Every successful event begins with the right brief. I cannot emphasize this enough. The winning/losing of the pitch depends on this. Every team needs to have an internal training session on how to take the right brief. Not every client puts down an extensive brief – heck, some don’t even send written briefs. It’s upto the client servicing team/ BD team to actually probe the client and get more information that helps in nailing the brief.

The topics that are typically included:

  • Client Information
  • Event/Activation Information
  • Details about the Product/Service
  • Brand Elements
  • Project Timeline

The Questions YOU NEED to ask (and don’t be afraid to ask):

  • Stylistic Preference – minimal and elegant or elaborate and opulent? Do ask your client the kind of look and feel they prefer. It will save tons of time while designing!
  • Key Takeaway – what is the one singular message that everyone MUST get?
  • Theme Objective – what should the overall theme communicate? should it be focused on the event, or is it expected to be carried forward post the event as well? This will help you create the right theme name and then let it flow from there.
  • Key Messages – what should be the message that the participants take back? is there one message or are there several?
  • Company Core Values – This helps in adding little elements that build up the event. Clients don’t usually expect this question, so when you do ask, and then you actually add some touchpoints related to the company core values, you definitely win a few more brownie points!
  • Preferred Tonality – some organisations are orthodox by choice. You need to find out before you go suggesting russian bartenders!
  • Any previous references – What are the type of events done in the past? What were the themes used? What type of entertainment has been already done? (many clients don’t like stand up acts, they will tell you this if you ask about previous acts used). What activities did really well with the audience? Get as much info about past events so you understand the company culture.

Trust me when I say – getting the right brief is half the battle won. If you own/run/head a team – ensure they get the right training – in fact, develop a few different briefing formats and ensure every question on that sheet is answered when you give the brief to your concept team. They will thank you, and more importantly, you’ll be able to hit the nail on the head in the first go.