Once an experiential project is won, producing and executing it is relatively easy. Sure, every project has its problems (printing, broken items, permitting issues, etc..). But relatively speaking, there’s a clear ask and deadline, it’s up to you to fill in those pieces.

ALL RFPs Are Not Created Equal

Over the years at Grandesign Experiential, I’ve pitched on hundreds if not thousands of RFPs and while streamlining any kind of repetitive process in the workplace is ideal, due to the uniqueness of experiential marketing, every RFP needs some kind of custom attention. No matter how big or how small the ask is.

Agencies must be strategic when deciding to dedicate “X” number of hours to a potential idea… one that the client may not even like!

Rendering and Mock Ups

Rendering and mocks must strike someone’s attention in an instance. It paints the picture before the text is even read. Of course, ideas are always what sell the project in the end, but having a solid visual reference will only increase your chances of success.

With any proposal, qualifying the lead will help determine how much energy should be put into a it before it’s sold. 

The creative team at Grandesign Experiential has developed an illustrative pick list and set of guidelines to use when it comes to creative mocks in proposal decks. 


Story Board – Best used to quickly describe how an activation will work. Backgrounds and environmental elements are used to paint a scene. They often illustrate how a person will interact with the experience.

Single Subject – Used to describe a custom fabrication or element. The focus on the image is solely on the subject with no background or additional element included.

Floor Plan – Seen often in architecture layouts, this flat design is essentially a top view diagram.

Aerial Perspective – 3rd person or aerial perspective brings a floor plan and large scale event to life. It captures the essence of the project at one glance. If a lead is qualified correctly, and the idea needs it, this is a must have.

Mocks and Renderings

Photo Realistic Renderings – Brings an activation to life with exact measurements, colors, textures and lighting. This is often done in later stages of the proposal.

Photoshop Mocks – Generic type of mock. Very useful when adding branding or messaging to a pre-existing structure.

3D Draft – A hybrid combination of a structured render on a computer but with hand drawn elements over it. A two part process, this conveys accurate size and spacing but does not pigeon hold the added artistic elements.

Which Style is Right?

Depending on the ask, our decks are often a combination of the examples above. There are many factors that play a significant role in the rfp process – creative team bandwidth, project due date, stalling on ideas, etc…

Every agency claims to be “different”. Here’s an easy way to show it. A well thought out and mocked concept will speak volumes compared to an agency simply finding a Google reference image. Creative agencies are creative right? Then show it off.

*Sketches shown provided by Jess Kowalski