successfully.

Other information you can include in this part of the proposal include:

  • Your educational background

  • Trainings

  • Certifications

  • A short list of notable previous projects

  • Membership in relevant associations

  • Professional references

  • Details about your event planning business, such as its registered name and address

  • Contact details

Related: How to Get Into Event Planning (With Skills and Tips)

4. Specify the services you can provide

This section of the proposal has two parts. The first part is a list of your general responsibilities as the event organizer. If the client's event has multiple functions, create headings and then outline the services you can provide for each one. If it's a smaller event, providing a list of your duties is enough. Make sure to indicate the possible vendors and locations for the event and include pictures if you can.

The second part contains more details about your services. Create sub-headings for each part of the event, such as catering, set-up for the venue, entertainment, registration for guests, program, and clean-up. Provide the following information for each section:

  • Services: What the client can expect from you

  • Relevant details: For instance, if the section is about catering, specify the caterer, menu, drink options, and the food service style

  • Cost: This includes your fee and the cost of products and services from vendors

Related: Roles of an Event Organizer (With Tips and Responsibilities)

5. Provide a cost estimate

This section of the proposal has three parts. Identify the budget the client provides during your initial meeting in the first part. The second part is a detailed summary of the costs of each item the event requires. Include a brief description of their individual purpose so your client understands their importance to the event. You may present one list or provide your client with several options that vary in their estimated cost.

The third part contains any discounts the client may take advantage of to lower the cost of the event. Including these helps you gain their trust and makes it more likely for them to hire you as their event planner.

6. Provide a timeline

Including a timetable of your work in your proposal is important because it helps reassure your potential client of your ability to plan and manage their event successfully. This part of the event proposal includes the date you intend to start working if they hire you. It also indicates how long it takes for you to meet the targets you set for the event.

7. Explain your policies

It's important for your proposal to contain a section detailing your policies. This helps your client manage their expectations and prevents misunderstandings that may affect the outcome of the event. This section may include your policies concerning cancellations, damage to property, rental of property, refunds, and payments. Make sure to explain each policy and inform the last dates until when the client can decide whether to accept your proposal or not.

8. Thank your potential client

End with a page thanking your potential client for the opportunity to develop an event proposal. Make sure that your message is personal by addressing them directly. Emphasize your interest in working with them to ensure the success of their event. Remember to include your contact details for faster and easier communication.

What is the importance of an event proposal?

Creating an event proposal is the first step in event planning. It helps both the event organizer and the client in the following ways:

  • Defines the event organizer's scope of work so the client knows what services to expect

  • Sets the client's expectations of the event

  • Helps with managing expenses by providing details on the approximate cost of various products and services the event requires

  • Enables the client and event planner to work together more effectively

  • Provides a way for an event organizer to advertise their business

Tips on creating an event proposal

Here are several tips on how to write proposals for events:

Understand what the client wants

A well-researched proposal can help you retain a client, so make sure to put in the necessary work when creating your plan for their event. Understanding what a client wants is the first step towards writing a detailed proposal that meets their expectations. You can send the client an event questionnaire which contains the relevant details for the project. You can also schedule a meeting or have a quick call with them to get the information you need.

Acquaint yourself with your clients and their needs

It's possible to come across clients who are still deciding what they exactly want. To better understand their needs, here are some of the areas to focus on:

  • The kind of event they're planning to do

  • The significance of the event to them

  • Their goals

  • Their working budget

  • Any ideas they may have about the affair

Considering these areas helps you have a clearer vision of your client's needs and preferences and increases your chances of being their potential event organizer. Make sure to document the important details of your correspondence because these are your guide to developing your proposal.

Prioritize your client's vision

Your main responsibility as an event planner is to ensure the satisfaction of your client. Make sure your proposal contains many, if not all, of their ideas and preferences. Ask for a list of requirements - the non-negotiable details they consider necessary to include in their event. If some of their preferences are unavailable, provide suggestions that still align with their vision.

Deliver a proposal that tells a story

Storytelling is one of the best ways to present an event proposal because it gives your client a clear vision of the event. Present the information you have clearly and creatively by making use of colourful descriptions and images that match their preferred theme. You can also create and include a video presentation if that's a format you can properly execute. Make sure you convey the important details of the event, emphasize their ideas, and follow the event structure when you deliver your proposal.

Explore more articles