When a client asks you to pitch an event, the experience can be both exhilarating and nerve-wracking. You’re proud of your ideas, but you’ll only have one chance to get your client onboard.
Pitching your event to clients doesn’t have to be so stressful. In fact, with a little bit of preparation, you can convince the client that you’re the best choice for the job.
Crush your next event pitch — and stop biting your nails — by following these eight simple tips.
Event pitch tip #1: Focus on your client and their objectives
It goes without saying that your client should be at the centre of your pitch. After all, you need their buy-in.
Before making your first move, take at least an hour to research your client and their event. After you understand the client’s challenges, audience, and budget, incorporate them into your pitch.
Event pitch tip #2: Lead with a strong value proposition
With the right amount of research, your event pitch can speak directly to a client’s needs. But too many talking points can lead you astray. To keep your client’s attention, your pitch should centre around a solid value proposition.
A strong value prop provides the client with the most important information they need to make a decision — and make it fast. It’s a clear statement that, should they accept your proposal, they’ll achieve their goals and objectives.
For example, let’s say your client’s greatest challenge is attendee retention. “This event experience will give people a compelling reason to attend year after year” sets the stage and promises the client that their needs have been heard.
Event pitch tip #3: Keep it short
Your client likely has to sit through countless meetings every day. So when it comes to crafting your big pitch, the more concise the better.
In addition to helping you stay on message, your brevity demonstrates respect for your client’s valuable time. But remember: Short doesn’t mean watered down. Stick to the key points that support your value proposition and ignore everything else.
Event pitch tip #4: Tell a story
Don’t rely on your client’s imagination to translate your vision accurately. Instead, paint a vivid picture of the live experience with storytelling.
Humans are hardwired to understand stories. And a well-crafted story can help you build a narrative throughout your deck and hook listeners. It doesn’t have to be complex. But like every good story, it should have a beginning, middle, and end.
One easy way to tell a story is from the attendees’ point of view. Starting from the moment someone discovers the event, describe significant moments in their experience deciding to attend the event and then on the day itself.
Event pitch tip #5: Make it visual
PowerPoint and Google Slides presentations are a great way to pitch your event idea. But if your slides are cluttered with text, your client will have a hard time following along. To be engaging and visually clear, utilise pictures, charts, and graphs to convey complex ideas in your presentation.
You don’t need to pay a graphic designer to create a presentation-perfect deck either. Apps like Microsoft Excel, for example, can help you create simple data visualisations. And sites like Infogram and Canva will help you present information more visually — no Photoshop skills required!
Event pitch tip #6: Don’t skimp on photography
If your pitch deck includes images, leverage a photographer or quality stock photography site — like Twenty20 or iStock — to appeal to clients. High-quality photos can add a human element to your pitch deck and ensure clients see the potential of your event idea.
Check out The Ultimate Guide to Event Photography to discover how images help drive ticket sales.
Event pitch tip #7: Listen, listen, listen
Getting buy-in from your client is great. But getting critical notes on your pitch will do more for you and your career.
After your pitch, don’t shy away from feedback. Ask your client what worked and didn’t work — then listen. If you can identify extra opportunities to create more value for the client, let them know. Maybe it’s a unique relationship with a relevant sponsor, or a vendor you know who can cut you a great deal.
Once you get this feedback, incorporate it into the event. This will show the client you take their opinions seriously and set the foundation for a successful long-term partnership.
Event pitch tip #8: Be humble
The most overlooked part of a great pitch? Saying thank you.
The end of your pitch leaves a strong impression, so it’s important to finish strong. Follow up with a thank you card to everyone involved in the decision-making process.
Deliver on your promises
Once you’ve won your pitch, it’s time to get your event live and drive the sales you promised.
Event management software is an essential part of the event planning process. In addition to selling tickets and registrations online, consider using technology that lets you spend more time crafting the ultimate live experience.
For instance, modern event technology — like Eventbrite — will help you with everything from promotion to your event website.