How do you work out what kind of event invitation to send?
Invitations can be one of the most fun components of a PR event to create (well they certainly are for me!). But, there's a number of factors you need to consider before you work out what invitation concept is best for your event.
Event and floral styling specialist Tess Hodgkinson from The Style Maison shares her insight for three different invitation types and we provide tips to execute each of them. Plus, we cover what kind of information your invitations should have on them and ways to save money on invites while still ensuring they making a mark.
“Event invitations are the first step in setting the tone and expectation of what to expect from an event with your guests. You should invest the same amount of attention and energy into getting these right as you do with the rest of your event”
GENERAL TIPS FOR ANY KIND OF INVITATION
Double check the spelling is correct on names and addresses, and that the recipient is still at that same address
Forge a good relationship with a printer, they'll be more likely to turn around jobs for you quickly or problem-solve an issue
Count off the number of invitations once they have been packaged up and cross-check against your list to make sure none were missed
Use a great graphic designer. The design itself doesn't need to be complicated but it does need to look striking
Listen to the full episode on The PR Pod podcast for tips on creating event invitations on a budget. You'll also find this episode on your fave podcast players, just search "The PR Pod".
Also known as digital invites, these incorporate a piece of artwork (generally a jpg) being inserted into the body of an email. The artwork has all the event information on there.
Best suited to events that are more casual or informal where you don't necessarily need to align with a luxury product
When sending out, ensure your subject heading says INVITATION - and then insert the name of the event so it stands out in the recipient's inbox
Insert the artwork AND attach it, in case people have issues viewing the email content. Keep attachment to 1 - 2mb
Be careful of using artwork that has a white background as when it's inserted into the email, you'll find it doesn't stand out. Use a coloured background on the artwork or pop a frame around it so it's more eye-catching
Create a RSVP hyperlink for the image to make it easy for people to reply
Individually send the invitations out with a personal message to each person unless sending to hundreds of people, in which case ensure everyone is included as a BCC
Make sure the artwork is centred within the email - it makes it visually more neat
Send the e-invite from the same address you want RSVPs to go to
These are generally printed onto thick paper/card and sent in an envelope
These really set the tone for an event that is more high-end/luxury/premium
Using a calligrapher to write the guest's name on the invitation and their address on the envelope will make it feel even more person and special. Just make sure you give the calligrapher a few weeks notice as to when they will receive the invites so they can carve out enough time to write these for you
Match your envelope colour in with the brand/invitation colours so it stands out. If you choose to go with a white or light-coloured envelope, look at using a metallic or coloured ink
The thicker the stock/card, the more premium it looks. If you're not sure what the different weights of stock are, get your printer to send you some samples you can keep in the office
Foiling and embossing can really set the artwork apart. Digital foiling is a slightly cheaper and quicker option
You'll need to send invitations out at least three weeks in advance plus allow 3 - 5 business days for printing
Create a long enough line on the artwork for the recipient's name (as well as potentially '+ guest'; to be written
Print out a heap of small labels with your company name and address which you can use to stick on the back of envelopes as a 'return to sender'
Ensure you print at least 10% additional invitations in case there's any mistakes make when writing names
Either printed on a non-traditional surface or delivered in a creative way
These are the best option if you really want to make an impression or have some unique brand values (like sustainability) you want to communicate. Suited to a smaller recipient group as they are generally much more expensive to execute/deliver
Consider printing on surfaces such as wood, Perspex, balloons, wine bottles, a product relevant to your band, fabric etc
Combine with a printed invitation. e.g tuck the invite into a bunch of flowers for a spring event, pop the invite into a small esky/cooler box for a beer client
THE FOUR THINGS EVERY INVITATION SHOULD HAVE
What: Summarise the purpose of the event so it's clear people know what they're attending. And be creative, you want to hook them in. e.g
You're invited to a night under the stars
Join our CEO XX for an
exclusive long-table media dinner
to celebrate the launch of our new vodka
When: Date and time of event (use AM/PM). Also, if you are hosting a seated dinner, then let them know what time that component commences. E.g, 6pm arrival | 6.30pm seating
Where: Address of event, including any additional information if it's hard to find (corner of XX, located next to XX)
RSVP: The name and email address of the person they need to RSVP to and the date which RSVPs are due
*** Dress code ***: Only relevant if it's important guests are dressed in a certain style, otherwise don't bother with it
If you want to know more about what value an event stylist can add to your event, you can find out more information and listen to the episode here.