Sending invitations is an important part of most events, which can make it a bit stressful. However, having the correct steps and processes in place can help alleviate any uneasy feelings that come along with it. This article will provide best practices, and serve as a guide and checklist for sending invitations using Event Farm. It will outline the following:
- What is an Invitation as defined by Event Farm?
- What needs to be set up before sending invitations?
- Guest List Management - Sending Invitations
- Testing invitations, and guest registration
- Creating, Uploading and Sending Invitations
- Guest List best practices
- I sent my invitations, what comes next?
What is an Invitation as defined by Event Farm?
An Invitation is an email design set to Message Type: Invitation, with a call to action that directs guests to their unique invitation link via the [INVITE_LINK] Dynamic Element. The invitation must be connected to an Invite to RSVP, Register, or Purchase (including FCFS options) Access Type(s).
Note: The information in this article does not pertain to events that are only Public Registration or Public Purchase as these types of events do not utilize invitations. For more information click here.
What needs to be set up before sending invitations?
Several sections in Event Farm need to be complete before going live and sending invitations. While you can set these items up in any order, this is the recommended workflow.
An "Invitation" Access Type must be created to send invitations, as the Invitation email design is connected to the ticket, and triggers the [INVITE_LINK] Dynamic Element to generate a unique invitation link for each guest added to the Guest List and sent an invitation. For more information on how to create an Access Type, see Event Access overview.
Best Practice: Use First Come, First Serve (FCFS) options as it provides the most flexibility and is the most commonly used. FCFS allows more guests to be invited than there are actual tickets for, which will increase the chances of all tickets being used.
Things to consider:
Setting "Are these tickets transferable?" to Yes or No:
Yes: If the event allows guests to bring plus ones, and plus one information is entered on the registration form, the ticket will be transferred to the plus one's name. They will be added as their own entry on the Guest List.
No: The original guest invited will have the option to select whether they are bringing additional guests without having the option to enter any information for that person - this will show the original invited guest on the Guest List as one entry with multiple tickets.
Event Info & Settings
Select your Event Settings in Event Configuration. Event Info & Settings contains many of the options that will affect guests when they RSVP, register, or purchase tickets to an event. For more information, see Event Info & Settings Overview.
Things to Consider:
Can guests be invited to the event more than once? (If the answer to this question is no, disable Duplicate Invitations).
Will guests be able to edit first and last name fields on their invitation?
Will guests have the option to edit their RSVP response? Only guests invited to an Invite to RSVP/ Invite to RSVP (FCFS) Access Type will have this option if this setting is enabled. (If the answer to this question is no, disable Editable RSVP Responses).
Do I want to capture plus one(s) information including responses to Guest Questions?
Design a beautiful and mobile responsive event site that aligns with your event theme and company brand in Canvas. Make sure that your site has a clear call to action for guests to know where to click to register for the event. For a Canvas overview video, click here.
Tip: Creating an informative site not only saves you time from answering frequently asked event questions, but can also excite potential guests about the event which can help drive event registrations!
Note: We also offer Canvas group trainings! Upcoming trainings and links to register can be found here.
Customize Display Messages to fit brand voice as guests will see these throughout different times in the event lifecycle. Additionally choose from one of our four registration forms in Form Style, and customize the form opacity, background color, text color and accent color by entering a hex or RGB code.
Registration Questions (optional)
Registration questions are used to collect information from your guests. If your event requires additional information other than First Name, Last Name, and Email to be obtained from guests, go to Registration Experience > Registration Questions to select from Guest Info to Collect or to create new questions select +Add New Question.
Without a complete Invitation email design, there would be nothing to send guests notifying them they have been invited to the event. To be an invitation, the design must:
- Have Message Type set to Invitation
- The [INVITE_LINK] Dynamic Element must be linked to a word, phrase, button, or image guests will click or tap to access their registration page
Create emails in Email Communication > Email Designs > New Email Designs. Below are helpful resources to begin creating your email designs.
Note: Not all Dynamic Elements will work when using Send Yourself a Test Message. This is intended, as certain Dynamic Elements such as [INVITE_LINK], [GUEST_FIRST], and [GUEST_LAST] are unique to each guest, and require information from the Guest List.
Best Practice: Create Confirmation emails - as well as any other emails that are needed for the event - at this time.
Invitations & Confirmations
Connect your invitation email as well as your Confirmation (and declination, if applicable) to your Access Type by selecting Edit, next to the Access Type, selecting the email design from the dropdown, and Save.
Guest List Management
Guest List is where invitations are sent to guests. While the sections above can be done in varying orders, and can be updated at any time, sending invitations should be the final step. Once invitations are sent, guests will see your email design, select links to register, view your registration page, and other event information. If these details are wrong, guests will see it.
Best Practice: Before sending invitations to guests, test the entire registration flow yourself from their perspective to ensure everything is setup correctly. Add yourself to the Guest List, view the registration form, event site, Display Messages and test applicable Event Settings, Promotion Codes, Guest questions, etc.
Creating, Uploading and Sending Invitations
Download and use the Guest List Template to create your Guest List (XLSX and CSV file formats available on the bottom left of the uploader). The Guest List must contain First name, Last Name, and Emails for all guests while other columns can be used as needed.
Guest List Best practices:
- Do not change the header column names - the Guest List Template was specifically built by our team to use on our uploader, changing header columns may cause information to upload improperly or not upload at all.
- Remove any unused columns from the template.
- When uploading groups to Address Book and/or Guest List ensure each guest on the Guest List has a unique email address, and do not use your own email as a placeholder. Event Farm uses email address as a unique identifier for each guest. Having a unique email address for each guest will prevent potential issues with guest invitations such as incorrect name association with an email or visual invitation issues.
When the list is complete, upload the list on Guest List by selecting:
- Invite/Add Guests > Upload/ Invite a New Group
- Enter a Group Name (all uploaded lists become groups in your Address Book. Entering an existing Group Name will add new contacts to that Group, while entering a new name will create a new group).
- File to Upload > select Browse to choose the list from your computer/device > Process File.
- Select details for invitations on Preview Upload:
- Number of Invitations: The number of tickets each guest on this list will have available to them.
- Type of Invitation: The ticket that these guests will be invited to.
- Invitation Delivery Option, Send Invitation by Email: this immediately sends invitations when the upload is complete.
- Upload & Invite.
- View the number Guests (also added to your Address Book), as well as Duplicates, Error, and Skipped reports on Upload Complete page. These reports can be used to correct issues and re-invite those guests.
To learn how to invite existing Address Book Groups, see Adding and Inviting Guests.
Invitations are sent, what comes next?
Monitoring and Reporting
Last Action and Last Notified: View actions guests take directly on the Guest List.
Reports Overview: List of available reports offered by Event Farm to help view and track Invitation results, and guest information.
Sending a one-off invite
Adding an Individual to the Guest List.
Guest List Overview: Low RSVPs? View how to resend invitations to all unconfirmed guests on the Guest List, and how to resend a one-off invitation.