The more people you attract to a business function, the greater the opportunity for building business, increasing contacts, networking and facilitating future sales. To entice people to attend, your invitation should be compelling enough that recipients see the personal and professional value of being part of your event.
Use company stationary or invitations with your company seal if you're mailing the invitation. If you're sending it by e-mail, format the message so that your company's name and logo is prominently featured at the top. Indicate if the invitation is for the invitee only, or if a guest is included.
Grab attention with a hook. Business professionals get invited to a lot of events, so set yours apart with a unique element that makes your function worth attending. Maybe it’s a well-known guest speaker, an opportunity to learn best practices in a particular field, or a chance to interact with other high-profile people in the industry. “Meet Sam Smith, author of a new business guide on tripling your profits in a single quarter!”
Describe the event, whether it’s a grand opening, new business expansion, a new product unveiling or a press conference. “You’ll have the chance to experiment with our new voice-recognition software before it hits the market!”
Tout the main features of the event. Open bar, food, entertainment, door prizes and give-aways can all entice prospective attendees to show up. “At the end of the evening we’ll raffle off a brand new top-of-the-line laptop computer.”
Tell the invitee what’s in it for them. “Get to know decision-makers from every major industry in the city,” or, “Expand your understanding of new hiring trends with this half-day human resources workshop.”
Write a persuasive call-to-action that makes potential attendees feel like they’ll miss out if they don’t attend. “Be the first to tour our cutting-edge, fully-automated manufacturing facility.”
Include the time, date, location and directions. If you’re emailing the invitation, include a link to a map and provide parking instructions. Clearly print RSVP guidelines and a response date. If you’re charging for the event, include payment options. Note if seating is limited to encourage prompt response.
Send out invitations several weeks in advance so invitees have enough time to schedule your function on their calendars. If you aren’t getting many RSVPS, send a reminder notice a week before the event.
Note special dress codes, such as business casual or black tie.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.