An event business plan is a handy document to help you focus your efforts as an event organiser. But it’s also a great tool for selling your event idea to potential investors.
Read this guide to learn about all the different sections you should include in your event business plan to make it useful and compelling.
1. Business structure
The structure of your event company and team will go a long way to persuade investors. It doesn’t matter how great your event proposal is if there isn’t a team to make it a reality.
Here’s what you should include in the description of your business structure:
- You and your role as the event organiser
- The event team you’ve recruited (plus their titles and job descriptions)
- What kind of company you’re running (sole trader, partnership, or limited company)
- Which vendors and suppliers you intend to work with
- Your company history and any past achievements
Tip: If your business structure is more complex, use this guide to help you write a description.
2. Event description
The event description is the meat of your business plan. It’s where you really try to sell the concept to potential investors. Take great care to include as many details as possible.
Here’s what you need to address in the event description:
- Mission statement: describe the overall aim of the event and what you hope to achieve before, during, and after the event.
- Objectives and timeline: outline the tasks that need to be done, when they need to be done, who will do them, and how they plan on doing them in order to achieve the overall aim of the event.
- Event programme: describe the programme of the event in detail and provide an overview of the kind of content you intend to provide to the event attendees.
- Target audience: tell investors which demographic you’re trying to reach (include your buyer personas), why your event would appeal to them, and how you plan on marketing it.
- Stakeholders: include any key stakeholders in the event, what their level of involvement is, and how the event will benefit them.
You can also include a bit of history of the event if you’ve organised a similar event in the past. Include all positive results, as well as your plans for expanding on them in the future.
3. Development plan
The event description should compel your potential investors to support the current event. Expand on it with a development plan for the future, and they’ll have dollar signs in their eyes.
- Future vision: show the big picture by describing your vision for the event going forward. Will it be even bigger next year? Will it expand to other countries?
- Strategic development: outline how you plan on making the future vision happen, what the timeline will look like, and who will be involved in the development.
- SWOT analysis: show investors that you’ve thought everything through by providing them with an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of your vision.
Tip: If you don’t have prior experience with it, learn how to conduct a SWOT analysis for events.
4. Event requirements
Use the event requirements to outline what you’ll need to make the event happen. It’ll give investors an idea of how many resources you need and show them you’ve been thorough.
Here are some of the many things you’ll need for your event:
- Facilities: list the venue, catering, travel, accommodation, parking, power, and WiFi.
- Equipment: include sound, lighting, and staging equipment for any performers or speakers.
- Staffing: describe any event, service, security, entertainment, and medical staff you need.
- Legal: outline all the difference licences and insurance policies you need for the event.
- Budget: include some ballpark figures of how much all of the above will cost.
Tip: Read our guide on which event insurance policies you need.
5. Marketing plan
Investors are not the only people you need to sell the event to. Your target audience also has to know about it. In turn, your investors will want to know how you plan on getting the word out.
Here are some considerations you should make when formulating your marketing plan:
- Positioning: define your USPs and how you will position your event in relation to your competition.
- Ticketing: outline how much your tickets will cost and how you plan on distributing them.
- Promotion: specify which channels (such as email, direct mail, SEM, and social media) you will use to promote the event and reach your audience.
- Public relations: identify the media outlets you will reach out to and how you will persuade them to feature your event.
- Budget: estimate how much it will cost to promote the event as a whole.
Tip: You can download this event marketing template to help outline your plan.
6. Financial plan
It takes money to make money, but anyone investing theirs in your event will want to know if you can manage it. Write up a financial plan for how you’ll manage the event budget.
Outline all your possible sources of income from the event:
- Exhibition space sales
Then list all your predicted expenditures:
- Venue hire
- Equipment rental
- Speakers and entertainers
- Signage and decoration
- Apps and software
Tip: Read our guide on how to plan an event budget to help you estimate the cost of your event.
7. Wrapping it up
Now that you’ve covered all the important sections in your event business plan, it’s time to wrap it up and make it look nice.
Here are the sections you should include before and after the sections we’ve just covered:
- Front cover: include the event name and logo, the title of your business plan, and your contact details.
- Contents: create a table of contents that outlines all the different sections of your event business plan.
- Executive summary: write the entire business plan in a condensed format that covers all important details but only takes a few minutes to read.
- Appendices: include appendices in the back if you have any additional notes, reports, or research that’ll complement your business plan.
Tip: You can read this guide on how to format a business plan to give you a framework.
Event business plan checklist
Just to recap, here are the sections you need to include in your event business plan:
- Front cover: title, event name, and logo.
- Table of contents: page numbers for each section.
- Executive summary: a condensed version of your business plan.
- Business structure: the type of company and staff details.
- Event description: objectives, programme, and target audience.
- Development plan: future vision, strategy, and SWOT analysis.
- Event requirements: facilities, equipment, staffing, and legal.
- Marketing plan: positioning, ticketing, promotion, PR, and budget.
- Financial plan: incomes and expenditures.
- Appendices: additional research, graphs, and notes.
It’ll take some time to formulate your event business plan, but you’ll be happy you did it once it’s ready. It will not only be useful for potential investors, but also for you and your event team.
Remember that your event business plan should be a living document. Update it every time there are any new developments.
If you’re still hungry for more, then watch this video on how to write up a business plan: