Like a plate of warm chocolate chip cookies and a mug of hot chocolate, some things from childhood never lose their alluring simplicity. Such is the case with a business dinner invitation, which, just like party invitations from childhood, contain straightforward information in a centered, easy-to-read format. An invitation that is professionally printed will convey an air of formality; an invitation written in your own hand will convey informality -- and perhaps even your personality and sense of fun. Either way, preserve the special nature of the occasion by sending your invitations by standard mail.
Top your invitation with the name of the host, whether it is person or the name of a company, a welcoming phrase, such as “invites you,” “cordially invites you” or “requests the pleasure of your presence” and the nature of the event, such as “a dinner,” “an evening of dinner and dancing” or “a dinner and silent auction.”
Explain the purpose of the dinner, if you wish, especially if it is tied to an important business event, such as to mark an employee's retirement or to launch a new company product or service offering. The inclusion of such information will help convey the importance of the event.
List the day and date of the business dinner, and spell out all the words rather than abbreviating them. Choose between a formal style -- “Saturday, the seventeenth of February” -- or a more informal style, such as “Saturday, February 17.”
Continue the easy-to-read format by writing the location of the business dinner, the street address and city and state, all on separate lines. Include a map of the location along with the invitation, if you wish.
Demonstrate courtesy to your guests by distinguishing between a cocktail or social hour and the dinner, again on separate lines. For example, you might say on one line, “Cocktails from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.” and “Dinner served at 7:30 p.m.” on the following line.
Include RSVP information. This is where it would be appropriate to convey the inclusion of guests by writing “Please RSVP number of attendees by January 5” and the phone number your guests should call.
Close the invitation with any helpful or supplementary information, such as dress code expectations or the availability of valet parking. Alternatively, burnish the invitation with highlights of the dinner, such as the appearance of musical guests or a celebrity speaker.
Whether you have the invitation professionally printed or write it in longhand, you might wish to have your company logo imprinted on it for instant recognition on the part of your guests.
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