Each day, the event industry becomes more competitive – in fact we are drowning in event companies, so an essential attribute of an event organiser is the ability to SELL your idea over others.

Here, then, are five simple tactics to enhance your next pitch and give your ideas the best chance to win you the business.

1# – Begin with a hook

If you’ve only got twenty minutes to pitch your event ideas, you’ll need to capture your client’s attention from the beginning and you can do that by starting with a hook. For example a couple of weeks ago I gave a talk, starting with an apology – the apology was something that the audience didn’t expect and caught their attention at 9am.

Here are typical types of hooks:
– Asking a question
– Using a quotation
– Relating to current affairs
– A shock opening
– Using humour (only certain people can pull this off)

2# – Give your presentation an interesting title

The client knows your name, will know the date and certainly knows the name of the company they work for – don’t waste space with unnecessary detail. Start your pitch before you’ve even said a word by planning an interesting title that gives them a taste for what is about to come.

Here is an example for a pitch about a record breaking event:

I know which I prefer. To help with inspiration, check out popular news sites as a starting point.

3# – Paint the picture

It’s your job to help clients piece together the different parts of the event and during the pitch transport the vision you have in your head over to them. A great way to do this is by painting a picture of the event, which will help your audience imagine and immerse themselves in the idea.

Do this by describing what the event will look like – be specific, mention colours, materials and objects and help them see, hear, feel, etc.

4# – Tell stories from experience

Stories are fundamental. Not only do they demonstrate your ability as an event organiser, but will help make your idea easier to grasp for the client by relating to previous events you’ve organised – don’t forget to also paint the picture whilst doing this, explaining how your client and the guests felt on the day. Telling stories is a great way to gel different parts of the presentation together.

5# – End with a conversation

Rather than finishing your presentation with “Do you have any questions?” inviting your audience to give a one word answer – to say “no” just as much as “yes”. Finish the pitch with a conversation, for example if you would like to ask them for questions, rephrase your question to “what else would you like to know?” – they can’t just say “yes” or “no” to this.

Here are a variety of ways to start a conversation at the end of a pitch:
– Summarise what you’ve covered
– Ask them a question
– Lay out alternative ideas
– Tell your audience what actions are required next
– Finish with an incentive

If you have great recommendations for pitching, please do add them in the comments!


Michael Chidzey is the chief juicer of eventjuice and heads up marketing at Chillisauce, an event company based in London, UK. He also blogs on several websites and is a visiting lecturer in events management at London Metropolitan University.Follow Michael on Twitter @michaelchidzey

Tagged with: ,