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What having an online guest list can do for your event

Manually managing a guest list - whether via Excel or with a pen and paper - can be the stuff of nightmares. Not only is it a massive waste of time, it's confusing too, and more often than not leaves event planners frazzled, which sets the tone for the rest of the event - something you definitely want to avoid.
We've compiled a list of ways that using an online guest list can simplify and streamline a process that's traditionally been fraught with hiccups. If you'd like to find more tips, download our guide: RSVP Master Series: Tips for Managing Guest Lists.

An online guest list lets you view everything in real time.

This means that you'll be able to see exactly how people have responded to your invitation, as it happens. You'll be able to tailor supporting services like catering, name tags and seating accordingly. If you notice that a large portion of your potential guests haven't yet responded, you'll be able to act with a follow-up call so that you're not rushing around at the last minute, trying to get hold of people.

You'll be able to personalise all of your invites - increasing the chances of an affirmative RSVP.

People are a lot more likely to relate to and engage with a message that's been tailored towards their individual preferences. You'll be able to invite guests by name, and remember pertinent information that they've shared with you before, like the fact that Mr Jones is a vegetarian, and wears a XL t-shirt.

A recent study by Harris Interactive found that a massive 81% of respondents were likely to make additional purchases from a brand after receiving personalised emails. In the same vein, personalising your invitations will dramatically increase the rate of positive RSVPs. This will ultimately position your brand as one that understands their guests and treats them as assets.

Opting to use an online guest list will save you precious time, letting you focus on the tangible logistics of an event.

Instead of having to wade through conflicting Excel spreadsheets while you try to extract the correct data about your guests - an online guest list consolidates all of the guests details for you. Multiple event managers can access it too - which eliminates the frustrating process of having to wait your turn while someone updates their version of Excel.

Identify trends by comparing attendance rates across all of the events you run.

Managing your guest list online helps you to identify which of your guests always attend your functions, the people who always decline and what type of events certain people are most likely to respond to. You'll then be able to use this information to tailor your events accordingly.

Check your online guest list from anywhere in the world.

Event managers know that frequent travel is a pre-requisite of the job. You may be at a Golf Day in Hermanus on one day, at a conference at the Sandton Convention Centre the next and on your way to a seminar in Mauritius the day after. With an online guest list, you'll be able to log in from anywhere across the globe - all you'll need is a mobile internet connected device - making managing your guest list a breeze.

Having an online guest list ultimately reduces the total costs to your company.

If you're not using an online tool to manage your guest lists, chances are that you've had to hire someone specifically for the job. By using a RSVP service instead, you'll eradicate the need for a full-time guest list manager - saving you thousands of rands on their salary, their employee benefits and the cost of having to provide office space and the supporting infrastructure.

Besides being convenient, using an online guest list is also sustainable.

Some companies choose to print their invitations because they're of the opinion that this adds an element of "prestige" - but if you want to position your brand as a "green" company - doing all of your event communication online will emphasise the fact that you care about the environment, and the impact that your events have on it.

Keep the conversation going with pre- and post-event communication.

An online guest list makes it a lot easier to communicate with your guests before and after the event. The RSVP Agency's software has built-in tools with pre-loaded templates for emails and SMS - making it really easy to keep everyone informed, and gather valuable feedback after the event.

An online guest list will automatically "cleanse" your list too.

Instead of having to meticulously examine several Excel spreadsheets as you hunt for typos, duplicates and incorrect email addresses - an online guest list automatically does this for you. You'll be able to spend the time you would have cleaning up your guest list on dedicating yourself to the little details that can either make or break an event's success.

Want to learn more about the best practices for email invitations, online registration, and RSVP for corporate events? Download our free guide here.

About Terry Sutherland

Terry Sutherland is the founder of The RSVP Agency and has extensive experience in the development of RSVP solutions for clients across industries. Terry started her career in 1979 in the motor industry selling BMW's. In 1981 she joined Lindsay Saker where she won the top sales award for five consecutive years. After 14 years in the Motor Industry, Terry left to open her own executive car business in Randburg, called "Sutherlands Executive Cars". Two years later she sold the business. In 1994 Terry joined VWV Studios as an Account Director where she managed among others, the SAA, Mercedes Benz, Deloitte, BMW, Cell C and Telkom accounts. In 1995 Terry became a board member and shareholder in the VWV Group. Terry left VWV in October 2003 to start her own Event Company - Terry Sutherland and Associates (TS&A). It was apparent to Terry that guest management and the RSVP process could either make or break an event. Through TS&A, she had contracted many agencies over the years to manage Client RSVP, but were never satisfied with the level of service we received, or the limited features that the various software systems had to offer. Because of her vast experience in managing events, conferences, gala dinners, exhibitions, high level VIP guest management and roadshows, Terry, together with Sue Aerts decided to develop their own unique software system, and in 2011, The RSVP Agency was launched.

The RSVP Agency's press office

The RSVP Agency
The RSVP Agency offers a user friendly and cost effective Invitation and RSVP Management Solution - the perfect match for any company or individual that requires a full RSVP service.