Searching through the internet, I found an interesting approach to event promotion; using the RSVP method. For those who don’t know what RSVP stands for, it is a French term “Répondez S’il Vous Plaît” = Respond Please. According to Skip Lineberg on Marketing Genius from Maple Creative, this is the new meaning of RSVP:
R – Repetition
You have to send your message multiple times. That busy invitee may toss the first invitation. The second one might come at the wrong time … but that third request catches her just when she has a free moment to focus. If your budget allows, plan and deploy a series of communications to promote your event. Start with a teaser, then send a “Save the Date” message. Continue with the official invitation and follow it with a news clipping about your event. Later, send a friendly reminder, followed by a blurb along the lines of “Look Who’s Coming!” If you are operating on a shoe-string budget, you would be wise to send the exact same invitation two or three times, simply to ensure that it gets through. A repetitive communication series gets results. A one-shot invitation gets ignored, misplaced or trashed.
S – Simplicity
How simple can you make it for your invitee to attend your event? I mean, really, really simple. Can you make it so easy that all she has to do is show up? Ask yourself: Is the response step really necessary? Could we go with “Regrets only?” Do not require an RSVP, unless it is truly needed. If you are inviting via e-mail, make it simple for them to just click “Reply” to register. Avoid using a complicated Web form, if possible. Simplify your process; it will make things easier on you and your guests.
V – Variety
To get your invitee to respond, it is no longer enough to mail him an engraved invitation. You have to communicate the information about your event through a variety of channels. Invite them by way of a mailed piece, fine. But combine that tactic with an e-mail invitation. And don’t forget to use the media. Hit your invitee in her mailbox. Hit her in her inbox (e-mail). And also hit her in her newspaper and even her radio station. Yes, if you are crafty and persuasive you can get your event covered in the media. Don’t expect an expose, though; a simple announcement is much more likely–and still helpful.
P – Packaging
If you want to cut through the clutter and have your invitees pay attention to your invitation and your event, you have to package it. Make it interesting. Add some sizzle. Build up anticipation for the event. Make it a don’t-miss-event-of-the-year. Explain why your event is valuable and important. How can you make it more fun … more important … or more enticing? Example: “Attend our annual meeting where you’ll have the chance to visit with 20 of the city’s most successful business owners.”