Thursday, February 21, 2013

Why doesn't anyone RSVP!?!?!?!?!?!

Why hasn’t anyone RSVP’d to my party?   A common question in the event planning world, but also on the minds of any mom trying to put together a party. 
What is wrong with people?  Haven’t they ever tried to put a party together before?  Do I order enough food for everyone invited and hope it doesn’t go to waste?  How many treat bags do I need? 
All valid questions and not always easy ones to answer and moms can be left frustrated and worried about not being prepared to accommodate everyone who shows up or wasting a lot of time and money if a lot of guests don’t show up.  Making what should be a fun and exciting event, stressful and full of anxiety
For example, my son’s birthday fall just before the holidays and I’ve learned through trial and error that if we invite 30, maybe 8 will show up and of those only 4 will RSVP more than 24 hours in advance.  Making planning extremely difficult, especially for an obsessive planner like me. 
It’s no different in the wedding world.  If you go to any chat board like the Knot or Weddingbee, you will see almost non-stop posts from frustrated brides who are at their deadline for head counts for their venues and still have no idea how many people will be coming. 
Of course the easiest way to avoid party stress is to hire someone to put everything together for you, but when that's not an option, please learn from my experience (and mistakes).  Here are some handy-dandy tips for increasing your chances of getting RSVPs and reducing stress….
1.)     If requesting RSVP’s by phone, put the name of the person that the phone number belongs to on the invitation.  Especially with parties for school aged kids, parents might be hesitant to call a number and not know who to ask for.  "Hi, this is Billy's mom... is.. um.. Bobby's mom there..uh...?"
2.)    Consider giving multiple options for RSVP.  Put an email address or even online (facebook or e-invite) along with a phone number and/or number to text to.  Like it or not, we live in a digital age and some people just aren’t phone talkers, so give them as many options to respond as possible.
3.)    Put an RSVP deadline date, a few days before you actually need to know.  With some party venues, you will need to know a solid number a few days to a week before the event.  (However, I always count on at least a few trickling in at the last minute).
4.)    Just call.  If you really need to know exactly how many people will be attending, try to have a list of phone numbers of those you are inviting just in case you have to break down and call to pin down a guest count. 
No matter what the final number I always count on a few extras, for those last minute calls or just in case a younger sibling is tagging along. 

1 comment:

  1. GREAT advice!

    Another suggestion is that if your child has an awesome teacher, you just might be able to enlist them in your tracking efforts. After all, they DO have access to all of the parents.... =)