You’ve been planning your event for some time and can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Now is a good time to think about sending an event invitation to your guests.
Read this guide to find out why event invitations are important, how to write them and when to send them.
What is an event invitation?
The answer may seem obvious, but there are more event invitations than you think. What counts as an invitation for an informal event will not count for a formal one.
So what’s appropriate?
Should you take a fountain pen and write a personalized invitation on a handmade letter? Or is it enough to simply tag people on Facebook?
Your invitation should reflect the theme of the event. It should do more than just inform people about the practical details. It should be part of the event itself by generating excitement in advance.
So whether you opt for a mailed invitation or a quick email, it should match the overall theme of the event.
The different types of event invitations.
The format of the event invitation is important because it can affect the response rates of your recipients, as well as your impression of the event. Let’s look at the three types of event invitations.
Handwritten invitations are traditionally issued for very exclusive events, such as weddings, galas, and formal dinners.
They require time, money, and effort on the part of the event planner. This makes them impractical for large gatherings with hundreds or thousands of attendees.
Because of the exclusivity and effort associated with written invitations, recipients are more likely to RSVP. A double self-addressed envelope will further improve response rates.
Written invitations look great, but printed event invitations give you more options. If you partner with a good graphic designer or use an online template, then you can get really creative.
Printed invitations are cheaper to produce than written invitations, but still more expensive than electronic invitations. They are also less exclusive than written invitations, but more than digital invitations.
Digital event invitations, whatever form they take, are by far the cheapest and quickest option. You can compose an email and send it to all your attendees at once with the click of a button.
An even faster way is to create a Facebook event and invite people through the platform. You can brand your digital invitations with your event graphics to make them more elaborate.
Electronic invitations are less formal, less exclusive, and therefore less memorable and urgent. But you can send regular reminders and easily track responses and participation.
What details to include in your event invitation
Your event invitation should answer all the relevant questions attendees will have. These include what, why, who, when, and where of your event.
Most event invitations will include the following details:
- Name of the person invited
- Title and description of the event
- Name of hosts and organizers
- Time and date of the event
- Location and directions
- Dress code
- RSVP Deadline
Depending on the type of event you are planning, you may also want to include information about parking, children, seniors, dining options, and special dietary requirements.
How to write an event invitation
Your choice of language should reflect the formality of the event. Write formally for formal events and use casual words for casual events.
Formal event invitations often use language such as “You are cordially invited to…” and “We request the pleasure of your company…”
Here are some types of events that generally require formal wording:
- Academic Seminars
- Anniversary parties
- Awards Ceremonies
- Corporate Luncheons
- Official Ceremonies
- Open Houses
- Retirement Parties
Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. A business luncheon can be informal and an awards ceremony can be ironic. Just make sure the wording matches the theme.
Invitations for casual events use more direct language, such as “Join us next month…” and “Don’t miss out…”
Here are some examples of events where casual wording is often appropriate:
- Casual Dinners
- Holiday Celebrations
- Small Parties
- Surprise Parties
- Work Parties
Tip: Take a look at these sample event invitation wording to help you write your own.
Should I always send event invitations?
Not every event requires an invitation, so it’s worth considering whether you should even take the time. Many of our readers organize classes, for example, which generally don’t require an invitation.
Then there are public events, such as parades and community fairs, which are open to all and simply advertise the practical details on posters around town and online.
Event invitation: Meeting a friend for coffee usually won’t require a formal letter. Meeting a friend for coffee usually won’t require a formal letter.
Here are some examples of events that will not require much in terms of invitations:
- Casual Parties
- Comedy Shows
- Community Events
- Treasure Hunts
- Sporting Events
- Team Building Events
- Wellness Events
When is the best time to send out invitations for events?
There are no hard and fast rules about when to send out official invitations, but there are a few things to keep in mind when doing so.
The earlier you invite people to an event, the less likely they are to be busy. However, they are also more likely to forget by the time the event rolls around.
Conversely, your event will be fresher in people’s minds the closer you are to the date. But they are also more likely to have already made plans for the day.
Here are some factors that will influence the timing of your event invitation:
- Date: send invitations earlier if your event takes place during a busy time, such as a vacation period.
- Location: give people time to book their flights and accommodations if you are planning an overseas event.
- Size: advertise large events, such as conferences and festivals, well in advance so people can keep their schedules clear.
- Tickets: ticketed events with advanced booking options or a limited supply should be advertised well in advance to give people the opportunity to secure their tickets.
Event invitation ideas to get inspiration from
If you want to see how other event planners have created invitations for their events, you’re in luck. We’ve discovered some amazing and inspiring ideas that you can use.
Check out these event invitation ideas:
- Event Manager Blog
- Inspiration Feed
Event invitation templates.
If you’re feeling ready to try your hand at creating your event invitations, fear not. You don’t have to be a graphic designer. You can get one of the many free templates online.
Here are some free event invitation templates you can use:
- Adobe Spark
- Greetings Island
Ready to send invitations?
You now have all the resources you need to create and send a great event invitation. The only question now is who will you invite and for what?