RSVP management is at the core of every corporate event, but it need not be an overwhelming experience. Take a look at our 10-step RSVP Management for Dummies guide, which provides a breakdown of the RSVP process.
1. Clearly outline your event’s objectives
Clearly outlining objectives is important for success at any task, but especially so for an event. Some objectives are easy to define – you want guests to enjoy themselves. But it’s also important to decide what your business objectives are, who your target market is, and what the brief requires:
- How many invitations do you intend sending out vs how many people you expect to attend.
- Who will do the design?
- Do you require onsite registration?
This is as important as what you want your guests to experience. In the case of a corporate event, is it a sales driven or brand building exercise? This will inform the tone of the event moving forward.
2. Confirm event logistics
Before save the dates are sent out, it is essential to confirm relevant logistical information that will appear on the invitations and information packs. This includes basic information like the time, date and venue, but also extends to details such as caterers, suppliers and transportation. Although these don’t need to be confirmed before your save the dates are sent out, it’s a good idea to be on top of all of it so that you can be ready to manage expectations.
3. Design your invitations
Invitations provide the first impression of your event. The graphic designer and copywriter should be well aware of the corporate brand guidelines, the audience, and tone of the event. This is your opportunity to “wow” your guests and get them to buy-in to your event, so it has to be compelling and persuasive.
4. Ensure that the invitations have all the correct information
Information appearing on the invitation must be checked several times before being sent out. Triple check it at a minimum and use different sets of eyes to look over it. This not only includes checking for errors, but also ensuring all pertinent information is included, such as the agenda and directions, dates, times and accompanying detail that is pertinent to the big day.
5. Define the guest list
Confirm how many guest lists there are, and confirm the guest list with the various stakeholders of the event. Are you inviting VIPs? Do they require special treatment? Make sure your guest list clearly defines the different guest types and related information.
6. Define the RSVP information fields
One of the biggest advantages of using online invitations and RSVP management is the ability to verify guest information and store it in one place. This can include name, address, guest details and dietary requirements. It can also allow guests to input special requests at their own discretion.
7. Create the RSVP timelines
Timing is the key to prompt RSVP confirmations and event attendance. RSVP timelines differ depending on the event and audience, but below is a general guideline:
- 8 weeks before: save the date
- 6 weeks before: email invitation, which leads to web invitation
- 4 weeks before: follow up email
- 3 weeks before: RSVP deadline
- 2 weeks before: call downs where outstanding guests are called to confirm attendance
- 1 week before: confirm final numbers
- 2 days before: send out SMS reminders
8. Clean your guest list data
Before invitations are sent out, guest lists should be checked for duplicate names and email addresses. Once emails have been sent out, the live update of the RSVP list must be continually checked for acceptances, declines and email bounces.
9. Finalise event preparations
In the week leading up to your event, the final guest list must be confirmed. In addition, name tags, programmes and gift bags must be finalised.
10. Get feedback from guests
Once your event has successfully concluded, send out thank you emails and a post-event survey. This is the key to ascertaining what guests loved about the process and what didn’t go down too well. This is where you can evolve and improve so make sure you don’t miss this crucial step in the process.
That – in a nutshell – is how to ensure successful RSVP management!
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