How is event planning like a sandwich? Understanding our fee process

When you make a sandwich it’s pretty standard to go bread, butter, meat, cheese, salad, butter, bread. You start with one thing (bread) and then build on it. It would certainly be more challenging to start a sandwich with the salad!

In a funny way, event planning is a lot like making a sandwich. But instead of starting with bread, we start with our fee first, and then build to the event proposal second (with all the other ingredients included too).

When a client hires our team, we have a standard set of steps we follow. In a nutshell, our onboarding system is ‘fee first, event proposal second’. It’s a system that works for us and maximises our efficiency to ensure better outcomes for you.

Here’s why this system works best for us and for you.

Why do we choose fee first, event proposal second?

 This is a concept that prospective clients often struggle with. More often than not, when new brands approach us with an enquiry, they request an event proposal.

By this, they mean a full event proposal, where every last detail is considered and every dollar added up. They may even be seeking proposals from several different businesses.

Unfortunately, a complete event proposal simply isn’t feasible as a first step. It is a huge amount of work – in fact, it’s the bulk of the planning for the event. Because of that it just can’t happen before a client has fully engaged us as their event planner.

This doesn’t just protect us (from wasting time on an event that may not go ahead with us) but you as our clients as well. We need to be able to put the right amount of time and energy, research and arranging, into every event proposal so that it accounts for all the elements of your event and gives you a 100% accurate accounting of cost. We simply can’t do that as a first step.

Let’s look at what an event proposal involves.

half image of flowers with and the other half a graphic showing client event proposal for Fame Events

What is an event proposal?

An event proposal is a detailed, comprehensive plan for an event. Every element has been discussed and decided, from food to brand elements to venue. Contractors have been carefully sourced and compared, and all additional supplier fee invoices obtained. And the budget has been tallied up.

It includes the big details, like the overall concept, your brand’s strategic goals and budget. But it also includes the smaller details, like the styling plan for your venue, the photographer and the catering menu.

It’s like a blueprint for the event. And it’s designed to give you a crystal-clear idea of what your event might look and feel like. It also provides accountability to ensure that we deliver on our promises.

render showing a pool with poolside event decor for an event proposal
For more indepth and larger projects, a render is provided. FAME engages a graphic designer at an out of pocket cost to help portray the look.

Why do we only complete a full event proposal after the fee is transferred?

The full event proposal is a huge part of the service that we provide (and we think it’s a pretty great service!). And we simply aren’t able to do this time-consuming breakdown until were officially engaged to plan your event. It also means that we have the resources to do a really good job for you – we’re starting from the right spot (the bread), and can build from there!

Fee first also:

  • Protects our IP. Our value lies in our creativity and our original concepts for your event. If we share our grand plan before we’re officially hired, there’s no way to prevent a brand from taking our ideas and hiring someone else to execute them.
  • Protects our contacts. Our event proposals include all of the professionals we believe would really bring your event to life. That includes catering companies/chefs, MCs/panel speakers, DJs/live bands, furniture hire companies, event supplies stores and more.


If we provide a brand with a list of all our recommendations, there’s a risk they could reach out to the players directly themselves. We may find our contacts taken and ourselves entirely cut out of the deal. So, as they say, a good magician never reveals his secrets.

  • Protect our time. Fame Events is contacted by prospective clients regularly. We receive more than 100 event enquiries every year and can only realistically take on about 30 projects.

If we committed ourselves to completing in-depth proposals for every brand that enquired, that would mean almost 70 extra event proposals a year. That’s 70 time-consuming proposals that lead nowhere! This would mean we wouldn’t be able to give our committed clients the time and energy they deserve. We are a small team and need to allocate our time responsibly.  

  • Protect our reputation. Getting an idea off the ground takes a lot of behind-the-scenes work. It requires multiple phone calls and meetings to fully understand the brand’s objectives, vision and budget.

To do this really well we need the time and resources to do a thorough deep-dive and ask a lot of questions before we create the proposal. This way, we can ensure we deliver the event you had in mind (or better!). It’s unrealistic to be able to create a full event proposal after one initial conversation. We just wouldn’t be doing the best work we could.

graphic showing two images with actual event plus concept from event proposal
graphic showing an element from an event proposal with a pic of a front door, an explanation and image of the element, map of where it will be used
Clear visual imagery to showcase where each element will be housed and how it will be utilised.

You’re hiring the event planner, not the proposal.

When you hire a lawyer for their services, you’ve made that decision based on their qualifications, skillset, experience, how well you work together and how effectively they communicate. You don’t know how well they’re going to perform on the task at hand. It’s all about trusting their knowledge and experience.

The same goes for an event planner. Look at my portfolio, read client testimonials and explore our rapport. Then trust me and my team to do our job.

event proposal moodboard with six small images showing bright colous and elements and words describing the mood
Everyone proposal is provided a mood board to ensure we are on the same page for the look and feel of the event.

Want Fame Events to create a custom event proposal for you?

If you’re ready to lock in your next event and want our team to sprinkle a little Fame Events magic your way, get in touch today!


We have the skills and creativity to turn your visions into a reality. Need to plan a fundraising event? An industry conference? A viral brand activation? If you can dream it, we can pull it off.

Fame Events will work with you to create an original event proposal sure to knock your socks off. And of course, we will bring that event proposal to life even better than you imagined.

sample of a style guide page with words your custom event experience
Each style guide is submitted with a detailed story to help clients visualise the elements that we are proposing.
tablescape mockup in green and beige
Each style guide is submitted with a tablescape mockup, to show clients how each of the elements visually will look
sample floor plan for an proposal for an event
Detailed and in depth floor plan, with accurate markups from site visits and indepth planning of locations of elements