Writing a business proposal for event planning (including specialties such as wedding planning, event management, entertainment, food catering, corporate retreats and so on) is pretty straightforward.
All of these situations are examples of businesses selling a service; so these proposals will all fall under the general category of business proposals offering services.
Most proposals offering services, regardless of the type of business, follow a similar structure: introductions, then a summary of the client's needs, followed by descriptions of the services and costs and information about the service provider and their credentials and capabilities.
For event planning proposals, you will also usually need to include detailed information pertaining to the specific event, such as the venue, entertainment being provided, amenities at the site, schedule, and so on.
If you are new to proposal writing, one thing to note is that a price list is not a substitute for a proposal. A proposal is a sales document meant to help persuade your potential clients to give you their business. To do that, you must instill trust that you can deliver the services that clients need. It's not all about just giving them a price quote.
Before you start creating a proposal for your client, you should gather enough information about the client to present a proposal that is truly tailored to that client's needs, as opposed to just sending every client an identical sales letter. A tailored proposal stands a much better chance of being accepted by the client.
So, following the general order described above, you should start out with a Cover Letter and Title Page to introduce yourself. The Cover Letter should be a brief message that shows your company contact information and delivers a personal introduction. The Title Page should introduce your proposal and name the specific event you are discussing.
Next, add some topics that show that you understand the needs of your client. Depending on how large an event you are presenting a plan for, you may or may not need to include a detailed summary. For a complex event that needs a summary, this proposal section is normally called an Executive Summary for corporate clients, or a Client Summary for a less formal project. This is where you talk about your specific prospective client and show your understanding of their requirements as well as their goals and desires, and any restrictions or limitations you are aware of. This is not yet the place where you talk about yourself. Put the client first.
Follow the introductions and client information with your Services Provided, Benefits, Services Cost Summary pages and any other topics you need to discuss that describe exactly what you are providing and how much it will cost.
Many types of event proposals may also require specialized topics. This is where you would add pages with pertinent details, such as descriptions of the Events, Venue, Amenities, Entertainment, Performers, Presenters, Samples, Equipment, Rentals, Schedule of Events, Fundraising, Volunteering, Security, Permits and Licenses, and so on. You may also want to provide information about your staff members or about other organizations you will coordinate with to stage the event.
A wedding planner may have to deal with many different topics at once, such as catering for pre-wedding or post-wedding meals as well as receptions, flowers and other decorations, rentals of facilities and furnishings, professional hosts and/or musical performers with their associated equipment needs, and setup and post-event cleanup for multiple venues.
A concert promoter may have to deal with performers, scheduling, security, permits, a venue, equipment rentals, sound crews and equipment technicians, ticket sales, and so on.
A music DJ for small parties may only have to deal with equipment and samples of his work.
A corporate event planner may have to deal with hotel amenities, conference facilities, transportation and parking issues, scheduling, presenters, staffing, and so on.
The final information sections you should provide in your proposal are your company details. This is where you would put your About Us / Company History, Capabilities, Our Clients, Testimonials or References pages. This information comes last in the proposal, and your goal is to convince your client that you can be trusted to deliver the services they need.
After you have all the information written for your proposal outline and chapters, you should focus on making your proposal visually appealing. Add some color and graphics by incorporating your company logo, using colored borders, and selecting custom bullet points and fonts that match your business's style.
Once you feel your proposal is complete, make sure to carefully proofread and spell-check all the pages. Have someone who is unfamiliar with your proposal proof it as well. It's very common to quickly scan your own work and miss mistakes.
Finally, you can save your proposal as a PDF file or print it on paper and then deliver it to your potential client. Your delivery method will depend on your business and your relationship with your potential client. Emailing PDF files to clients is very common; however, there are times when a printed, signed and hand-delivered proposal can carry more weight. It shows you value that client enough to put in the extra personal effort.
As you can see, an "event planner" proposal can mean something different to everyone who needs to write one, and everyone's needs for what they should include will be different.
The good news is that all event planner proposals follow a similar format and structure, and you can find all the templates you need in a Proposal Pack. And you will also find many sample event planner proposals already written that can help you get started right away.
Ian Lauder has been helping small businesses and individuals write their proposals and contracts for over a decade.: For more tips and best practices when writing your business proposals and legal contracts go to http://www.proposalkit.com