Event Invitation Mistakes

I’m not an events guy. I’m learning a lot in terms of trial by fire with events. Here are a few of the mistakes I’ve made that I thought I’d share with you so you don’t make my mistakes. Feel free to add a mistake of your own, it may help me avoid it next time.

  • Don’t forget to have a reason that appeals to the donor for having your event. Don’t make your event just about your campaign. If you are a school find a way to use a notable faculty as a guest speaker.
  • Think about the cost per invitation. Not just the financial cost but also the personal time cost. If you have a really intricate invitation it will take you a long time to put together.
  • Be aware of holidays and other community events. Having an event around Christmas can be a real challenge.
  • Make sure to hold the event day well in advance with all of your internal stakeholders. Who is speaking, who needs to be there? The ED or President at your organization’s calendar will book up really fast so you may need to be quite proactive about using their time.
  • Make sure to allow time for follow-up calls. Depending on who you are inviting to the event it might work well to have board members or hosts make some of these calls.
  • Think through the guests that you are inviting. Will they fit together? What will the interactions be like?
  • Choose your paper stock carefully, for both invitations and programs. Heavy, flecked or speckled paper is neat, but photos with “spots” are not. (Reader submission, thanks Terri)
  • Make sure you weigh the entire package when you are determining paperstock. Ink has weight, and printing on the paperstock can add just enough weight to kick you into the next postal rate category. (Graphic design folks know these things, but we don’t always have the luxury of contracting a designer.) (Reader submission, thanks Terri)
  • Always include contact information for the organization. It is frustrating to to hunt for contact information when you have additional questions. (Reader submission, thanks Terri)
  • In the “funny story you never want to happen to you,” category, the “l” in “public” is a VERY IMPORTANT letter. (Reader submission, thanks Terri)
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