Max Miller reports:
"A good proposal will help put you ahead of 95% of your competition. Mastering this skill can really help your business take off...Planning an event requires a lot of attention to detail, scheduling, organization and [follow-up. By] presenting a well[-]formatted event proposal or RFP, it subliminally shows your potential client that you have the skills they are looking for. Writing a good proposal requires the ability to understand all the fine requirements of the client. Part of the responsibility of a good planner is to create order and produce amazing results even on short deadlines. Clients are [oftentimes] unorganized and nervous about their events. With your experience and professionalism you can make a huge impact on helping clients...Keep in mind that most clients do not know what they want. They are looking for the right event planning company with a vision to assist them in planning a beautiful event...[I]t all starts with a well[-]written proposal that describes the event. As a professional planner or a volunteer, you should be able to sell your skills to the client through a well-researched and well[-]written event proposal...Even if you have an idea of what the client wants or you have planned hundreds of similar events before, the first step is having a one[-]on[-]one conversation with the client to find out what she wants or what she would like to accomplish during the event. During this meeting, take notes of all the logistics such as the time, desired location, date and any other key points. In addition, listen to her/his ideas for the catering, color scheme, theme and other visual elements they would like for the event. Do not write an event planning proposal that reads like a formal letter. The proposal should speak directly to the client needs that you observed during your meeting. Keep in mind that your client is probably looking at a couple of other proposals from different planners and they will pick the one that best understands their needs. Also, ensure that you include your company logo and contact information on the cover page. The proposal title is also very important especially if you are proposing for a specific company. You want to customize the title to your specific client so they do not think you have a template you use for all clients...You can summarize your client’s needs in the title of the event description. It serves as a summary of all the client needs as well as the client’s goals for the event. When a client sees this information right away it brings them reassurance that you understand their desires. The description is generally where you repeat what the client told you about the event but in a more professional and organized way. This shows that you fully understand what they are looking for. Any information that you may have obtained about the event during the first meeting comes in handy; the entertainment options available, the facilities available at the proposed venue and many more. You should also strive to give more helpful suggestions than what the client asked for. You do not want to overwhelm them but you can look for other options that you think the client may like and are within her budget. You can also include images of the venue locations which enables the client to see exactly what they are getting and also gives you a better chance of being hired as most of your competitors are likely to send boring non-custom word documents...A brief summary of yourself or company is important when writing an event planning proposal. It gives the client an idea [of] who you are as well as how long you have been in business. If your client has to get approval from their boss about hiring you it is good information for the decision maker to see. Include your capabilities, brief information about your experience as an even[t] planner and past customer client work that you did a good job on. In case you do not have much experience planning events yet, you can mention any internships, volunteer work, coordination or project management experience in any other field. Ensure that you also mention any other relevant experience or training that you have if you do not have too many hands-on events under your belt...Following the above information, the client will want to know the services you can offer during the event. If the event is extremely large with multiple functions...it is appropriate to have headings for each function then indicate what you can offer in each function...In case it is a smaller event...you might consider creating a bullet point list of your duties as well as the vendor and location you will use. You can attach photos of a similar event you have done in the past to help the client get a clear picture of what you can offer...[Y]ou should summarize [in a 'Services Provided' section] the event in 1 – 3 sentences and then have sub-headings for each part you will take care of...[In] sub-headings you should have a couple [of] sentences about what can take place and an approximate cost for each item. The cost for each item should be the total amount you will charge the client. If you mark up the vendors then be sure to take into account your markup; or if you pass the cost through as is then you can include that amount...Naturally, all clients will look at any event planning proposal in hopes of seeing how much it will cost them to hold an event of their choice. After describing the event in a way that a client can taste, smell and see how amazing it will be, create a section to summarize in detail all the costs or each item as well as their purpose in the event...At the bottom of the sheet, make a detailed computation of all the costs. It can also help to provide any perceived discounts such as discounts for early booking or discounts for multiple bookings at the same time...You can end the proposal by having a page about your policies. This helps to manage your client’s expectations properly...Finally thank the client for the opportunity and remember to provide your contact [information such as a] phone number or email address so that the client can contact you."
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