If you are an event planner and I asked you how frequently you have an effective event brief from your client, it’s quite probable that you would answer along these lines:
- Always, if you are willing to consider as a brief an email of not more than 10 lines with the basic information.
- Hardly ever, in fact I think I’ve won something in the lottery more often …
- ¿A brief? HAHAHAHAHA… You must be joking!
You might not believe it but… great pre-event briefs really do exist! The problem is that too often, our daily hustle and bustle makes the brief one of those “We’ll do it next time., when we’re not running late” tasks.
But if you think that you don’t have time to have a brief for your event, you’re wrong. You don’t have time NOT to have a brief for your event!
What is an event brief and what should it include?
A brief (or briefing, if you prefer) is the summary of the main aspects of the event. It will be the framework for you to work from, enabling you to design an incredible but down-to-earth proposal, saving everyone a lot of time and reaching the desired outcome. So whether you are an event agency or someone who is planning any kind of event, here is a checklist of what to include in an event brief:
Description of the company or brand: gather information about its history, values and personality.
Goals: What effect do we want to have on our participants? Educational, recreational, team-building, promotional… This will help us determine what type of event is best suited.
Target audiences: Make sure to include not only demographic data such as number of participants, position, VIP attendees, age group, nationalities, special needs… But also what motivates them to take part in the event, how they feel about the product/company and if there have been any problems in the customer-brand relationship. This information will be crucial when defining fundamental aspects of the event. For example, knowing the approximate number of participants will help us narrow our search for the perfect venue.
Positioning: How do we want the participants to feel after attending the event? What conclusions do we want them to reach?
Messages we must communicate during the event to achieve this positioning.
Tone: Use the appropriate tone (fun, informative , formal, creative,…) according to the profile of our attendees and the desired effect. Does the event have a theme?
Timing: Go beyond the designated information such as date, duration, venue… and find out just how flexible these aspects are. Take into account details such as the day of the week and timeframe, since they will also influence the event’s approach. And don’t forget to integrate the event within the company’s global communication strategy!
Program and content, considering if there will be activities that require special logistics. There is a long way to go before preparing the rundown, but being aware of the event’s main milestones from the beginning will help us consider the suppliers we will need to hire.
Budget: The design, production and logistics included in the proposal must be, first and foremost, affordable and doable. Therefore it is essential to know from the start what budget we are working with. It’s also important whether the event is free for attendees or not.
Team and responsibilities including contact persons from both the client and other external collaborators participating in the event.
Social and legal aspects, including codes of conduct, requirement of special permits, protocol issues, cultural contexts…
Background information: If the event has been held in the past, do some research about the strengths and weaknesses of the previous editions.
Don’t be intimidated by this checklist! Remember that all this information will boost your productivity and allow you to provide creative, sensible and down-to-earth solutions that are timely and fit in with the budget.
Who does the event brief?
Last-minute events are increasingly common. But as professional event planners, it is ultimately our responsibility to have a good event brief. So don’t even think about using “The clients didn’t give me a brief” as an excuse! Perhaps they expect us to ask all the necessary questions… They may not know what information we need… Or maybe they are just too busy taking care of their own customers! So if we want to be a true partner for our clients, we must have their backs in everything related to their event and that includes completing the brief, whether it is insufficient or non-existent. After all, that’s what we are here for!
Do I need a brief for every event?
Yes, but no.
Yes, in the sense that it is the basic tool to understand what is needed. Without an event brief, we might come up with very interesting, although ineffective proposals.
However, regularly providing excellent service allows you to establish a close relationship with the client, working as an extension of their team. In these cases, you’ll have such a great understanding of their needs that the client brief is frequently summed up in a simple email.
That’s how we like to do things at Akadama Events. (No, we don’t mean having 10-line briefs 😉 ). We want to be more than your Event Management company. We strive to be a trustworthy partner who understands your needs and provides solutions that maximize your company’s potential. So if you need to organize any type of event, tell us what you have in mind and let us see how we can help!