Whether you’re planning for your next social or business event, Planning is the Key. As an author, I’m ready to plan a “Book Launch Party” for my next book. It’s my first for the YA/Adult audience. PURE TRASH, The Short Story is scheduled for release in June… You can find out more about my latest writing adventure and read the first two scenes from PURE TRASH, The Short Story at https://4writersandreaders.com/2013/02/21/the-next-big-thing/
Today, Heather Preston is here at 4writersandreaders today to share some timely tips that can help take some stress out of planning our next big event! ~ Bette A. Stevens
RSVP Stress: How to Write an Invitation that Will Get Response
By Heather Preston
Communicate the theme and brand of your upcoming event
Encourage direct action in the form of an RSVP
It’s often said that showing up is half the battle. I disagree.
Over two hundred years ago, Paul Revere went midnight ridin’ up the Northeast coast to warn patriots that it was time to get moving. This historic incident provides proof enough that before anybody is going to show up, you’ve got to get the word out!
When you’re throwing a party or hosting a dinner, having an accurate headcount is an extremely important part of the planning process. Just think — if you don’t know who’s coming, you can’t accurately order food and drink, sequester space, or warn the neighbors! If you’re sending out wedding invitations, the stakes can be even higher. You might have to make hotel arrangements for guests, figure out reception space and seating, and put early deposits down on a catering menu. That’s a lot of pressure riding on your invitations and RSVPs!
In order to get the guest list filled out and responses flying in, you need your invitation to hit on all points. It’s got to effectively get the word out, using both language and style. Your invitation should, in one fell swoop:
- Communicate the theme and brand of your upcoming event
- Encourage direct action in the form of an RSVP
So, how do you get answers? Make sure you include these five important response generators:
- Include response cards—Along with the invitation, include a response card for the RSVP so that your guests can just fill it out and send it back to you through the mail. Bonus tip: If you include a stamp it makes it even easier for the guest to respond.
- Give guests the option to RSVP by telephone. Requiring all your guests to fill out the card, stuff the envelope, find a stamp, and get to the mailbox may lead to a lower response rate. Offering alternative ways to RSVP, such as a phone call or an email, gives those lazy-bones no excuse. New, for the future or perhaps right now— text RSVPs?
- Include a reply by date. Word any request for the RSVP so the guest knows they need to reply by a certain date. A phrase like “Please reply by 12-20-13” or “The favor of your reply is requested by 12-20-13” sets a clear deadline for procrastinators.
- In the invitation, assume the guest is attending. Thank the guest for coming as if you are expecting them to accept the invitation. If they cannot make it out for the event, they will feel a higher sense of duty to let you know.
- Clearly indicate all necessary information within the invitation. Make it easy for respondents to make decisions. Directly stated times, addresses, hotel accommodation, advice, etc. will allow your guests to see the whole picture as they plan their trip.
Always be polite in your invitation—you’ve got to walk the fine line between pushy and encouraging. You don’t want anyone to feel pressured, but you do need them to be motivated!
Heather is a party planner—the self proclaimed ‘binder ninja’! She occasionally consults on invitations for PaperStyle, and recently started her own party planning blog.
You can find Heather Preston at:
- An Easy, Step-by-Step Guide to Planning a Party (everydayfamily.com)
- Invitation Etiquette (eliteinspirationsblogger.com)
- “Celebrate Good Times – Come on!” with a Vintage Twist (theatticbirds.wordpress.com)