Stop viewing event proposals as a necessary evil and start embracing them as opportunities to transform your relationship with your clients, team and suppliers. Not only does getting your vision on paper help organize your ideas, goals and budget, it will set the tone for entire project. Clients will view you as prepared, knowledgeable and understanding of their wants and needs. Smart Meetings talked to experts in the field and found out their secrets for writing winning event proposals.

Step 1: The Format

Proposal templates abound, but many planners warn against using them. This is because your event proposal is a chance to introduce yourself, your style and your voice—everything that makes you stand out from other competitors. Relying on a pre-made template may take away from showcasing your individuality.

Make sure to include your name, contact information and logo (if you have one) on the cover page, so clients immediately know whose proposal they’re viewing from the start.

Step 2: The Details

You’ve explained why your work is superior. Now it’s time to demonstrate that with a strong logistics page that outlines roles and responsibilities. Explain what you personally will be providing and what your role will be. If the client will need to do anything themselves, mention that, even if it may seem obvious.

Show that you understand what the client is looking for and that you listened to their initial ideas. While you will ultimately take the reins, you don’t want to propose ideas and accidentally ignore their thoughts. If you can, expand on their ideas—everybody loves a “yes, and…” response.

Step 3: The Bottom Line

Money is one of the most important aspects of a proposal, but some people feel awkward talking about it. Remember that you are providing services and your expertise requires compensation. Payment is part of the plan, so don’t sell yourself short when quoting a price for your services.

While it may be tempting to write the grand total at the bottom, it will be more beneficial to break down every cost, from table linens to lights and ice sculptures. Don’t leave any detail out. This will enable the client to set priorities and understand the true value. You are also letting them know that they have the final say in what stays or goes—and everybody will feel that they’ve won.