No matter what type of corporate event you’re tasked with planning, one thing they all have in common is their reliance on the right invitation wording. If you can’t convince your guests that your function is one worth attending, you’re off to a dismal start. Regardless of whether the event in question is a gala dinner, an internal golf day or an annual bash, your invitation copy can make-or-break your event.
While all event managers know that first impressions last, not all are aware of how crucial invitation wording actually is. We’ve put together a couple of insider tips that we’ve learnt from our years of crafting invites that make the best possible impact.
Craft copy that echoes the essence of the event.
If you’re organising a team-building treasure hunt, you’ll want to adopt a tone that’s amicable and enthusiastic. Colloquial language and slang can be used – but aim to keep this to a minimum. If you’re planning a gala dinner with VIPs, your wording should be courteous and formal. Avoid sounding casual – your wording should denote an air of exclusivity and sophistication. The copy you use paints a picture of what guests can expect, so don’t be afraid of using adjectives to elevate generic invitation wording into something that’ll intrigue. There’s a vast difference between an invite that says: “Dear Ms. Brown, you’re invited to attend our annual fundraiser” and “Dear Ms. Brown, we’d be honoured if you joined us for an evening of good will and celebration at our annual fundraiser”
An invite that doesn’t refer to your guest by name is as an unforgivable offense.
We can’t stress this point enough. An invite that reads: “Dear guest, you’re invited…” should never, ever be sent. By addressing your guests by name, your communication becomes personal, as opposed to merely generic correspondence. If you’re missing the names of several guests, make sure that you don’t end up sending them an invite that says: “Dear Name…” If this is a concern, rather compose your invite as follows: “Hello there” – this is vastly better to the awkward alternative.
Give careful consideration to your subject line.
This is the most important part of your invitation as it’s the first thing a guest reads upon receiving your invite. It determines whether someone chooses to open your invite, or send it straight to their trash folder. Always include your guests’ name, and aim to make your copy as enticing as possible. It’s unlikely that anyone will open an invitation with the subject line: “Anne Brown, you’re invited to our fundraiser”. Changing your wording slightly to “Anne, ABC Attorneys would like to celebrate with you at this year’s fundraiser.”
Always send your invitations from an individual your guests are familiar with.
Invitation wording that contains the name of a broker, sales person or manager who’s met or worked with a guest has a substantially higher click-through rate than invites sent on behalf of a company or department. By acknowledging the fact that your guest has some sort of relationship with an individual from your brand, you’re cultivating a sense of familiarity. This goes a long way in positioning an event as one that your guests will want to be a part of.
Make your invitation wording the star of your invite.
Your copy should form the majority of any invitation you send, for two reasons. One, spam folders are much more likely to block image-riddled emails, and two, your copy needs to contain all the necessary details pertaining to the event. Simply having your company’s logo and “You’re invited to our Christmas party” won’t cut it. Keeping images to a minimum ensures your invite lands in the intended inbox, and quickly conveys the fundamentals of your function.
Event planners who approach their invitation wording as one of the most crucial elements of an event enjoy the satisfaction of a one that’s well attended. Putting as much thought into your invitation wording as you would into the choice of venue or catering is a fail-safe way to guarantee that any event is nothing short of a roaring success.
Image Credit: Ask a Vocal Coach