Whether you’re organising a corporate event, a conference, a product launch, a party or anything in between, it’s difficult to overestimate the importance of RSVPs.
RSVPs will give you a general idea of attendance numbers, which provide plenty of opportunity for the smooth running of the event in question.
We’ve seen all too many parties and conferences which have suffered from failing to take this most fundamental of steps; and these problems have ranged from not having enough chairs and tables for all the assembled guests, to having too much or too little food and drink on offer, or disappointing your attendees by running out of gift packs and freebies.
We’ve put together this useful guide to take you through all you need to know about events RSVPs, and the various programmes used by top event organisers across the country. Enjoy!
We’ve been in the event management industry for over 25 years, and as a result, we’re more than used to seeing new developments arise in this fast-moving and ever-changing business. Many such developments end up being little more than a flash in the pan, but when it comes to RSVP tools for events, however, it’s hard to imagine how we coped before they came alone.
Event RSVP programs become particularly useful when your event is free or doesn’t feature ticket sales. After all, when you’re holding a ticketed event, you can assume that those who have paid for a ticket are likely to turn up, and the number of no-shows is going to be minimal.
However, when you’re holding a non-ticketed event, an RSVP system makes it easy to see just how many people are likely to show on the day - your prospective guests just have to select how many spots they’d like to RSVP for, fill in their contact details online to reserve their place, and then presto!
They’ll immediately be emailed a confirmation to show that they’ve RSVP’d, and their intention is to make it to your event.
It’s a system wherein the strength lies in its simplicity, and - believe us - it can make an enormous difference in regards to how efficiently your event planning unfolds.
As with anything when it comes to event management, the subject of RSVPs is one which is susceptible to various pitfalls and hiccups along the way. While you may be completely on top of the organisation of your party, conference, launch or meeting, your guests might not be as efficient or considerate as yourself… and this is where some issues and problems might arise. Let’s take a look through some common difficulties that can pop up when managing RSVPs, and the best ways to deal with them.
Problem One: Your Guests Aren’t Clear If Plus-Ones Aren’t Included
When you’re planning a corporate event, some guests might want to bring along a partner, a spouse, a friend, a potential client… the list of possibilities is fairly endless.
This is where you have to be crystal clear on your event’s RSVP form - if you have the space and facilities for a plus one, write that your guests are allowed to bring someone, but ONLY if they tick a box or reserve an extra place on your form. If they don’t do this, you can assume that they’ll be coming alone.
Problem Two: Unclear Instructions or Essential Information
Even if you think you’ve included everything you need to on your form, and it’s all written out in black and white, it’s well worth checking through it again (or better, getting a friend or colleague to take a look at it).
Date, starting and finishing time, location, directions, parking and public transport facilities should all be listed, as you can’t always rely on your guests to use their initiative.
Problem Three: Guests Who Didn’t RSVP Turn Up On The Day
This is a tricky one, and depends partly on how flexible your event is. If your attendance numbers are a little lower than expected, then some non-RSVPing guests (so long as they aren’t total strangers wandering off the streets, of course) are going to quite welcome.
For the most part, however, there’s a simple rule here: no RSVP, no entry.
Problem Four: Your RSVP Request Is Ignored
This is something which occasionally happens nowadays, simply due to the fact that most of us have to deal with all kinds of spam emails, and they occasionally get mixed up with the real deal.
If you haven’t received RSVPs from attendees who you’d expect or want a reply from, there’s nothing wrong with sending out a reminder email or prompt a few days later, just to jolt their memories or encourage them to book a place.
There are plenty of great tools out there for organising RSVPs, but in order to make the most of them, you’ll have to take some time to think about which ones are best for your individual needs and requirements.
What To Look For In a RSVP Management Tool
Every event is different, and the demands and expectations event organisers have in regards to their tools is something that is constantly increasing.
While some RSVP tools have a standard set of features, the best of them allow you to completely tailor and customise what you send out to your attendees, and give you complete control over the whole process.
This includes allowing you to customise the wording, the fonts, layout, colour schemes, borders… pretty much everything you could imagine or require!
Every event organiser knows that efficiency is key in all that we do. When seeking out a RSVP program or tools, make sure you take the time to ensure that the speed and efficiency offered is top-notch. You’ll want a tool which is free from glitches and lags, and which is viewable on all devices and across multiple platforms.
Your communication is always going to be considerably more effective if the tools you’re using offer you the opportunity for sleekness and style.
Look out for RSVP tools which allow you to add photos and video, and provide the ability for some interaction between you and your potential attendees. You want your guests to be wowed when they open that invitation, and unable to refuse the chance to get involved!
It’s important for you to be a little picky when perusing your various options. While there are plenty of tools out there, not all are created equal, and some offer far more than others with generally little difference in price.
You want your guest management process to be streamlined, capable and highly effective, and that requires some thought into the investment you’ll be making.
With its user-friendly interface and fantastic set of design options, Odoo is gaining popularity as one of the most efficient and effective guest management tools available. It covers every aspect of the event planning process, and allows you to manage RSVPs with the greatest of ease. It also includes:
- Social media integration
- SEO tools
- Sponsor management
- Email marketing
RSVPify may be primarily geared towards organising weddings, but thanks to its highly adaptable and flexible setup, it allows you to manage pretty much any kind of event with high levels of efficiency and in great style.
Perfect for smaller events, it gives you the opportunity to manage up to 100 RSVPs, and has a wealth of customisation options. On top of this, users of RSVPify can:
- Develop custom branding
- Have a custom URL
- Create attendee surveys
- Send email notifications
If you’re looking for a tool which is primarily focused on invitations and RSVPs, then Evite is about as good as it gets.
It’s a tool specially geared towards just these two things, and as such, it’s more streamlined, easier to use, and more efficient than much of its competition. It allows you to:
- Email your invitations
- Customise your branding
- Speed things up with pre-made templates
A highly popular tool (perhaps due to the fact that the basic version is completely free), Eventsbot is fantastic for middle-sized events of up to 500 attendees.
With a wide range of tailoring options, and opportunities to track developments in real time, it’s no wonder this has gone on to become a market leader. Additional features include:
- Data management
- Event scheduling
- Custom branding
There’s no doubt about the importance of RSVPs when it comes to events management, and once you’ve gotten used to using some of the above mentioned tools, you’ll be amazed that you ever got by without them.
With the right approach and the right tools, organising your RSVPs becomes an invaluable part of the events planning process. Efficiency is increased, your organising suddenly becomes much more streamlined… and everyone’s blood pressure stays relatively normal on the big day.