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Nine Tips Ensuring Guests Attendance At Your Celebration, Luncheon, Event or Party

Laura Baker

Posted on September 06 2018

You could throw the most amazing parties with gourmet catering, professional live entertainment at one of the most exclusive locations in the world, but if no one comes... did it happen?


Whether you're throwing a major event or an intimate dinner party, one of the most stressful parts of planning the event can be knowing who will ultimately show up to the party.

RSVP is an initialism derived from the French phrase Répondez s'il vous plaît meaning "Please respond".  To ensure the best possible guest attendance follow these simple tips:


1. Invite a mixture of people (60%) people you can count on to (40%) lesser known guests. 

Typically, the closer the connection, the higher the probability your guest will RSVP and in a timely manner.  When you know more of the people who will be attending, you’ll be less stressed out the 40% unknown who will have a low probability of RSVPing.  For example like a child’s birthday, social engagements, etc where the invites don’t know you and typically only come if nothing better comes up.  

2.  Give advance notice.  

Typically, the larger or more intricate or involved the planning for the event, the more advance warning you should give guests.  

For example, if your planning for a major milestone like your 60th birthday, your parents 30th wedding anniversary, etc four to eight weeks is a good time frame to give advance warning so people can clear their schedule, make travel arrangements or plan to attend.  

Typically three weeks for notice for a small child's birthday and one to two weeks for an older child, teenager or young adult’s party and If you're having a smaller dinner party at your home 1 - 2 weeks time is good notice.  


 3. What type of RSVP are you sending first?

Consider the type of invitation your using and demographics of your guests.  

Whether you’re inviting people via calling, texting, sending an email, www.evite.com or paperless post, posting an event on Facebook, handwritten invitation, printed invitation, etc.  Consider the type of event, type of guest, age groups or cultures and that not all people use or respond to the same median as you do or you might not have all of their contact information.  

4.  Send a second type or follow up RSVP after your first in a different median.  

Some people find this tricky as they have limited contact information for their guests.  This step makes you reach out to other family members, co-workers, parents, etc.  I’ve been fortunate and notice there is a strong correlation as I then have those people I’m reaching out to, also follow up with people for the event.  

By sending a second invite, it seems like about 30% of people didn’t see the first invite, and this catches them on the second round. 

In addition, when it’s a different median, you’ll have a stronger probability of having your invite be seen.  So if the first invite was through evite.com or paperless post, I will typically follow up with a phone call or text message inviting people too.  If I do a printed or handwritten invitation, I will probably follow up with an email or phone call.  


5.  Give guests multiple ways to respond.  

Giving your guests multiple ways to respond ( text, email, phone, electronic RSVP (paperless post or evite.com) smoke signals, etc).  Like the different types of RSVPs, make it easy for guests to respond.  


6.  Send a reminder two to three days before.  

Sending a reminder two to three days before an event and tell guests you are excited to have them coming.

A quick text, phone call or email before lets them make last minute plants to buy an outfit, find a sitter for their children or furry babies, or find a ride to your event.  

7.  Alert guests to weird parking ordinances in your neighborhood or a building code, doorman, etc.

Please give additional instructions of things your guest will need to be aware of so they can better plan, take an Uber, Call the right person or have their name on a list so they at this time so your guests don't become stressed out before they arrive.    

8.  Give an alternate contact person or phone number for the day of questions.

Enlisting a family member or guest to help with answering last minute questions the day of or helping guests with last minute directions will ease stress and help you focus on your event.  


9.  Remember to ask guests if they need special accommodations.  

Being considerate and taking a special interest of your guests gives them a stake in your event which ultimately increases attendance.  Most guests who need special accommodations are used to accommodating themselves and will most likely bring what they need to your event.  

Also, be aware if someone is deathly allergic to things like nuts or lavender or if someone is terrified of dogs and you breed Great Danes.  

Being aware will help with any last minute hurdles and doing something like keeping your dogs out of site or buying nonscented hand soap for your bathroom will let your guests feel more at ease and comfortable at your event.  

Nine Tips Ensuring Guests Attendance At Your Celebration, Luncheon, Event or Party

We want you to be a guest at your next event and by utilizing these tips will let you enjoy your event and you will have an enjoyable party.  

If you have any comments or suggestions, we appreciate your feedback.  

Laura Baker

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