Google ‘RSVP Management’ and ‘Party Invitation Management’ and the results are almost identical. While the world’s most popular search engine seems to think these two terms are interchangeable, I’m here to tell you that this couldn’t be further from the truth. But why all the fuss about making the distinction between the two clear? Why is this so important that we’ve dedicated an entire blog to the subject?

Because if you’re investing a substantial amount of money into a corporate event, you need to make sure your RSVP solution ticks all the boxes – and then some.

Corporates designate eye-watering sums towards their events, for good reason. Events are a chance to attract the right customers, increase brand exposure, and hopefully, ROI. As such, your RSVP management has to be slick, streamlined and rendered by professionals.

You’d never hire an amateur chef to cater for your event, so why settle on an RSVP solution that leaves plenty of room for error?

Party invitation management does the job – but only if you’re planning your niece’s sweet 16th or a school reunion. They provide you with a generic template that’s customisable to some degree, often for free. Which is great if your event is nothing more than a celebration. But if you’ve got the reputation of a brand riding on your next event, opting for any old e-invitation solution can see your event go up in flames.

Not convinced?

Here are the crucial differences between professional RSVP Management and party invitation management:

RSVP management offers you an end-to-end solution. From the very first save-the-date to a post-event report. RSVP management ensures you’re not spamming guests (and turning them permanently off your brand) thanks to the meticulous cleaning of databases (crucial in light of increasingly strict privacy and anti-spam laws like POPI).

RSVP Management includes the creation of bespoke, branded event invitations that cast your event in a professional light.

RSVP Management enables you to customise invitation form fields, post-event surveys to collect guest data to better inform all subsequent events and marketing activities.

RSVP Management ensures your entire event is meticulously orchestrated: from the discreet management of VIPs to the streamlined check-in of guests, to increased security thanks to the use of QR codes that contain relevant guest information.

RSVP Management puts your guests front and centre at your event. Thanks to the fact that you can collect a wide array of data about your guests – from demographic data to granular information like their preferred thread count or nightcap.

Planning and running a world-class corporate event requires professional solutions that take care of the details. Our RSVP management solution does just that. Designed by event planners, for event planners, we help leading brands to successfully manage their RSVP process, delighting guests and increasing event ROI.

To find out more about how our superior RSVP management solution can take your next corporate event to new heights, download our brochure.

RSVP Management for Dummies

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!

Our “all-in-one” RSVP management solution has made the entire process simple and stress-free! Contact us today .

Improving guest experience using RSVP management at your event

RSVP management is essential to running a successful event. Event planners in Cape Town  have identified several ways in which RSVP management software helps them, including saving time and money. Not only does RSVP management and related software help event planners, it also helps improve the overall experience for event guests.

Let us show you how.

RSVP management software gets the right guests to your event

The perfect event means little without the perfect guest list. If you’re not talking to the right target market, guests may feel disengaged or bored because they cannot relate to the event’s environment. This may translate to poor return on engagement and, in turn, a poor return on investment. The online nature of RSVP management software allows you to build an accurate database that you can segment via demographics and other relevant indicators. A good quality guestlist means that you’re talking to the right people, the right way – giving your attendees an overall improved guest experience.

RSVP management gives your guests a personalised experience

From the invitation to on-site registration, RSVP management gives your guests a personalised experience at every step. RSVP Agency’s sophisticated software sends each guest a personalised online invitation, with the option to add the event to their personal calendars. To further enhance the guest experience, invitations are equipped with customisable fields that allow invitees to fill out pertinent information – giving event management the tools to customise each guest’s journey. All this culminates in a seamless on-site registration, where our professional hosts are there to greet guests by name once provided with the attendee’s unique QR codes and cloud-based registration software.

Our software lets you optimise and keep improving

RSVP Agency’s event management software lets you tap into valuable insights by sending post-event surveys via SMS. Event attendees are more likely to participate in a survey immediately after the experience, thus increasing the accuracy of your post-survey results. This, coupled with the guest data gathered from the online invitations, means that you have a robust source to draw insights from. These insights allow you to optimise your events – improving your guest experience and ultimately, your return on investment.

These are just some of the ways that RSVP management can improve guests’ experience at your next event. RSVP Agency offers a host of RSVP management services to give your guests the very best experience.

Visit our Events Services  page to find out more about the services we offer.

When planning a wedding, trying to get a handle on your guest list management often results in massive family feuds. The fact that you’re working with both limited spaces and budget means that there’s no way you’ll be able to invite every single person known to the family. In much the same way, deciding who to invite to a corporate event can be tricky, as there’s no way you’ll be able to invite every single customer or lead to your event. Remember that each customer brings in a different amount of revenue – which means that it’s unwise to spend more than you’re making of a client.

These situations lead to what’s commonly referred to as an “A” list, “B” list, and sometimes, a “C” list.

Listing your guests in order of priority is the easiest way to manage a guest list that’s too big. The “A” list obviously consists of those who receive an invite right off the bat, while the “B” list consists of guests you’ll invite if someone on the “A” list declines your invitation. The “C” list, is a last resort of sorts, containing guests who’ll be invited only once you’ve exhausted your “B” list.

Deciding who ends up on which list is a strategic task.

If you’re dealing with a corporate event, you’ll need to get input from the head of sales or customer service. They’ll not only be familiar with the clients, they’ll also be aware of any issues, such as potential deals that are about to be closed, or customers you should focus on in order to build a relationship with.

Guest list management for a wedding, however, is an entirely different story. You’ll need to consider familial obligations, as well as whether or not to invite your new boss you’re wanting to impress. Once you’ve factored in all of these considerations, you’ll be able to decide who ends up on what list.

The infographic below simplifies a process that’s often fraught with difficult decisions.

Although tailored towards the guest list management of a wedding, this simple flow chart has some valuable tips. It emphasises the importance of your relationship with each guest, and whether leaving them off the list will have a negative impact or not. This is essentially what any guest list management comes down to – being able to identify, in order of importance, the repercussions of whether to invite someone or not.

Managing your three lists requires quick thinking and decisive action.

The last thing you want is to make a guest feel like your second choice (even if they are in fact on the “B” list), which means you’ll need to be quick on the draw, ready to adjust your guest list at a moment’s notice. You need to ensure that as soon as someone on the “A” list declines, an invitation is sent to someone on the “B” list.

If you’re tasked with running multiple events, efficient guest list management can turn into a full time job.

You’ll constantly have to follow up with the people who haven’t responded and effectively juggle your three guest lists. Event planning teams need to consider the massive amounts of time involved in this process, and make sure that the task is delegated to someone other than the person responsible for organising the actual logistics of the event or outsourced to a specialist RSVP company.

Image Credit: National Geographic