5 Steps to Write the Ultimate Event Brief (+ Free Template)

January 23, 2024
Lindsay McGuire
Lindsay McGuire
Associate Director of Content and Campaigns at Goldcast

Maximize Your Marketing ROI

Join 10,000 other marketers already getting the best tips on running engaging events that boost pipeline and create raving fans.

Running an event comes with its own set of challenges. Budget overruns, logistical problems, and technical glitches can ruin the event experience and derail your return on investment (ROI).

But with an airtight event brief, you can ensure your next event runs without a hitch.

In this article, we’ll explain the role and purpose of the event brief in the event planning process, and share a done-for-you event brief template to help you hit the ground running.

Just want the template? Grab it now.

What is an event brief?

An event brief is a comprehensive document that covers all the essential elements of an event. It includes key details like the type of event, target audience, event date, goal, and budget.

Think of it as a blueprint to help your event team prepare for each stage of the event carefully and plan for contingencies, without having to micromanage.

Essential elements of an event brief

The components of your event brief will vary based on your unique goals and strategy. However, there are a few core elements that are typically included in every brief.

Here are some of the key elements to include in your event brief:

  • Event targets
  • Overview
  • Audience
  • Theme
  • Marketing
  • Logistics
  • Budget

A strong event brief will go beyond the basic details of the event, to answer important strategic questions. (More on that in a minute!)

And remember, your event brief shouldn't live in a silo. Make sure it’s easily accessible to your entire team so they can use it to track their event planning progress and stay focused on the right objectives.

Customizable event brief template

Grab it now to start customizing!

5 steps for writing effective event briefs

Now that you know what goes into an event brief, it’s time to buckle down and write it.

The following steps will help you create an event brief template that you can update and reuse for all future events.

1. Put your goals and objectives up front

Laying down the objectives of your event is like setting a compass for your journey. To keep your brief target-oriented, begin with the most important details first.

Clarify the purpose of your event. Are you launching a new product, looking to generate more leads, or driving brand awareness? Define the goal and the metrics you’ll use to track your progress.

Information to include:

  • Registration goals
  • Attendance goals
  • Target time in session
  • Target engagement score
  • Pipeline targets
  • Revenue targets
  • Event key performance indicators (KPIs)

Key questions to answer:

  • Why are we launching this event?
  • What’s in it for our audience?
  • How will we measure our success?

2. Include all key details and resources

Near the top of your event brief, make sure there’s an overview that includes all key event details. Think of this as a sort of cheatsheet to help team members get all the essential event info at a glance

Information to include:

  • Event name and tagline
  • Event description
  • Event value prop
  • Event format
  • Date and time
  • Venue/location
  • Event website
  • Marquee speakers and sponsors
  • Team leads and their contact details

Include links to the following resources:

  • Event planner template
  • Event agenda
  • Project tracker/timeline
  • Budget spreadsheet
  • Marketing and communication plan
  • Brand or style guide
  • Rich media folder (images, videos, and other files)
  • Speaker and sponsor profiles
  • Speaker presentations
  • Vendor contact information

3. Dive into your audience and theme

Draw a clear picture of your audience persona, then frame your event's message to meet their needs. Ask yourself: what’s the number one takeaway you want for your attendees? It might be an industry insight, competitive strategy, or simply making new connections. Whatever it is, make sure it aligns with their needs.

Information to include:

  • Demographics
  • Role and function
  • Professional backgrounds
  • Aspirations and interests
  • Previous event experiences and expectations

Key questions to answer:

  • Who are your attendees going to be?
  • What industries do they belong to?
  • What needs, concerns, or interests would they have that your event can cater to?
  • What is the key takeaway you want for your attendees?

4. Define your event format

Sometimes the best way to plan a successful event is to simply double down on what already works. Look back at your past event data to see which sessions got the best results with your target audience. Use this context to present your event format in the brief.

Information to include:

  • Digital, hybrid, or in-person format
  • Funnel position

Key questions to answer:

  • Which sessions were most popular with this audience in the past?
  • Which ones held your audience’s attention the longest?
  • What types of formats does your audience prefer?

5. Map out your event milestones

In this section, you’ll define a clear event planning timeline, including all key dates and milestones for your budget reviews, event logistics, and marketing.

Information to include:

  • Comparison of last year’s event goals and performance
  • Registration deadlines
  • Pre-event promotion plan
  • Post-event follow up plan
  • Event budget summary
  • Target date for confirming the speaker line-up
  • Dates for securing venue, equipment, etc.
  • Contingency plans

Key questions to answer:

  • How many registrations are you targeting?
  • When will each promotional email go out?
  • Who’s responsible for which marketing and logistics activities?
  • How much budget is required

Why every B2B marketing team needs a strong event brief

Event marketing teams are under pressure to deliver legendary brand experiences, without a single glitch in the process. It’s a tall order.

Fortunately, the right event brief can help you:

  • Create a structured approach to executing events: Make sure no critical steps are overlooked. This is particularly beneficial for virtual or hybrid events, which may require additional considerations compared to traditional in-person events.
  • Standardize the event planning process across the organization: Empower other teams to launch their events by creating a scalable process that ensures consistency and quality, regardless of who’s in charge of planning and execution.
  • Make it easy to train new team members: A comprehensive template can help walk teams through your best event management practices, while helping them remain focused on their ROI targets.
  • Save time and reduce stress: No need to start your event brief from scratch for each event. Instead, teams can adapt the template to suit the specific needs of each event, while maintaining the core structure and elements that have proven successful in the past.
  • Encourage communication and collaboration: With clear steps and responsibilities, a strong event brief can prevent misunderstandings and ensure everyone is on the same page.
  • Provide a platform for setting and tracking KPIs: These measurable values serve as benchmarks for success and provide a clear picture of the event's performance. By monitoring your event KPIs, you can make necessary adjustments to increase ROI.
  • Improve budget management: By outlining the financial aspects of the event, you can optimize returns, minimize unnecessary costs and ensure that every dollar spent contributes to achieving your ROI targets.

In short, a thorough event brief connects every stage of the planning and execution process with your event’s core targets to help make it a measurable success.

By centralizing your most important event details in one easily accessible location, you can keep the entire team focused on the same goals and objectives, no matter how busy things get.

Nail every detail of your event brief

You’ve got a lot on your plate—including some very lofty ROI targets for your events. For repeatable, achievable event success, your event brief should be built with those targets in mind.

Use your event brief to help your team make sense of the many moving pieces that go into a successful event and empower them to stay on track with their key ROI targets at every stage of planning and execution process. But your execution is only as good as your event management platform.

“Our team grew exponentially at the same time we were starting with Goldcast. We were constantly asking questions and onboarding new people, and Goldcast helped us immensely to keep us successful during that key transition,” said Candace Gregg, Senior Director of Global Demand Generation at Bloomreach.

At Goldcast, we’re here to help make it easy. With deep event analytics and a straightforward event ROI calculator, you can analyze past events quickly to replicate the parts of your events that are already working and identify areas for improvement. Grab a copy of the event brief template now to get started. Or see Goldcast in action with a free, personalized demo.

© 2024 Copyright Goldcast, Inc. All rights reserved.