Knowing how to RSVP by email for any occasion is definitely information professional event planners must know. It is also important for anyone concerned with understanding and following proper etiquette in modern times.
“Répondez s’il vous plait” – RSVP is the french for “please reply”. This form of communication is a crucial tool in the event planning process and is very useful for organizers. It helps them to gauge the number of guests they should expect on a given day and also whether or not they should invite more people.
To RSVP or not to RSVP
RSVPs help event planners know some basic information about the people attending their event. This allows them to properly prepare in advance.
Knowing how many guests to expect is crucial for event planners. If they are expecting a few hundred people and only a handful show up then it’s very likely that they will have wasted vast amounts of resources in the planning and execution phases of the event in question. On the other hand, if five hundred people arrive and they were expecting less than fifty guests for then, of course, they will face a different set of challenges. This can include being understaffed to wait tables or not having enough food and drink to go around. Naturally, both of these outcomes are undesirable for the event planner and guests alike, and RSVPs can help to avoid it entirely.
Basic RSVP etiquette
The information requested on your RSVP will depend on the type of event. However, these are the basics that every RSVP should have:
- the name of the event
- date and time
- number and sometimes names and ages of the guest your invitees will be taking (spouse, children, partners etc.)
Specific RSVP details
Formal functions such as weddings sometimes have a physical or email RSVP which will often include a choice of food from a set menu.
This is obviously very useful information for the event planner. If the proposed menu has a choice of Duck à l’Orange or lamb shanks as the main and half the room turns out to be vegan, it is not hard to see the problem. Having the menu available and an option to make a selection in advance of the event allows the planner to make provision for such occurrences.
- For casual events the email of the host is placed at the bottom of the RSVP
- For more formal type events the telephone number of the host maybe required
- ‘Regrets only’ replies have become quite popular whereby you are only required to reply if you are declining the invite.
- Understand that you have no control over who and when your RSVP is responded to but the addition of a “reply by” date will indicate urgency.
Choice of email services and methods to use for your RSVP
There are quite a few email invitation services to choose from. Most of which you can register to for free. You can use the basic features of the service at no charge which generally includes an RSVP function.
1. One such service is Paperless Post.The good thing about Paperless Post is that you can sign-up using your Facebook account or even a regular email address. It has a large range of stylish designs suitable for any occasion.
The home page presents users with a search box in which they may enter the type of event or choose the category they require from the list on the front page. You also have the option of creating and uploading your own design. Having made your selection, you can customize the text by clicking on the card design. You can really go to town with filling out the boxes too!
The beauty of this email invite service is that you may import or input manually your guest emails and send invites via the platform itself.
2. Similar actions can be accomplished by using other email services such as Ping which, like Paperless Post, offers a free option. They also include a free website for your event, and can help facilitate the sale of tickets.
3. There are other stand-alone email marketing platforms, such as MailChimp and Constant Contact. These can provide RSVP invites which will mean you have one less thing to worry about when you are planning your event.
4.The use of form generators such as Jot Form also provides RSVP features which can be embedded into your email as a link.
Jot form provides you with a generic RSVP form for recipients. One useful feature is the RSVP template form for weddings which offers great customization options. For example, guests are actually able to request songs to add to the DJ’s playlist during the reception.
It also provides you with a generated ‘http’ link to embed into emails.
If you have Gmail you could utilize Google forms by:
- Go to Gmail
- Click the ‘grid’ button on the right
- Select ‘Drive’ on the drop-down menu
- Once in Google Drive click on the big red button on the left and scroll down to ‘More’ then click on ‘Google Forms’
- Once on the forms page, follow the onscreen prompts to formulate your RSVP. Create a title and RSVP type questions by using drop-downs, check boxes or multiple choice questions.
Hopefully, if you are planning an event, you will have found the above information about RSVPs useful. It’s important as an organizer that you are aware of how to create and distribute your invites. These considerations should help you next time you are responsible for putting on a large event and will hopefully make the process easier, allowing you to concentrate on other important factors.