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Professional Invitation Management Part 1: How to Get More Confirmations for Your Event Invitations

Wednesday, 4. September 2019 | by: Julia Fischer | Exhibit Marketing

Whether it’s a workshop, a company event, a meeting, a gala, or even a convention or fair that lasts multiple days, one of the most important indicators of the success of an event is the number of participants. The quantity and quality of the invitations play an important role in that. In this blog post, you’ll read about what professional invitation management is and what you should pay attention to.

The invitation is usually the first impression your guests will get of your event and, as you know, you won’t get a second chance, so its form and content play a key role in helping the recipient to decide whether to confirm or deny your invitation. At least as important as the invitation itself is the number of potential participants your invitation reaches by whichever means. In order to reach customers, business partners, and decision-makers in this day and age of “information overload,” it’s absolutely necessary to address them in a targeted way with an invitation that catches their eye, looks appealing, and strongly sets you apart from other competing offers.

The Right Target Group

One of the most basic tasks of event management is to decide who the target group is going to be. In invitation management, there are two main reasons why it helps to know who the target group is: First, knowing the target group helps to determine the appropriate words, phrases, and design to use for your invitation. Second, knowing the target group is valuable when it comes to choosing the right people to invite. For example, to that end, the Deutsche Post Direkt or beDirekt offer you the chance to buy or rent access to target-group-specific addresses.

Target groups are often inhomogeneous, complex, and difficult to pin down. When it comes to defining the ideal people for your event, creating personae can be very helpful. The use of personae is a proven marketing method: Personae help people to understand clearly what they want and which group they fit into. The result is a set of fictional personae with typical characteristics and behavior patterns, which are important because every group should be addressed appropriately and contacted via the preferred method. When you’re doing

this, you have to make sure that the personae are realistic and that you focus on just a few characteristics – one to maximum of four. Here’s where real-life characteristics are necessary. When it comes to this part, sociodemographic, geographic, and psychographic data can help. Survey customers or coworkers, collect market data, or talk to specialists.

Tip: Give yourself enough time to create the personae. A well-thought-out set of concepts for personae will simplify many of the steps involved in organizing your event.

Validate Source Addresses

If you already have a database of source addresses, it’s advisable to check the quality of those addresses. A study done by the Deutsche Post DHL revealed that every fifth address in a database of interested parties and customers contains errors. Around 20 percent of all addresses in German companies are “unusable.” The main causes of flawed databases are human errors in communication between departments, errors in data strategies, and a lack of proper software, so give yourself enough time to check the quality of the data. When working with longer lists, use an address checking service (to check for postal correctness, duplicates, etc.). The companies mentioned earlier will readily provide you with a suitable solution in this area as well.

Design and Shipment of the Invitation

Once the target group and its characteristics and idiosyncrasies are determined, move on to the design of the invitations It doesn’t matter whether it’s a digital invitation card sent via e-mail or a physical card sent in the standard mail. Just keep in mind that your potential guests only have a short amount of time and many other offers are also battling for their attention. If you just send any old run-of-the-mill invitation, you’ll receive a fittingly low response rate. If, however, the concepts for your personae are thoroughly thought out and done right, they’ll help you find out the preferred contact methods, forms, and maybe even the time frames within which to address target group.

If, for example, your target group is very active on social media networks like XING, LinkedIn, Facebook & Co., then these services should be considered as part of your invitation management process. XING, for instance, now offers a variety of possibilities in the “Event Market” category. Others, particularly younger target groups, probably aren’t very motivated to read an invitation. They prefer videos. When it comes to promoting your event, it might be worthwhile to create a short video that can help you achieve considerable success if shared on various social networking platforms. But the “classic” invitation via standard mail can still be the best way to make contact with a desired target group, especially if you’re looking to attract a group of older people.

Cross-Media Networking and the Landing Page

Of course, despite all your efforts, not everyone will respond immediately to your invitation. With that in mind, integrate multiple steps into your invitation process, and don’t just concentrate on one channel. Consider using a wide range of media and make sure to network your communication in terms content, design, and editorial work across different channels. If your e-mail has been forgotten between meetings, then maybe you can reach the person via a targeted video promotion on Facebook. If that CEO you’ve really been wanting as a guest at your event still hasn’t made a decision after you sent a letter, you might be able to convince them with a phone call. Landing pages with the most important basic information regarding the event are also quite popular. A comfortable login function will not only make it enormously easier for your guests to confirm your invitation, but it will also help you as your effort to manage your participants progresses.

Bottom line: Only the person who always pays attention to the masses and understands their target group, both today and in the future, can win them over and surprise them. Use our tips for your event:

1. Define the target group – Personae can help you understand and structure your target groups and their requirements.
2. Check your address inventory –
Checking your address data won’t just help you avoid a lot of hassle, but it’ll also save you a lot of money.
3. Choose your channels and contact methods – Use the channels and contact methods that your target group prefers and network them across all forms of media that you use. A central landing page simplifies both the login and participant management processes.
4. Think differently – It just takes a second to get the invitation from two years ago out of the archive and send it. Don’t do it! You need to be creative here! And don’t forget to include an appropriate personal address, an appealing form, and the necessary basic information.
5. Choose the right day of the week – When it comes to sending invitations in the B2B realm, Tuesdays and Thursdays usually are the best because these days are when the recipients are most likely to notice your invitation.


More articles from Julia Fischer at:

Marketing Social Media Exhibition marketing Eyecatcher Invitations
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About Julia Fischer

Julia Fischer was born in 1990 in Chemnitz, Germany. She studied Sociology with an emphasis on Urban Sociology (Urban and Regional Development) as well as Occupational Sociology (Labor, Development, and Learning Processes). Since 2014 she’s been a member of the team at C3 Chemnitzer Veranstaltungszentren GmbH (C3 Chemnitz Event Centers GmbH). She is also the representative sales manager specializing in the areas of conventions, meetings, and company events.

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