Whether we are talking about a big company anniversary celebration, a summer party for colleagues and staff, a trade fair event, a fabulous gala evening or a formal charity dinner with a fashion show and music, the organisation and planning begins well in advance, sometimes many months beforehand. And the invitation plays a particularly important role in this.
Expert: Patrick von Ribbentrop
Managing director EventKingdom
For guests the invitation is the first impression they get of an event. Its design has a considerable influence on whether people accept or refuse. Invitations not only have to be visually appealing to rise above the flood of mail people receive and the information overload to which they are exposed; they also have to tie in with the design of the planned event or the corporate design of the company sending them.
Stylish digital mail
Organisers of events of all kinds will find suitable, attractive invitation cards at EventKingdom and can also benefit from a clear overview showing who has received them as well as effective guest management functionality. The event host can choose from a wide variety of design templates, which can then be edited and modified to suit the event. These electronic invitations cannot be compared with conventional online invitations: guests receive their invitation in an attractive virtual, animated envelope. In addition, there is also an optional personalisation function that allows you to address the person you are inviting individually.
If organisers want to strike a personal note, they can customise the templates with their own photographs. Alternatively, they can upload cards they have designed themselves or develop their own unique design. There are virtually no limits to what they can do in terms of the invitation’s appearance: from selecting the envelope lining to designing a unique digital stamp. They can even include a musical greeting.
Practical reply management
Practical reply and guest management is available as well. The recipients of the invitations can accept or refuse them with just a click or two. It is also extremely easy for the event host or sender of the invitation to get an overview showing the current status: it couldn’t be simpler to view lists showing who has accepted or refused or guest contact data. The software is intuitive to use, and no special knowledge is required. It is also possible to send reminder invitations to people who have not yet replied.
A multitude of options
Another alternative are “save the date” mailings to bring an event to people’s attention in advance. The invitation itself can then be sent by post at a later date. Organisers also have the option of inviting people to different events within a large event – for example, a seminar or reception taking place as part of a conference that is relevant only to a specific target group. The event host also has a choice when it comes to how to send the invitation: online or via Facebook.
Using EventKingdom is significantly more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than sending paper invitations. The costs vary depending on the design and the number of virtual stamps purchased. If you order the minimum of 30 stamps, you pay 16.6 cents per stamp. 3,000 virtual stamps cost 6.5 cents each, which makes a total of 195 euros. In theory, there are also other inexpensive ways of inviting guests to an event, but only at first glance. Sending invitations by email may be free, but PDF attachments are no longer contemporary and also result in a significantly lower reply rate . In addition, without the overview showing who has received an invitation and the guest management feature, administration costs are also significantly higher.
Recent case studies
The recently opened Mall of Berlin took advantage of the EventKingdom service: the shopping paradise used the platform to invite over 7,000 guests to an opening party on the evening before the mall was due to open. The Mall of Berlin also made use of the guest management functionality. As a result, over 6,000 guests including companions accepted the invitation. The hotel chain Hyatt provides another example. Hyatt uses digital invitations on a regular basis all over the world for a variety of events – for example, for invitations to exclusive smaller events or for larger receptions for around 500 guests. The reason? Hyatt attaches great importance to maintaining a uniform style in all its communications worldwide. It thus ensures that all invitations comply with the company standard.
Digital event trend
There is a clear trend towards digital invitations to events. The more the Internet becomes an integral part of our lives, the more style will play a role in digital communications. Although paper invitation cards will continue to be sent for special events, this will happen less and less – and will often only be sent to selected guests (www.eventkingdom.com).
This article was published in TFI issue 6/2014
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