Wow Clients Right From the Beginning!
Working with clients can be difficult. However, creating full-proof proposal with all the details can minimize miscommunication between you and the client about how the event should go. Be prepared to make changes to your proposal, but make it clear that major changes cannot be made once the actual process has started. Creating proposals also helps prevent you from wasting your time and creating a negative experience for both you and your client. Let’s get started!
1. Event One Sheet
Think of this as an overview of the entire event. List the basics, amenities, themes, unique aspects of the event. Briefly, explain why and how this event is exactly the event of their dreams Lastly, give them your estimated budget. Be careful with this number because you won’t be able to go over it with out some serious schmoozing. Plus it’s not professional. I would do this page last. Get your quotes from vendors before submitting the final proposal.
2. The Intro
Explain your vision in the intro. How do you want the event to feel? Why did you choose this particular theme? The guests should feel how when entering the event? What are the guests supposed to get from the event? How will your style enhance the client’s vision? Also make sure to provide a photo that represents something important to the event and your plan. Whether it is a room that you would like to emulate or horse racing for a Derby party, it’s important to include the visual aspect for representation.
3. The Layout
Include a diagram of how you want to set up the room for the event. Include all the important elements that make the event unique. Try to make it to scale if you have a software program, but if not use a stencil a rulers to make the diagram as clean as possible. Leave a little leeway for the client to make some adjustments here, but also make sure you check with the venue for any electricity outlets needed, trip hazards and exit doors that cannot be blocked.
4. The Menu
Knowing the menu up front can make the planning process much easier. I would suggest creating a menu that goes with your theme just as a template, but understand that clients may want to change certain things to accommodate allergies, religious beliefs and personal tastes. Just talk to the caterer or chef to get options that don’t change the budget significantly.
5. The Wow Factor
I always like to include a page or two of just cool pictures that explain my vision. From floral arrangements to some of the dessert options to violinists and similarly set venues. It’s important for clients to be able to visualize what you are thinking. Also, it gives them a chance to give direct input. If they really like something you can take that picture directly to your vendors, or if they don’t it gives you the opportunity to get into the nitty gritty of what they envision. Take the time to go through each photo with your client. It will make a difference.
6. Event Timeline
The timeline is important because clients do not always realize how long it can take to contract and schedule vendors. Show them in a time line when they have to have decisions made for the vendors; when deposits and invoices need paid; set up begins and when each vendor should be working on their event. The more organized you are, the easier the entire process will be for them, because they are usually working on other aspects of the event like raising money, cataloging RSVPs, advertising. So more the information the better.
7. Budget Breakdown
This page will be the most important page to the client. Make sure it is easy to read and understand. Break down each and every thing the client is paying for and which vendor is supplying it. Also include any tax and shipping/ delivery fees that need to be paid. Being transparent here means no surprises for the client later. Be open and upfront with the client about the vendors you work with and allow for adjustments if they want to use their sister’s best friend to bake the cake instead. Make sure to follow up with any adjustments you make to this page for client approval.
Once the client has approved your proposal, budget, and vendor list, include your business contract for them to sign. The contract should be professional and states all of your fees, preferred payment methods, and cancellation policies. Get at least a 20% deposit to secure their date and for you to continue working on their event.
Voila! You have now created a perfectly flawless event proposal. Congratulations.