corporate events

Corporate event brief. How to fill it in without dying

You have already decided your event’s format, made the preliminary cost estimate and agreed it with your management. Now you must fill in the brief to submit it to some event agency. From this article you will learn, which issues need to be addressed and which details you should pay attention to.

What is a brief and why do you need it

A brief is a list of questions, which are important for organizing a corporate event. You or another representative of your company should answer those questions. If you have a brief prepared, you won’t have to explain your expectations about your prospective event to representatives of every agency. It is important to fill your brief in thoroughly, without missing anything: your future interactions with the event agency of your choice depend on the information that you provide.

You will get a quality concept for your event, only if you have a quality brief to submit, because the agency’s concept development largely depends on the information that you provide.

Besides, after the brief is approved, you will have a document, describing your suggestions about the event. That means that you can use it when discussing concepts, as well as to control the event organization process, which is not always possible if you only have an oral agreement to go by.

Where you can get a brief and who should fill it in

Most companies have their own brief templates for contractors, including those intended for corporate events. The easiest way would be to use a ready-made questionnaire, adjusted to the current project. You can also ask an event agency for a brief template, or simply download one from the internet.

Download brief template (MS Word)

If you see that the template information is not enough to fully understand your objective, you could supplement it with additional questions. Similarly, feel free to delete unneeded questions, or modify them according to your specific circumstances.

Many agencies have online briefs, which you can fill in on their websites. That option is good if you have already chosen your agency. Then you could simply answer all the questions and wait for the agency’s response. If you are making a choice out of several options, online briefs would be inconvenient; it’s better to send your own brief to all candidates than copy the answers from your own documents into each online form.

Online briefs are always simplified; they contain only the most crucial questions, which are important for your first contact with your contractor. Such forms are easier and quicker to fill in; however, your own brief would be more complete and detailed. Once you’ve filled in the form on the website, you will need to meet with the agency’s representative to discuss all the details and review the preliminary proposals and concepts.

Some agencies fill in their briefs during a phone interview, which takes place after you leave your request on their website. Usually a brief over the phone is also an abridged one, with details being discussed at a personal meeting later.

First contact

A good brief’s structure

A brief is helpful in organizing an event, which would be enjoyable for your employees and beneficial to the company’s business objectives. We can divide the standard questions into several units:

  • the basic unit: information about the client, number of guests, target audience for the event, the budget, the supposed venues;
  • the objective unit: information about the occasion, the forma, goals, objectives that the event is supposed to achieve;
  • the custom unit: extra information about the event, for example, the preferred cuisine or venues, as well as requirements to the event agency and to their proposal.

Briefs can vary in structure, as there is no single perfect format for them, but the key questions are always the same. To get a detailed understanding of your future event, the agency should know its date, the number of invited guests, its format, budget, target audience, your preferred venues and other parameters.

Let’s discuss the key issues in more detail.

1. Occasion, format, theme

Which corporate event are you planning to organize: it might be a calendar event (the New Year, March 8, etc.), the company day or an anniversary, a professional holiday, a team-building event, a corporate sports competition, or a quest.

Which format or theme have you chosen for your event? If you have not yet made your choice, the agency might offer you ideas for both.

2. Date, time and the city

If you have a large company and you want to organize an event for your employees from several cities, you have to tell that to the agency. The date and the time for the event should also be in the brief.

3. Your event’s objectives

Why are you organizing your event: is it to train your staff, build your team, improve their loyalty? Here you should remember the objectives you’ve outlined at the first stage, and indicate them in your brief.

A corporate event without an objective means money wasted

4. Number of your guests

The number of employees, who will attend the event. That information is extremely important for developing a suitable program.

5. Target audience

Are you holding your corporate event only for your staff, or are your clients and partners also invited? Are the employees’ families or children going to be present? What is the status of the employees invited to the event: line workers, managers, top managers? Who are your employees: what is their average age, interests, the male/female ratio?

It’s advisable to indicate who exactly is the responsible employee in your company, making decisions related to the event, who will be approving the concepts that the agency is going to offer.

You have no power here!

6. Your budget

No agency is going to be able to offer you a viable concept, if they don’t know the amount of financing your company is prepared to invest in the event.

How not to waste the event’s budget

7. Your requirements to the event sites or preferred venues

Where are you going to organize your event: in a banquet hall, outdoors, in a music hall? What kinds of items have to be on site? Do you, by chance, already have some suitable venues in mind? Gove their exact names, if so.

8. Catering

Are you aiming for a banquet or a buffet? Continental or coffee breaks? How many meals are the employees supposed to have during the event? For example, a long team building may have one lunch break and 1-2 coffee breaks.

9. The particulars of the event

Let’s assume that you already have a preliminary idea for your future event. Then you should provide all the information regarding its format and mechanics. Which equipment you might need (sound, visual, fireworks), requirements to the show host, to the show program, the interior decorations. List which artists you wish to see, would you require transfer services, specify your requirements to photo and video reporting.

10. The time limits for the proposals

Specify the deadline for the agency to provide their proposals or the finished concepts. Also, when you plan to declare the tender results and choose your contractor.

11. Requirements to business proposals and concepts provided by agencies

Specify, which format you require for the materials provided, the addresses they should be sent to, what should be stated in the message’s subject line.

If you hold a tender for several contractors, clarify your quality assessment criteria. An event agency will be more interested in your offer, if they understand, on which grounds you are going to make your choice.

The general requirement for any brief — the information provided must be complete. Reread you answers before sending the questionnaire back, to ensure that the agency is going to have a full picture of your desired event.

The details you are better off not overlooking

It would be better to send briefs marked with your corporate brand, to distinguish your offer among the others. If you plan for the event to conform to your brand or company values, you should describe them to the agency, or provide materials for them to review to better understand their objective. Specify which corporate traditions, if any, you want to integrate in the event.

The companies, which hold corporate events regularly and often work with event agencies, should specify which formats and themes they have used already, to avoid repetitions.

Also, it would be better to point out, which elements to avoid. For example, if the company director dislikes clowns, please, specify in your brief that there should not be any performers in clown costumes.

“We all float here. You will also float!”

Based on the information provided by you, the agency will think of the concepts, develop proposals and presentations for the upcoming event. A brief that has been filled in correctly is a guarantee that you will be fully understood and receive proposals that are appropriate for you.


To summarize, at this stage you should:

  1. Choose an option for your brief, using your ready-made corporate template, requesting a template from the agency, downloading it from the Internet or drawing up your own questionnaire, or you may fill in the form online on the agency’s website.
  2. You should answer all the questions in the brief and specify all the information necessary to organize your event. The more thoroughly and fully you fill in your brief, the higher the chances that your event will go exactly as you’ve planned.
  3. Read the brief carefully before sending it, to ensure that you’ve provided all the important details.

After filling in your brief and sending it to the agencies, you will have to choose the best offer from the concepts you will receive.

In our next article we are going to tell you about the ways to choose the agency you are going to work with, and what to pay attention to when making that choice.