Secret to a Winning Event Proposal: Best Practices, Templates, and Tips from Experts

Virgil Wadhwa
• February 26, 2023

(10 min read)

All events, big and small, start the same way — with a proposal. Stick with us, and we’ll share an irresistible event proposal template that’ll win over stakeholders and kickstart your success.

Events need buy-in. They’re expensive, public, and cross-functional. They need a lot of yeses from stakeholders across your (or another) organization. Thus, to win your stakeholders, you need a solid event proposal template.

Think of your event proposal as your pitch to those stakeholders.

Ace your pitch, and people will rally behind your vision, lending budget, authority, and approval. Get it wrong, however, and… well, best not to think about that.

In this blog, we’ll walk you through winning event proposal templates. We’ll reveal how to write a winning proposal and even give you a sure-fire event proposal template to steal.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this event planning proposal template:

  • What is an event proposal?
  • How to write an event proposal template
  • Event proposal best practices
  • Sample event proposal template
  • Download our event planning proposal template

Let’s get started!

What is an event proposal?

A good event proposal is like a blueprint for your event. It’s a document covering everything from why you’re hosting the event, who you’re inviting, how much you plan to spend, and what you hope it’ll achieve.

How to write an event proposal template

#1 Interview your stakeholders

Successful events start with great research. So, begin by interviewing your stakeholders — the people you’re running the event on behalf of. Your goal is to uncover their challenges, aspirations, event goals and objectives. Once you know what makes them tick, you can design a personalized event proposal.

#2 Identify and research your target audience

Once you know what your stakeholders want, now it’s onto your attendees. (AKA the most important people.) Audience research can make a huge difference, revealing what attendees want from an upcoming event and what they don’t.

Here are some simple tactics to get you started:

  • Attendee surveys: If your stakeholders have run previous events, check out post-event surveys to learn what worked well and what you need to improve.
  • Focus groups: Recruit a handful of potential attendees and use them to validate ideas, brainstorm session topics, and gut-check your plans.
  • Empathy interviews: Run in-depth one-to-one interviews with attendees. Use empathy interviews to push beyond basic survey questions and explore deep-seated challenges, goals, and frustrations.

#3 Include a brief description of your team and sell your expertise

It’s true what they say: people buy from people. Show off your team in your event proposal, their experience, and any unique selling propositions (USPs). Showcase your team’s mettle and make them believe in your abilities as an event planner.

At a minimum, try and cover your:

  • Company mission statement
  • Team members and experience
  • Relevant certifications, licensing, and insurance
  • Successful past events
  • References and testimonials

#4 Pitch the event

As an event planner, you usually only get one opportunity to pitch an event, so your presentation has to be clear, concise, and convincing. Approach your presentation methodically, breaking the event description down into short sections:

  • Recap the need: Why does this event deserve to go ahead? Pull everything back to your attendees and what they want from an event.
  • Define your objectives: Get specific about what you hope to achieve. Is it pipeline and revenue? Press coverage? Customer engagement?
  • Outline your event concept: Sell your vision. Describe the event, sessions, and experience. Make it immersive and help stakeholders feel like they’re already there. 
  • Explain the logistics: Prove you have the operational chops to pull off your event by summarizing the behind-the-scenes logistics.

#5 Include an event promotion plan in your event proposals

“If you build it, they will come” is not a viable marketing strategy. As an event planner, you need to show Stakeholders how you’ll generate interest. Give a brief event description of your event promotion plan and, where possible, use data from past events to back up costs and impact.

#6 Discuss budget and cost breakdown

A credible team and inspiring pitch will get you so far… but if the dollars and cents don’t make sense, that’s where your journey ends. Keep your client’s budget in mind, and then build a template accordihly. Then offer event stakeholders a breakdown of your budget. You don’t need to go into a ton of detail, but walk them through your event planning process and different spending categories like technology, sponsorship, and speakers.

PS, don’t forget to consider your service fees while proposing a budget.

#7 Share (tentative) sponsorship opportunities

No one is expecting you to have secured sponsors before you’ve got the green light. However, great event planners are always thinking ahead. Including an event sponsorship template in your proposal will help your potential client see your pitch as a viable investment.

#8 Forecast the impact and post-event outcomes

Your event’s a vanity project if you’re not moving the needle for your potential client. And vanity projects get cut like dead wood. Use past data to forecast the event’s impact. Check out our blog on calculating return on events for more information on demonstrating impact.

#9 Showcase your previous work

Roll out some of your previous wins to show you can walk the walk. Including some client testimonials will also strengthen your pitch. Don’t automatically go for your biggest events, though. Find comparables — events of the same size, focus, and feel as the one you’re pitching.

You want your stakeholders to look at your previous work and think, “That looks like me. I could have that success, too!” Put yourself in the client’s shoes, and think what could strike an emotional connection between your pitch and your prospective clients. So, ensure your event proposal showcases some winning moments from your previous events.

#10 Set next steps and make signing easy

A ton of otherwise great event proposals peter out towards the end. But not yours. Master the art of building a professional proposal. And at the end of your proposal, build on your momentum, summarize your pitch, and define the next steps. For complex events, that could be a follow-up meeting. And for simpler events, you could even integrate an e-signature form right in the document.

5 event proposal best practices

#1 Harness the power of storytelling

Facts tell, but stories sell. Use storytelling to entice your stakeholders, stir their emotions, and generate excitement.

Use stories to provide context to your potential clients throughout your proposal. For example, feature a short customer story instead of just saying that an event will increase product adoption. Show how adopting a new feature impacted their business and helped them work faster.

#2 Bring everything back to your goals

We’re living through dicey economic times. Leaders are cutting underperforming programs and slashing budgets.

Thus, every single thing in your proposal should be there for a reason your prospective client’s expectations — to help them achieve those goals and make their event a success. You should be able to explain why each element’s necessary and how it’s going to help you get closer to your goals.

If something doesn’t serve a purpose, cut it like a bad habit. You don’t want any dead weight dragging you down.

#3 Be transparent about budgets

When you’re completing your event proposal template, be upfront, realistic, and transparent about your budget for the client’s event. Don’t try to hide anything or fudge the numbers because that’s going to lead to trouble down the road.

#4 Don’t skimp on design

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover… but we all do. A text-heavy presentation will put people to sleep. On the other hand, an aesthetically pleasing event proposal? That attracts attention and engagement. So keep your it short and to-the-point for an effective event proposal.

#5 Emphasize your uniqueness

As once-trusty channels begin to falter, marketers are turning to events. The problem is, increased adoption means the market’s getting congested. There are more webinars, conferences, and tradeshows than ever before.

If you want to stand out, you need to do something unusual. Start selling your USPs — your unique perspectives, skill sets, visions, and experiences — in your event proposal templates.

Sample event proposal templates

We’ve reviewed dozens of corporate event proposal templates — some good, some bad, and some great. We’ve selected the only the best event proposals to create the most effective event proposal template for event planners and marketers like you.

So let’s start making your perfect event proposal template.

Read on for a pre-filled example of event proposals from the fictional events management company — Catalyst Events.

Who we are

At Catalyst Events, we ignite transformation through immersive event experiences, sparking connections and unlocking the potential to drive lasting impact and growth for individuals, organizations, and communities.

Our team




Sarah Chen

Events Director

With over a decade of experience in the events industry, Sarah’s developed world-class event management skills. After managing events of all sizes, she now helps corporate clients do the same.

Sarah specializes in event strategy and event planning, event marketing, and production management. She has a keen eye for detail, a passion for creating unforgettable experiences for attendees, and an uncanny knack for managing prospective clients’ expectations.

David Ferguson

Events Producer

David has spent the last seven years in production, guiding countless events from concept to delivery.

David’s expertise lies in event logistics, operations, and execution. He’s skilled in managing budgets, event timelines, and vendors.

Nicole Patel

Operations Manager

Nicole has over 15 years of experience in operations and logistics, with a focus on the events industry for the past seven years.

Nicole is an expert project manager, qualified in both PRINCE2 and SCRUM. She has a talent for creating streamlined systems that help events run smoothly.

Why choose us

Immersive experiences

Experience and professionalism

Results-driven approach

Forget beige events. We create engaging, interactive, and meaningful experiences that stick with people for years.

We recruit carefully and retain our best talent. Catalyst Events is known for its attention to detail, excellent communication, and ability to execute complex events.

Our goal isn’t just to run an event, it’s to meet and exceed your objectives. Whether driving sales, fostering relationships, or earning press coverage, we focus on your business priorities.

Our services

Service type




Event Planning and Strategy

Develop tailored event strategies that align with your objectives.

End-to-end strategy development, including theme, messaging, and goals.


Event Marketing

Develop and execute marketing plans for events.

Integrated marketing campaigns, including email, social, and advertising.


Production Management

Manage all aspects of event production, including logistics, vendors, and on-site management.

Comprehensive production planning and management, including pre-event, on-site, and post-event activities.


Attendee Engagement & Experience

Design and delivery of engaging, interactive experiences.

Customized event experiences, including interactive installations, immersive environments, and gamification.


Event overview

Event Name

CMO Summit


The CMO Summit, ClickFuse’s flagship conference, is a must-attend conference for marketing leaders looking to drive innovation and achieve growth.

Proposed Date and Time

September 15–16, 2023

Proposed Venue/ Virtual event Technology (and why?)

The CMO Summit is a hybrid event with in-person sessions at the Wayne Hotel in San Francisco and virtual sessions hosted on Airmeet. 

Audience Persona

Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs), marketing executives, and other senior leaders. Midmarket and enterprise companies. Worldwide but with a North American focus.

Estimated number of attendees

500 in-person attendees and 1,000 virtual attendees.

Key Outcomes / Message

The CMO Summit provides attendees with the latest insights and strategies to help them drive growth.

The event focuses on emerging trends and actionable advice, with a particular emphasis on leveraging automation to drive revenue growth.

Event outcomes



Increased brand awareness

Branded search volume +15%

Pipeline generation

$150,000 in net new pipeline

Product and market insights

10 empathy interviews

Event plan and roadmap




Start and due date

Define event objectives and scope

Set clear goals for the event and define the scope of activities

Event Director

Start date: 01/01/2023

End date: 01/03/2023

Secure a venue and virtual event platform

Choose and book the appropriate event location and virtual platform

Operations Manager

Start date: 01/02/2023

End date: 01/06/2023

Develop event budget

Create an event budget and pricing plans that align with event goals

Event Director

Start date: 01/04/2023

End date: 01/08/2023

Recruit event sponsors and exhibitors

Source and secure sponsors and exhibitors to support the event

Event Producer

Start date: 01/06/2023

End date: 01/15/2023

Develop an event program and agenda

Create event program that aligns with event goals and objectives

Event Producer

Start date: 01/08/2023

End date: 01/20/2023

Secure keynote speakers

Book industry thought leaders and speakers for the event

Event Producer

Start date: 01/09/2023

End date: 01/25/2023

Promote the event 

Develop and execute marketing and PR plan for the event

Event Director

Start date: 01/12/2023

End date: 02/10/2023

Manage event registration

Oversee the registration process and ensure a positive attendee experience

Operations Manager

Start date: 01/16/2023

End date: 03/01/2023

Manage event logistics

Coordinate all aspects of the event, including set-up and tear-down

Operations Manager

Start date: 02/01/2023

End date: 03/02/2023

Conduct post-event analysis

Evaluate event success and identify areas for improvement

Event Director

Start date: 03/03/2023

End date: 03/15/2023

Event promotion




Start and due date

Social media marketing

Create social media graphics and posts to promote the event

Social Media Manager

Start date: 3 months before the event

End date: 1 week before the event

Public relations

Write and send press releases to relevant media outlets

PR Manager

Start date: 6 months before the event

End date: 1 month before the event

Email marketing

Launch a targeted email marketing campaign to potential attendees

Email Marketing Manager

Start date: 4 months before the event

End date: 1 week before the event

Influencer marketing

Collaborate with industry influencers to promote the event

Partnership Manager

Start date: 5 months before the event

End date: 1 week before the event

Paid advertising

Advertise on relevant industry websites and publications

Marketing Manager

Start date: 3 months before the event

End date: 1 week before the event

Proposed run of show (RoS)


Track / Experience


30 mins

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Jane Smith, CEO of ClickFuse

60 mins

Automation / Keynote Speech 

John Doe, CMO of Atlas Inc.

30 mins

Automation / Q&A with Keynote Speaker

John Doe, CMO of Atlas Inc.

15 mins

Networking Break


60 mins

Forecasts / Panel Discussion on Emerging Marketing Trends

Mary Johnson (CMO of Wayne Enterprises), Tom Lee (CMO of Acme Corp.), and Susan Aitken (CMO of Stark Industries)

30 mins

Customer Experience / Fireside Chat with Marketing Industry Influencer

Susan Aitken, CMO of Stark Industries

15 mins

Networking Break


45 mins | Session: 

CX / Interactive Workshop on Customer Experience

Tom Lee, CMO of Acme Corp

30 mins

CX / CMO Roundtable Discussion

All CMO speakers

15 mins

Closing Remarks

Jane Smith, CEO of ClickFuse

Proposed budget






Venue and Production




Venue rental, staging, lighting, sound, and decor





Advertising, social media, email campaigns, influencer marketing, and PR





Breakfast, lunch, snacks, and refreshments for attendees





Keynote speakers, panelists, moderators, and entertainment





Transportation, staff and volunteer expenses, permits, and insurance

Estimated ticket revenue

Ticket tier



Net Income

Early bird












Download our business event proposal template

Events are significant investments so it’s right that company leaders maintain a high bar, rejecting underdeveloped ideas and selecting only the best proposals. After reading this blog, you should be ready to put together some world-beating event proposals.

You’ve learned how to:

  • Interview stakeholders and research your audience
  • Pitch your team and the event
  • Plan your promotion strategy and discuss budgets
  • Forecast event impact and identify sponsorship opportunities
  • Showcase comparable work and define next steps

If you’re ready to start work on your next proposal, grab your free event proposal templates and get started today.

Frequently asked questions

No, you don’t necessarily require customized event proposals to engage your potential clients. However, there can be instances where your potential or prospective clients might be interested in being a part of your event as a sponsor or as an exhibitor.

Since prospective clients may already be inclined to support or sponsor the event, it’s crucial to tailor the proposal to demonstrate a deep understanding of their preferences and the potential benefits of partnering with your event. This highlights how the event aligns with their goals and improves your likelihood of securing an ideal sponsorship deal.

Event proposals can be optimized for effective lead generation strategies by:

  • Clearly outlining the unique value proposition of the event, which attracts potential leads 
  • Incorporating compelling visuals and testimonials in event proposals helps to build credibility within the target audience
  • Having clear calls-to-action prompts recipients to take the next steps, such as scheduling a consultation or requesting more information

Event planners can include visual elements such as graphics, images, and videos to captivate the reader’s attention and engage potential clients more effectively. Including case studies and client testimonials within the proposal helps build trust and credibility. These real-life examples highlight the positive outcomes achieved for previous clients, emphasizing the value proposition of the proposed event.

Download Event Proposal Template

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