Guest List Management – how to decide who is on the A list [infographic]

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

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