Learning how to write an event brief can help you avoid many of the common challenges that come with planning an event.
Putting together a successful event that runs smoothly means meeting budget, timeline, and staffing goals while ensuring a great experience for attendees. And an event brief can serve as a key resource that sets the right expectation with stakeholders and keeps your ground team on the right track!
In this article, we’ll go over the definition and importance of preparing an event brief. We’ll also share 11 steps to creating a brief specifically tailored to your next event. Finally, we’ll provide an event brief template you can use to bring your idea to life.
So, what is an event brief?
An event brief or overview is a document that acts like a general overview or description of your event. You should create an overview before every event you organize because it can help serve as a map for team members, inform stakeholders, and keep you on the right course.
A typical event creative brief includes information about the event, but we’ll cover these in detail later on. But, note that your event brief format may vary depending on the type of event. So, you may have to include or remove different sections from the template depending on your specific case.
Organizing an event requires a lot of resources and a huge amount of planning.
Besides deciding on all the event basics, you need to delegate every possible task and create a team schedule. You also have to come up with marketing ideas, set measurable goals, and take steps to make sure that everything runs smoothly.
Having an event brief can help you avoid major issues that can unravel your entire event. For instance, booking the wrong dates, choosing an inconvenient location, or not having backup speakers in place.
That's where your brief comes in handy. It can work as a cornerstone that sets the tone, holds contributors accountable, and encourages your team to stick to the plan.
Before we get started, it’s important to note that an event brief is one of the first resources you need to create. Your event description will contain crucial information about the audience, venue, and general costs.
We've included a downloadable template in this article to help you create a brief for your own event. It will guide you through the process from beginning to end and make organizing future events much easier.
Now let's dive into our 11 steps to writing an event brief!
Your first task is to outline the crucial details of your event and create an event description. This is a very important element for your event overview. This means that it should appear on the first page and be easy to spot by your team members.
In short, you must think about the who, what, where, and when in the context of your event. Once you answer these basic questions, put together a list of essential details. This will help you decide on the length and style of your brief.
Your list of critical details should include things like:
What’s the purpose of your event? Is it bringing intrinsic value to your company or organization? And how does it guide everyone to the main goal?
Identifying the elements that make your event stand out will help you answer all questions. The idea here is to decide what strategic outcome you want to achieve by the end of your event. You may even choose more than one goal for every group of event participants, from attendees to the special guests themselves.
A great way to define the importance of your event is to find your North Star Metric. In short, this is a quantifiable value that summarizes the goal of your event experience. Some examples of performance indicators you can use as north star metrics include:
One of the reasons why your brief serves as a map is that it includes both long-term as well as short-term objectives that help you reach the final point.
This only works, of course, if you have a well-defined set of achievements you want to attain.
While it may sound like creating detailed goals would be easy, this actually requires careful planning. The key is to think about the effect that you want your event to have. In other words, think about how you want the organization, stakeholders, and attendees to feel after the event.
Similarly to your north star metric, you should choose a goal that’s measurable in order to track your progress easily. Some examples of event goals include:
Besides establishing a reasonable set of goals, consider the steps you need to take to get there. This will guarantee that you can achieve your goals while staying within budget.
A detailed budget will give your management team a clear idea of the resources at its disposal. It can also help those involved make better decisions later on. For example, if a speaker cancels, the budget may help decide which backup guest speaker you need to invite.
Take the time to list out every individual cost you’ll need to cover when planning out your budget. If necessary, get in touch with your venue, discuss a potential date for your project, and request quotes from the different providers in order to establish an accurate estimate.
The event budget is a critical resource for everyone involved. So, you need to make it accessible and update it as soon as there are changes to make sure that your management team has the most accurate information.
Next, you need to illustrate and document your attendee personas. In short, a persona is a description of a fictional character that depicts your ideal event participant.
Personas are a great resource for both your brief and your actual event action plan. That said, you have to analyze the demographics and psychographics of the people you want to attract in order to identify their needs and wants.
Then, you need to create a symbolic persona that includes all of the elements of your ideal attendee. Note that there is no limit to the number of personas you can create for each event. You just need to ensure that each demographic is different enough to require its own character.
Even if their responsibilities are clearly outlined, it’s difficult for your team to help you achieve your event’s goals without knowing its theme.
After all, your event is an experience, so you need to articulate a theme and verify that your supporting cast fully understands its role.
Articulating the central theme of your event can be defined as the process of transforming your vision into a stylistic guide. This should include the look and feel, as well as ultimately add value to the experience of your attendees.
Here are a few elements you want to include in your look and feel guide:
You have to establish an event team to help you take care of all tasks, regardless of the size of your project.
Start by putting together a list of roles and defining the responsibilities that each one has to fulfill. Make sure to verify the contact information of every team member involved, then start delegating tasks to each individual.
In addition to helping you manage your time, delegating tasks will help ensure that your entire team is in sync. When possible, encourage team communication and establish protocols that support staff should follow in case they hit blockers.
At this point, your event planning brief should be filling out nicely. Now, you should start lining up and contacting the event’s speakers or presenters.
It’s important to choose your first-line speakers and backups and start reaching out to all of them. You should start lining up your speakers early, so you can be sure to secure them before their schedules fill up.
Once you have a list of potential speakers, it’s time to get in touch with them. You can send them an email to introduce yourself and the event, along with a short bio of what it is you’d like them to speak about. If they’re available, have them fill out a speaker form that includes their fees and availability.
One of the most important things to do is to plan your agenda. This will give everyone on your team an idea of what they should expect during the event so that they can feel confident in their roles and have a clear sense of purpose.
The first thing you'll want to do is outline your event agenda for each day. Consider including session times, speaker introductions, Q&As, and breaks for networking or other types of breakout sessions that might happen throughout the conference.
By having this guide in place ahead of time, attendees and team members will have a clear map to follow during the event so that everything runs smoothly and everyone is on the same page.
Your staff members have to monitor a huge number of variables, so you need to guarantee that they have all the necessary resources readily available at their disposal. This will help staff members save time and simplify their tasks.
Here are some of the details that your team will want to have available:
You need to keep a close eye on hundreds of different factors while planning an event. In addition to your brief or overview, having an event plan and checklist can help you put together a superb event.
Creating an event plan is a gradual process, so take the time to understand your audience, set your goals, and put together a blueprint that includes all the necessary details.
By now, you understand the importance of writing a comprehensive, effective event brief. It’s the foundation of your event, and it can make or break your conference.
This event brief template will provide you with a solid framework and guide for writing your own brief. Use it to collect the necessary information, keep stakeholders informed, and stay on track during all phases of the planning process!
In summary, an event brief is an essential tool for any event planner. It’s your guidebook and the key to success, so take your time writing it and make sure to include all of the necessary information.
Don’t forget to use this template as a starting point; you can always adjust it based on your specific needs!