How successful your event will be depends largely on the participants. In order to reach exactly your target group and generate success, you should already be convincing with the invitations. A simple card in an envelope, a phone call at the wrong time or an unspecific email with the subject "invitation" unfortunately hardly arouse interest. But a well thought-out, innovative invitation management is essential for a successful event. And especially now that hybrid and digital events are gaining in popularity, you should take a closer look at digital invitation management. In our blog article, you can find out what exactly digital invitation management is and which tips and tricks you should consider.
Definition of invitation management and what to bear in mind
The term invitation management encompasses more than it might initially appear. Because invitation management is not only about the creative and individual design of mailings. It starts with the definition of your specific target groups. Who do you want to invite, why and where? Therefore, you should define the personae for your event in advance of each invitation and then decide which invitation design makes the most sense in order to generate the largest possible number of participants. In doing so, make sure that you check your contact database and update it if necessary so as not to forget anyone due to outdated contact addresses or not to let your mails go to waste. Another enormously important point is data protection, which will be discussed in more detail later on.
Your communication should include all important information from the very beginning.
- What is your event about?
- Is it a digital or a hybrid event?
- Why is participation beneficial?
- When does it take place?
- What added value does the event have for your guests?
- What is the procedure?
Invitation management also deals with the registration process of your guests, which must be planned in detail and well organised so that everything runs smoothly. Looking after your guests and participant communication also play an essential role in making your event a success. After the event, invitation management is rounded off by a personal message tailored to the guests who attended. If your guests felt completely at ease, this guarantees you very high chances that your next event will also be a success.
Elements of the digital invitation
Digital invitations are not only suitable for digital or hybrid events. They save time, money and paper. The environmentally friendly variant is therefore becoming more and more popular. Of course, this also increases the pressure to stand out and be noticed. In general, however, the invitation and the information it contains should still be quick and easy for participants to navigate. The registration process for your event should be as simple and straightforward as possible. This is because there is already a risk of people dropping out directly during the registration process. Therefore, certain elements in a digital invitation are indispensable.
As already mentioned, the invitation should be individual and creative. This already starts in the subject line. Because this is often where it is decided whether the email will be opened or not. The address should be personal. Avoid a generalised address such as "Dear Sir or Madam". This also minimises the chance that your invitation will end up in the SPAM folder.
Explain what kind of event it is. Where the event takes place, how it takes place and how you can participate. For example, if your event is planned as a hybrid event, include a map of how to get there. Even if your guests are attending online, it is pertinent to know where the location would potentially be. Make sure to mention the costs per guest and how they are made up. Set highlights and arouse curiosity by, for example, highlighting a famous speaker or a well-known act attending the event in your explanation.
Include a CTA (call-to-action) button in your email. An eye-catching "Join now" call encourages people to be redirected to the registration process and makes a commitment more likely. A clearly defined, highlighted registration deadline should also be included. If participants decide to register, the process should be as simple and clearly structured as possible.
To show your guests how well prepared you are and how structured your event is organised, it is advisable to have a digital calendar entry and a reminder of the event after the participant has accepted. This saves your guest time and your event remains visible even before it takes place. These functions can be automatically integrated in a digital invitation.
Your event was unforgettable and successful thanks to your guests (and of course your preparation)? Then let your guests know that afterwards. Because aftercare is just as important as the invitation in advance. This creates trust, appreciation for your guests and means attention. Summarise the highlights again, both textually and pictorially, if material is available, and thank them personally for their participation. This is also a good opportunity to refer to future events and to welcome your guest as a frequent participant. This also increases the chance that you will generate even more reach through direct recommendations.
Admission with digital invitations
Once participation in your event has been confirmed, the best solution, depending on the type of event (digital, hybrid or analogue), is to also send a suitable "admission ticket" digitally. For hybrid and analogue events, QR codes are particularly suitable here, which can be scanned either via mobile phone or also in paper form with a suitable reader. A separate, automatically generated email with a registration code and a personal password makes the most sense for digital events. In addition, if appropriate, you can attach name badges in the same way to help keep track of the forest of badges that can arise at the reception.
Advantages and disadvantages of digital invitation management compared to analogue invitations
Invitation management software and tools
In the meantime, digital invitations have become so popular that there are more and more providers of complete solutions for invitation management. But you can't just rely on companies that take care of the mailing for you, but also on apps that make invitations easy. They offer the complete package from designing the invitation to registration, configuration, check-in and ticketing. In addition, such apps minimise the risk of your invitation ending up in the SPAM folder by using special wording. A major advantage of such software, such as MATE, is also its data protection conformity. Data protection is a topic that should not be neglected in invitation management. Because your digital invitations can easily violate the guidelines of the GDPR. You may only send invitations by e-mail if you have the express consent of the potential participant.
But if you want to expand your reach while being GDPR compliant, you need to either
- As mentioned, have permission.
- Be in an active business relationship.
- Are in a business relationship that has not been in existence for a long time.
- Have been given a business card for the purpose of the invitation or
- Your potential guest has expressly consented to the processing of his or her data by third parties.
Invitation management tools help you to comply with all these requirements and to send out your invitations in a legally correct manner.
So if you want to save resources and make absolutely sure your invitations are GDPR compliant, using invitation management software is definitely advisable.
Conclusion: Digital invitation management pays off!
Digital invitation management has many advantages and hardly any disadvantages. Especially in the current situation, where digital and hybrid events are almost the only option, invitation management should be adapted and used accordingly. It optimises the invitation process itself and offers you many opportunities to increase your participation rate. Let your creativity run free and stand out. And if you don't have the resources yourself, various providers with suitable software and useful tools offer you more scope to make your invitation already a part of your successful event.
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