Planning a big event requires your time, money, and effort, so you want your guests to show up! But, let’s be honest, we’ve all been busy and forgotten to RSVP for a wedding or had to change plans at the last minute. For an event planner, it’s often difficult to know exactly how many people will attend. Most importantly, event planners need to know which key players they can rely on to ensure the right balance of guests. We’ve put together some helpful strategies to ensure you maximize your attendance and get the perfect blend of guests for your event.
1. Engage early and often
This strategy stands the test of time for good reason – it works! Send out a save the date notice well in advance. You’ll demonstrate forethought and your guests will have plenty of time to block out their calendars before they fill up with holidays, work schedules, and family gatherings.
Although a save the date is common for weddings, it’s also great for corporate event planning. This strategy gives you a reason to reach out again with a formal invitation. Not only do your guests get another look at your brand, you’ve shown consideration for their busy lifestyles by sending a save the date in advance. Having provided plenty of time for each guest to reserve space in their schedule, they’ll be ready to RSVP immediately after receiving the formal invitation.
2. Lock it in their calendar
Classic strategies work well, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore current advances in technology. Make it easy for your guests to commit by including an embedded calendar invitation. This takes away all the hard work from your guests – just a couple of clicks and your event is in their calendars. With an embedded calendar invitation, it’s easy to get an automatic reply when the guest accepts or declines the event. Event planners get a better idea of who will actually attend while showing consideration for their guests’ time.
3. Balance value with mystery
Build excitement among your guests by sharing just enough about what to expect. Event planners want to make guests feel comfortable with their clothing choices and expectations, but it’s important to leave a little mystery. Share enough information to create value, so your guests want to attend from the beginning. However, avoid giving away all the details of the event. Hint at a few exciting surprises to build anticipation.
By creating a little mystery around your event, you’ll increase the appeal and get guests talking. Some guests who would typically stay home will attend if a friend discusses their excitement. Other guests will arrive just to see what you’ve put together. A little mystery goes a long way, so create value but keep a few fun surprises up your sleeve.
4. Send a reminder
It’s easy to get busy and forget about an event planned well in advance. Send a friendly reminder to your guests between a week and a few days before the event. Even if your guests aren’t attending, it gets your brand in front of them one more time. You’ll also ensure that each guest has all the important details they need to find the location and arrive on time.
5. Don’t forget those who decline
Of course, you’ll always have a few guests that just can’t make it to your event. It’s important to maintain brand engagement with these guests, through follow-up correspondence. After your event, send out a thank you note, with photos, to both attendees and those who couldn’t make it. Those who attended the event will enjoy re-living the experience, and it’s a great way to let guests who declined see what they missed. It might even get them to attend your next event!
Get plenty of brand exposure and increase your RSVP strike rate with these easy event planning solutions. Engage your guests early, lock it in their calendar, and balance value with mystery to maximize your attendees. Avoid last-minute cancellations with a simple reminder, and don’t forget to send a thank-you note to keep them coming back! Try these ideas and you’ll have an amazing, well-attended event.
Phoenix creates events to move and inspire people. Not just an event, but a moment that you will always remember.
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