As an event planner, it’s not all the time that client knock on your door to seek your services. Often, you will need to pitch your services to a potential customers and it will be alongside other proposals that present more or less the same price. Clients then judge if they want to work with you or not based on what you have presented, depending on what they need. How do you make your business stand out with your proposal? What can you do to make sure customers choose you?
When organizations or corporate accounts look for an event management firm to work with, they will often announce a Request for Proposal (RFP). This is a formal document that lists their specific requirements. If you want to bid, you are asked to submit a proposal that outlines how your company will meet the customer’s needs and why you are the best team to mount the event. It includes details on why you should be chosen versus the other bidders. While the WHAT of your proposal is important, it is often the HOW that gets your client’s attention and, eventually, lead to a contract signing.
Here are some tips on writing a winning event proposal that will convince clients to work with you.
1. Show that you understand what your client wants to happen. By outlinining the event in your proposal, you are demonstrating that you fully grasp the customer’s needs. While this is a good time to offer suggestions, or how you can uniquely tackle his or her requirement, be careful not to give your best ideas away. The key is to get them interested in what you have to say.
2. Give a succint outline of your background in the events scene — include pictures as a visual guide. If you have established names in your organization, list them and their contributions to your company. If you are new to the events management business and don’t have a long list of previous clients yet, this is where you highlight internships and any training you have received in the past.
3. Highlight your products and services. This is your time to shine. Your event proposal is your resume so be sure to use the right proactive words to reinforce your strengths. If you are bidding against a large company, what you can do is present your areas of specialiation and show your client how you can better handle his or her event’s requirements by providing a more personal touch. This is also the right time to present your consultation hours.
4. Lay out your budget for the event. Clients are concerned with the bottom line. How much will it cost them to work with you and are they getting value for their money? When preparing your proposed budget, outline every part of the program that translates to an expense. This will help your target client get a bigger picture of your services, plus contigencies and miscellaneous expenses.
5. Give your proposal a thorough once over. Before submitting your bid to the client, make sure that you’ve reviewed it in detail and check if it has addressed everything mentioned in the RFP. Watch out for grammatical and spelling errors, as well. When you’re confident that it’s good to go, have it printed on high quality paper.
If you’re using a digital proposal, prepare a landing page that’s dedicated solely to your client. Don’t give them a generic link. You want your client to feel special and show that you can address all of his or her needs with a personal touch. Add a fun video and don’t forget a downloadable version of your proposal for easy filing.
Writing an event proposal starts and ends with a solid understanding of your client’s problems and a clear presentation of how you can address this need. As an extra note, if the customer’s RFP has a specific format, it would be smart to emulate that format to show that you truly pay attention. Good luck!