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Other than automating and streamlining event management processes, does Event Planning Software in any way assist marketing managers to measure and report on their corporate marketing events’ ROI and ROO? We would sayyes.

Online Event Planning Software can be coupled with a combination of event measurement tools to determine the overall success of your corporate marketing event

In one of their blogs, Special Events provides a list of ten event measurement tools that Marketing Managers can use to measure their corporate marketing events’ direct ROI and ROO. The blog’s author, Jim Cavanaugh, believes that these tools are most effective when used in combination.

These tools are:

  1. The number of responses you get from attendees to your event invitation
  2. The number of new client leads that you generate through the event
  3. The ongoing commitment levels that you experience from your clients after the event
  4. The total number of guests who attended your event
  5. The revenue (if any) that you generated through the event
  6. The results from event surveys that you conduct both before and after your event
  7. The quality of attendees (customers and prospects) at your event
  8. The response that you receive from management after the event
  9. The sales growth (if any) that you can attribute to your event

Many online Event Planning Software solutions have been designed with these metrics in mind and make this information readily available for analysis. The RSVP Agency’s Event Management Software, for example, provides event organisers with access to an online dashboard, which reports real-time data that can then be used for effective event planning.

The following are some of the key features of Event Planning Software that help with the measurement of an event’s ROO and ROI:

  • Automated and live reporting, using data pulled from guest’s online invitation responses, provides marketing managers with real-time reports on the number of guests who plan to attend an event and those who still need to respond, while on-site event registration tools help to track on-the-day guest attendance.
  • Event Planning Software also allows for the setup of multiple guest lists, which enables customised communication with company employees, the media, VIPs, VVIPs and other types of guests. This means that you can track attendance responses according to guest types (which allows for more accurate reporting) and you can more easily measure if your event marketing activities have attracted the right audience.
  •  The RSVP Agency’s Event Planning Software includes a forward invitation feature, which is an effective means to expand your existing client base and to market your brand and event. Here invited guests can send an invitation to other potentially interested parties from their own outboxes. The software system’s back-end tracks the initial referral contact so that you don’t lose touch with invitations and guest numbers. Marketing managers can use this feature to measure the effectiveness of more organic, ‘word-of-mouth’ approaches to their event invitations.
  • Event invitation responses can entail more than just clicking on a simple ‘accept’ or ‘decline’ button in an email invitation. Many online invitation response forms ask for additional information from their guests – including their dietary preferences, the workshops/sessions they will be attending (if any), their accommodation requirements and the likes. Event organisers can use this feature to gather more general information from guests, using a survey-style approach. This can be followed up with post-event communication that also asks for feedback from guests about their event experiences.

It’s clear then that Event Planning Software doubles as an effective data gathering tool for feedback to managers about a corporate marketing event’s overall effectiveness and impact. Download our brochure for more information on The RSVP Agency’s email invitation software.

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event checklist

 

When it comes to your event planning checklist, dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s involves far more than making sure you event is well attended, or that your key note speaker is booked well in advance. The legal aspects of event planning are vast, and if ignored, can have serious consequences for all involved. By including these in your event planning checklist, you’re safeguarding yourself, your guests and any vendors from potential danger – whether physical or reputational in nature.

Your event planning checklist serves as a map, directing you and your staff towards a successful – and compliant – event

First things first; prepare and school yourself on all elements that require some form of compliance. (Reading this blog is an excellent start.) Finding out at the last minute that your event doesn’t have sufficient health and safety plans in place is less than ideal, so avoid any unpleasant surprises by evaluating your event from beginning to end. Every event will have different requirements as far as compliance is concerned. If just one of these is overlooked (by accident or on purpose), the ramifications can be dire.

Your event planning checklist needs to cover the following eight aspects of event compliance:

  • General Safety and Fire Prevention
  • Liability and Insurance
  • Electrical Procedures and Requirements
  • National Building Regulations for Temporary Structures
  • Safe Working Practices; Gas/and or Naked Flame Application and Usage
  • Rigging Guidelines; Ladders and Scaffolding

Conducting a safety assessment of your venue needs to be at the top of your event planning checklist

In order to identify any possible safety hazards, both the organiser (that’s you) and the contractor (if you’re building a temporary structure like a free-standing bar, stage or Bedouin tent) need to inspect the entire venue. Once you’ve thoroughly evaluated and pin pointed any potential red-flags, you’ll be able to draw up a Disaster Management Plan. As well as equipping yourself with a plan should an incident occur, this will act as an important safeguard against any legal action that may result should an incident occur.

A Disaster Management Plan is only compliant once it’s been approved by the local Disaster Management Centre (DMC) and the local Fire Safety Officer

Your event planning checklist must prioritise the compilation of your Disaster Management Plan, as well as contacting and obtaining approval from the relevant parties. Make sure you’ve set adequate time aside to compile an exhaustive and detailed plan – as stipulated in the South African National Standards (SANS) 10366: Standard for Live Events.

Importantly, your event planning checklist must include steps to document all of your event compliance procedures

Going to all the trouble of ensuring all aspects of your event are compliant is moot if you don’t have the documentation in place to prove it. In addition, without written proof that all parties involved in your event (your suppliers, vendors and contractors) are competent and dedicated to following best practice when it comes to health and safety (including theirs) – you can be held liable should any incident occur. In addition, make sure your event planning checklist includes a full brief of all role-players before the event – this will ensure that everyone is informed of their responsibilities, as well as aware of the procedures to follow in case of an accident or emergency.

Last but not least, make sure that you’ve included steps to ensure that the handling and storage of all guest information is POPI-compliant

This oft-neglected task is a pivotal part of event compliance. You need to make sure that the information your privy to (for example, names, occupations, demographics, etc.) is safely stored and managed in a way that’s in line with the stipulations as set out by the Protecting of Personal Information Act. This includes ensuring that all content management systems (yes, even your smartphone) are password protected, and that you notify the guest in questions as to your intentions for processing their data. (Read the full run down of your responsibilities as set out by the Act in our blog here.)

Our event registration software is fully POPI compliant. Find out more, here. We’ll help you to ensure that your events are compliant. Get started by downloading our free Event Compliance Checklist.

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Event technology guide The event technology of today is a far cry from its predecessors. Thanks to the plethora of options available, planning and managing not only the event itself, but also the way you communicate with your guests is easier and more efficient than ever. As event tech continues to evolve at a speed akin to that of light, you may find yourself wondering which tool to choose from a seemingly endless array of options. Before you invest in the latest event planning software, here’s what you need to know.

Not all event tech is made equal. Before you fork out for all the bells and whistles, take a step back to determine what you need to get out of your investment

Event planning software exists for one reason and one reason only: to assist you in creating and managing superior events. They might go about this in different ways, addressing various aspects of your event (social media management, finding vendors, facilitating interaction amongst guests, etc.) but the end goal is the same: an improved event. What differs dramatically though, are your particular needs. To make sure your money is well spent, first identify the areas that require some assistance. For example, you may want to streamline your RSVP process, or embark on a social media strategy to help your events gain traction. By establishing what your objectives are, you’ll be able to refine your search for the event planning software that can help you best achieve this.

Make sure your choice of event technology is purchased from a vendor that’s constantly bettering their product

Remember the floppy disk? What was once touted as a revolutionary piece of technology is now moot. Make sure that you won’t be left with a white elephant three years down the line by choosing event technology that’s built to continually evolve and improve. Other considerations include:

  • How your new event tech purchase will fit in with any existing event management software you’re using
  • Your budget
  • The cost of implementation
  • Available customer support and resources

Purchasing advanced event technology is all well and good, but if you’re unable to cover the basics, implementing improvements is that much harder.

If you’re still not sure about what kind of event technology will benefit your events the most, our advice to you is this: start at the beginning. By investing in event planning software that streamlines the bones of your event (the RSVP, registration and post-event processes), you’ll be able to build a solid foundation. Then – and only then – should you begin investigating other apps or software.

Thinking about purchasing guest list management software? Make sure you’re well-versed in all things event technology first.  Image

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The event planning process is a whirlwind of liasing with venues and caterers, managing guest lists, designing invitations and making sure that brand objectives are being met. If you haven’t been blessed with a photographic memory or the cognitive processing speed of the latest computer, it’s easy to slip up once in a while. If any of these signs are familiar to you, it might be time to enlist the help of Corporate Event Planning Software.

1. You’re getting lost in Excel spreadsheet tabs

Even the most organised event planners get lost in the confusion of managing lists of tens to hundreds of guests, their contact details and dietary preferences. Corporate Event Management Software injects organisation into the planning of the most chaotic events. You can track emails easily, manage multiple guest lists without solely working in Excel and store all the information you need to know about your guests – all of which can be used again for future events, that’ll run a lot more smoothly thanks to Corporate Event Planning Software.

2. You’re forgetting peoples’ names and confusing Miss with Ms.

Even the most honest spelling mistake can cause an invitee offence and make you appear unprofessional. With the help of Corporate Event Planning Software you can avoid these awkward blunders and have your guests feeling as if you’ve penned them a personal invitation. The software automatically pre-populates emails with data you’ve collected about them from previous events. Segregating your guest lists into different groups will allow you to tailor communication to each, giving any contact you have with them that personal touch. You’ll also avoid the blunder of sending the same person an invitation twice as the software will identify duplicate contact information.

3. You get calls from guests asking you to clarify event details

Your email invitations have been sent out, the event date is fast approaching and you still need to finalise staff for the function. It’s no wonder then that you forgot to send out those small but significant details – like a map to the venue or what time the keynote speaker is on. You get swamped with calls from confused invitees asking you for directions to the venue and whether there’s parking provided. If only you’d used Event Management Software. Easy to set up and configure, it allows you to send out pre-event SMS reminders without you having to remember to do so. What’s more, a link in the email invitation lets your guests add the event to their iCal calendar as well as a PDF venue map.

4. You’re losing track of who’s a vegtarian and who only drinks red wine

Each guest comes with their own set of preferences and requirements and keeping track of these important details is crucial to creating an event that’ll resonate with each and every one. Sifting through emails and recording dietary requirements in multiple spreadsheets will only cause mix ups on the day. With Corporate Event Planning Software, on the other hand, you have an easy way to track all emails and make sure not even the smallest detail about your guests is lost. You’ll be able to pool all data – including feedback from email or SMS post-event surveys – to gather insights that you can use in your next event strategy. You’re also able to keep track of out of office replies and email invitation bounce rates so you know exactly who has seen the invitation and who hasn’t.

5. Your brand messages aren’t getting through

Every touch point at your event is an opportunity to connect with your guests and for them to get to know your brand. Make sure each one is personalised and professional: from the first ‘save the date’ email to the post-event survey. Corporate Event Planning Software allows you to execute all of this, as well as conduct on-site registration using an RSVP iPad or QR code application. You’ll be able to reduce queueing times and improve overall efficiency. By subtly branding all touch points you’ll guarantee the best emotional experience for your guests.

Do any of these signs seem all too familiar to you? Download our Practical Guide to Professional RSVP for more insights into how to give your guests the best possible experience at your next event.

Image Credit: vai.org.uk


Choosing the right event software relies on knowing what you need. Before picking an option, make sure that your RSVP software contains the following functionality:

1. It is easy to use

The whole point of making use of RSVP software is to streamline the event planning process. If your software is difficult to navigate, with complicated dashboards and a confusing layout, you’ll spend more time having to figure out how to use the software than actually putting it to use.

2. Stores all data in a central place

Making use of event planning software that keeps every single piece of guest list information in one, easy-to-access place is crucial. If you’re having to waste precious time searching through numerous files or folders in order to find one phone number, you’re using the wrong RSVP software.

3. Hosted on a secure server

Being privy to confidential information like the contact details and demographics of your guests’ means that it’s your responsibility to ensure that this data remains secure. It’s a non-negotiable that your event planning software is hosted on a secure server in order to ensure that any information in your possession remains protected.

4. Uses a vetted email provider

Professional RSVP software should make use of a vetted email provider, for example, SendGrid. This will ensure that your online invitations land in the right inboxes – a crucial contributing factor in achieving optimal attendance rates.

5. Updates in real time

There’s little benefit in using RSVP software if you have to manually update delivery rates, acceptance rates and other guest list data. Making use of software that automatically does this – in real time – is crucial for an RSVP process that’s organised and streamlined.

6. Can be accessed remotely, by several members of staff

Your RSVP software needs to be accessible by various members of staff – whether in the office or on-site at an event. It’s useless using software that can only be accessed from one computer. Remote access to RSVP software makes a massive difference to your event planners’ ability to do their job efficiently.

7. Compiles detailed daily reports

It’s difficult to keep track of every single guest list if you’re juggling multiple events at once. Sophisticated RSVP software should send you daily reports of the latest guest list activity, which means that you won’t have to devote time to manually compiling them. This should include open rates, open and delivery times, acceptance rates, etc.

8. Enables you to update data onsite

RSVP software should allow you to make all-important changes to your guest list at the last minute. It should include functionality that enables you to add people who’ve declined but then arrive, guests who didn’t RSVP and then arrived, or guests who arrive with a different partner.

Superior guest list management software enables you to add and alter this information. What’s more, these updates will be included in an automatically generated report at the end of the day.

Our RSVP software does all of the above – and more. Equipping yourself with a tool that makes the guest list management process as easy and accurate as possible is crucial in order to run a successful event. Find out more about our RSVP software here.


We all want to be less stressed. It’s not for nothing that event planners are so frazzled; we’re expected to be on the ball, all of the time. While we can’t spirit you away to a deserted island and ply you with cocktails (imagine!), we can fill you in on the most powerful stress-buster known to event experts – event planning software. With this tool at your side, you’re more than likely having to deal with (seemingly) unending data capturing and consolidating. The good news? This doesn’t have to be the case.

All guest list data is stored in one place.

Tired of flipping through countless files looking for that one phone number? So were we, which is why we designed our event management software to store every single piece of information in your guest list in one place. You’ll never have to worry about losing the email address of your all-important VIPs, or have to burn the midnight oil stressfully scanning a sheet of conflicting information.

Automatically updates itself, so you don’t have to

Because event managing software is automatically updated, you’ll save countless hours that would have been spent laboriously entering data into a spreadsheet. Event management software not only updates itself, but does so in real time too. This means that you’ll only ever work with the most recent information; at the same time, your staff will all be on the same page (literally), at the same time too.

The RSVP Agency is ‘whitelisted’ by our email sending service SendGrid, ensuring that your invitations land in the right inboxes.

We use an accredited email platform, SendGrid – which makes sure that our bounce rate is way below the norm. You’ll never have to worry whether or not your guests have received your invites. Instead, you’ll be able to focus on more pressing issues at hand.

Turns post event reports into accurate accounts.

Reporting back to a client once an event has been completed can be harrowing – predominantly due to the fact that you’re lacking sufficient hard data. The first question on clients’ lips post event? Did we get ROI? If you’re not using event planning software, your answer will probably consist of a guestimate. If you have our RSVP software at your disposal, however, you’ll be able to compile a post-event report that’s based on hard fact.

Never make the same mistake twice.

We’ve all had those event-related disasters that have made us cringe. Making a mistake is human; what counts is learning from them. If you want to make absolutely 100% sure that you never experience the stress-inducing experience of scenario X again, it’s wise to have event planning software. You’ll be able to see that the time you spent the majority of your budget on champagne, and scrimped on cocktail snacks, actually resulted in hungry guests who left the event early – and didn’t remember any of the keynote’s address.

Gather valuable information about your guests.

If you know who your guests are, you’re that much better equipped in creating an event that not only delights them, but results in all-important ROI. Having information about your guests at your disposal isn’t just crucial for the event itself, but for the brand as a whole. The more you know about the people your brand is talking to, the more relevant you’ll be able to make your marketing messages – and brand offering – as a whole.

Image Credit: Asian Town


Champagne bottle popping cork, close-up

Event planning has evolved into a science. Organising an event that makes the maximum impact and results in ROI, boils down to measurable metrics. Brands are demanding an informed approach as opposed to the practices of old that were nothing more than a shot in the dark. The most successful corporate events of today are based on specific sets of data that ensure every aspect of an event is as impactful as possible. From attendance rates, invite open rates, bounce rates and more – event managers need to be au fait with the behavior of their guests.

Obtaining event planning statistics drives superior decision making and implementation.

For example, The RSVP Agency recently extracted the following information from our online RSVP service:  44.68 % of guest’s will accept your invite outright, and 14.06% will decline. This is good news for event planners, as it means you’ll be able to concentrate your efforts on the 41.26% of guests who’ll require a follow-up phone call or email.

Event planning statistics collected in real time will enable you to raise the bar when it comes to your invitations.

If you’re seeing that most people are opening their invites in the late afternoon, you’ll know to send out future invitations around the same time. Without this information, you’d carry on sending out invites at 9am – which will increase the likelihood of them being ignored as by the time your guest checks their mail, your invitation will be lost amidst a host of more recent mail.

Ensure against dismal attendance rates by putting your event planning statistics to work.

If you’re aware that 14.06% of guests decline an invitation upon receiving them, you’ll know that an additional back-up guest list is a pre-requisite. This will enable you to have extra invitations ready to be sent out as soon as you’re notified that someone from the original list has declined. You may want to enlist the use of save-the-dates that include the options: “Yes I’d love to attend” and “No thank you”. This will give you more time to invite other guests and re-arrange logistics like seating plans, the printing of name cards, menus, gift bag labels and the like.

Corporate events that result in ROI rely on consistently updated data.

As an event planner tasked with handling big-budget events, your number one concern is generating ROI. In order to ensure that your event doesn’t result in a loss of revenue you’ll need to be able to see at what stage your guests are, from start to finish. Being aware of information such as, whether they’ve downloaded your online invite, if they’ve opened it, clicked through to read the web invitation or forwarded it on to colleagues, will ensure you can take the necessary action. As they say, “To be forewarned is to be forearmed”, and planning an event is no exception.

If you don’t have any event planning statistics on hand, you’ll repeatedly make the same mistakes.

It’s crucial that you’re aware of what aided the success of a function, and what could have been improved upon. Examining the data on hand will alert you to areas that require a different approach, but without any information to look at, you’ll have to make do with a guesstimate

Using a service like The RSVP agency allows you to integrate real time analytics into your events by using our event management software. Not only will you be able to compile and use event planning statistics, we’ll provide you with professional call downs, professionally designed invitations and assistance on the day of your event.

Having these real time analytics data gives you insight into knowing whose email has bounced or what the guest’s food preferences are and other pertinent information, so you can make informed decisions at the drop of a hat.

 Image Credit: Telegraph