When you have an event, whether it’s a wedding or a party, it’s a common practice to mail an RSVP card along with each invitation, unless you opt not to include it. RSVP is a French term that’s ‘Repondez-vous si vous plait’ in full. It’s an abbreviated way of requesting guests to respond to your event invitation. In their response, invitees let you know whether they’ll be attending your event or not.
Event hosts use RSVPs to get attendance confirmations from invited guests. While sending your guests save the date cards is always exciting, managing RSVPs is not as exciting but it’s necessary. After sending invitations out, you need to track RSVPs way before the scheduled event date.
Before you start tracking your RSVP responses, you need to know why it’s important to do so. Below, we explore seven reasons why you need to have an RSVP tracking for your invitations:
- Get An Accurate Guest Count
When you’re hosting an event, you need to know the number of people who’ll be attending the event. Tracking RSVPs enables you to easily get a headcount of actual participants, without having to make follow up calls to invitees.
Most importantly, knowing the actual number of guests enables you to adequately prepare for the event, including getting sufficient supplies to ensure you don’t fall short of food or end up with too much leftover.
If you’re not sure how to get an accurate guest count, consider using online RSVP tracking services, such as greenvelope.com, to keep tabs on guest responses.
- Avoid Last Minute Stress
Some event hosts create seating charts and use them to print escort cards. This helps ease the seating arrangements. If too much time passes before guest confirmations are received, seating logistics can become stressful to handle.
Late confirmations make deadlines tighter and force hosts to redesign furniture arrangements. This is not just challenging, but it also consumes your time and can cost much more, especially when you’re working with a planner.
Fortunately, tracking RSVPs can go a long way in preventing the last-minute stress created by unconfirmed guests who suddenly show up for an event.
- Plan and Budget Better
The event host’s budget, whether it’s a birthday or a gender reveal, is determined by the number of people that’ll be attending the event. When you track RSVPs, you get to know how many people will attend your event. This information is useful as you’ll be able to have a solid budget for your event.
For instance, you can determine the number of tables, chairs, and centerpieces that you’ll need for the ceremony. By knowing the number of meals required, you also get to plan better for your meals and choose the right size of cake for your guests to enjoy.
- Know Guests’ Meal Preferences
RSVPs can be used to get meal preferences from guests prior to an event. If you opt to gather such information from your guest, tracking RSVPs is important, particularly if your plan is to have a seated dinner.
If you have a team of caterers, they’ll need information on the meals to prepare and the number of people who’ll take each dish so they can prepare in advance. If your plan is to have a family-style or buffet meal, it’ll be helpful to know any dietary restrictions or food allergies in advance as well.
- Make Guests Comfortable
Other than knowing what your guests prefer to eat, tracking RSVPs enables you to get additional details from your guests.
For instance, you could ask them to inform you whether they plan to bring children to the event. Knowing this enables you to factor kids’ stuff in your planning to make them comfortable. You could also find out whether your guests have travel arrangements that you need to be aware of.
The best way to gather additional information from guests is to make a separate card for filling in your invitations.
- Identify Non-Responders
When you send invites out, there are people who’ll respond to the invite and those who won’t respond. There are different reasons for this. Some forget to do so; others are lazy; while others may just be reluctant to do so. Tracking RSVPs enables you to identify non-responders and even know who they are, especially if you have a clear guest list complete with numbered RSVPs.
Once you know which guests have not responded to your invitation and the deadline is quickly approaching, be proactive by reaching out to them. Consider texting them or giving them a call to know whether they’ll attend your event or not.
- Manage Planning Deadlines
When you’re planning an event, you set timelines for every major activity that needs to be completed before the event date arrives. When you send invitations out, you need to allow invitees sufficient time to respond. For this to work, it’s advisable to provide a clear date when invitees are expected to send a response.
Tracking your RSVPs allows you to manage these deadlines better. By doing so, not only will you manage RSVP response deadlines, but you also manage deadlines for your service providers, including caterers and planners. This way, your event will go as smoothly as possible, minimizing the stress and hassle of an uncoordinated event.
Getting guests to respond to your event invitations can be extremely frustrating, even after you follow all the rules of RSVP etiquette in your invitations. When you don’t get responses on time, your event plans can be significantly affected when guests who never confirmed attendance suddenly show up for the event. This not only inconveniences you in terms of logistics, not knowing how many people will be attending your event also affects your budgets as caterers are forced to make last-minute adjustments.
But you don’t have to go through all this trouble. To avoid experiencing a planning crisis, have a deadline for guests to confirm attendance. After sending the invitations out, track the RSVPs to know who’ll attend your event on or before the confirmation deadline lapses.