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22 Oct 2015

8 tips for an inviting invitation to your event

An event is often a resource intensive investment for the organiser. It takes time, costs money and requires lots of energy. So, of course, you want it to be as good as possible right from the start.

In the worst case, an event can be ruined if not enough people come. So the invitation is perhaps the most important detail in a successful event. 

1. The title creates the first impression

The title is extremely important. It is important that it is adapted to the receiver, and so you must try to visualise how the target group think. Make sure that the title contains something of interest to them. "Focus on your core values" does not say much about what the event will be about. On the other hand, "Represent your business on social media" immediately raises the interest of, for example, someone looking to create a Facebook page for their business. The title should speak to the recipient and tell them that there is a lot to learn and be gained by coming to your event.

The title must also be simple, short and easily understandable. It must be possible for the recipient to comprehend in its entirety before they lose interest.

2. The customer's time is precious

The time the customer spends on visiting your event is often much more valuable than the money it costs. Therefore, they have to know that it is time well invested. Make sure to explain in your invitation the benefit to the customer of visiting the event. They want value for the time they are giving up. Make it clear that they will get back what they invest in the form of customer benefit. And make them aware in the invitation that they will gain from it.

The recipient’s patience is short. Therefore, the invitation should also be short. The more you can say in the least amount of space, the greater the chance that the whole invitation will be read. Restrict your text as much as possible without losing the message.

3. Don’t neglect the design

Even though the content is the most important thing, appearance also matters a great deal. Spend some time on the design. It means more than you might think. Images, colours, shape and location of the text affect the overall impression. If your invitation looks stylish and professional it encourages the reading of it. Make sure that your invitation itself is inviting. But don’t over design. Keep in mind that it should still be easy to read.

4. A personal invitation is even more effective

The effect of making a personalised invitation should not be underestimated. Write your invitation directly to the person who will be reading it. An introduction such as "For you as a manager" or "Seminar for managers in the retail trade" is to some extent personalised. But it is even better to address the person by their own name. "Dear Lena, We think that you as a business leader will have great benefit of..." This way of being asked personally makes it more appealing to actually participate.

5. The customer must never hesitate about taking the next step

Another important detail you must not forget, is to make clear what the customer should do next. There must be a clear encouragement to register. The recipient must be able to register immediately. Otherwise there is a risk that something else attracts their attention or that your event is simply forgotten about.

To get people to register quickly, you can for example entice them with an "early bird discount" or give a gift to those who register before a certain date. Also make sure that there is no uncertainty about how to register. Is it done by email, phone, post or in person? Whatever the method, be clear so that the customer does not have to worry and can register immediately.

6. “What does it cost?"

What does it cost?" is a question the customer will probably ask themselves straight away, so this must be shown in the invitation. And if the price is low, it should certainly be shown off. If the recipient believes that the price is high, the invitation can end up in the trash without even having been read in full. Tell the invitee immediately that it is cheaper than they may think (but in a more subtle way).

7. Distribute the invitation in many channels

When the invitation has been written, the recipient needs to receive it. Send it out in the form of a mail, letter, postcard, parcel or whatever best suits your event. And send it in good time. The larger the event, the more time the receiver needs to plan for it. Normally, 4 - 5 weeks in advance is enough for a half-day event. An all day event needs a little more forward planning.

You can also put the invitation on your website, post it on Facebook and Twitter or look for prospects on LinkedIn. You can try to get bloggers to write about the event, you can advertise on Google and maybe send a press release. Anything to make your event be seen as much as possible.

8. The importance of reminding

If guests still do not register they may need a reminder. In that case, make the benefit to the customer extra clear one more time, so that they understand why they should come.

Even those who have registered can get a reminder, but then give attention to the fact that they have actually have registered instead. For example, you can send a message to all those registered and thank them for registering, welcome them to the event and ask them to note the date in their diaries so that they do not forget it. Once again, you can take the opportunity to emphasise customer benefit, so that each customer feels satisfied with their choice to register. They should feel that they are investing their time in the right way. Reminders of this nature can well be sent as text messages. This makes them even more personal and speaks to the recipients as though they were close friends.

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