Writing a brief for corporate events

Writing a brief for corporate events

This time let’s take a different approach and speak to Belen, our strategic planner and a big expert in writing a good brief for corporate events.  

Hello, Belen. How are you? Let’s start with the basics. What is a brief and which purpose does it serve?

A brief for organizing a corporate event, just like any other brief in marketing and advertising, is basically a summary of all the information relevant for developing a certain project. It is normally shared by the client and contains project such as goals, target audience, specific requirements for project implementation and further promotion and so on. And our job in Strategy or Client Service consists in thoroughly reading it, processing the information, and ‘translating’ it for the different teams involved in the project execution. Namely, graphic design, 3D, web development, production, etc.    

And what difficulties the original document can be fraught with?

It can be both very concise and abstract or very specific and detailed. And our job is not only to interpret what’s in there, but also what’s not. By that I mean that the client often assumes that we are aware of their previous communication activity which is not necessarily true. That is why, before ‘translating’ the brief for different departments it’s advisable to make a little research. You will always discover interesting input to make.

Belén Muñoz, Planner at 4foreverything

So, making this ‘translation’ for the different departments, what would be the basic rules and the must-haves?

Well, I’d say the only common element are the red lines marked by the client (or the ones we know from our experience). And the rest will depend on which department this information is meant for. For example, the graphic designers will need a verbalized creative concept or at least the conceptual direction to follow. Besides, all the objective information concerning the brand, such as logos, colours, fonts, photographic style, etc.

And when it comes to 3D department the objective information would be venue details, sizes and dimensions, floor plans, etc. It’s also very important to inform them about the budget available, to avoid having to work twice. And then, we can also specify the materials. For example, in projects where sustainability is key or when we deliberately want to focus on a specific material.      

And on top of this objective information, there is also the inspirational part, which I, personally, like the most. It consists in showing through a series of mood boards and visual references the direction that you think the project should follow.     

Work-in-progress meeting at 4forevrything

And how to achieve this point of balance to inspire without restricting the creative freedom of the teams that are going to materialize the initial idea?

Absolutely, that’s the most complicated point. We all are creative, and it’s true that the further you go with your inspiration, the more you constrain the rest with your vision. So, to avoid this you must be 100% sure on the reason behind each of your recommendations. In other words, trying to be as unbiased as possible.    

But there is another fundamental thing. You must know people you work with very well, because this is what makes a team in the end of the day. Everyone has its own way of working. There are people willing to receive as much information as possible, but there are others who prefer to know the minimum. Some want to see things, the other just don’t. That is why it’s important that you know people and people know you.  

That somehow suggests the idea that not only is important the information contained in the briefing, but also the way you communicate it, isn’t it?

Absolutely, and it also depends on people. Personally, I prefer verbal communication. And I’m also very visual-centric. So, for me it’s much easier to submit the objective information in written form and then to inspire with images.

And finally, all things considered, what in your opinion is the importance of a good brief?       

Well, writing a good brief for corporate events is essential. It’s a document that gathers all that is needed for the project to be a success. It’s a key document for all the departments that you have to prepare in a way that all the work done be consistent and make sense.

And one more thing, sometimes it can be very positive to ignore the client’s brief coming up with an alternative option (apart from the safe one, of course) you believe in that would surprise and amaze the client. Because the clients often fall in love with something they didn’t even dare to consider.    

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