Events are a hassle. Location, schedule, service provider, supporting program – these are just a few of the tasks involved in this mammoth project.
Unfortunately, this often leads to one thing coming up short: the event invitation. It is the first point of contact between you and potential participants. Your company event stands and falls with it.
Don’t be flippant and jeopardize the success of your event by just uncharitably brushing off the invitation, giving away massive potential. If you still want to speed up this process without sacrificing quality, use this Guide (templates in German and English included).
Type of invitation (analog or digital?)
Before you go into detail about designing or writing your event invitation, you should decide what kind of invitations you want to send out. By the way, this applies to all types of invitations – no matter if it’s a corporate event, company anniversary or product launch.
You have two options for this:
- Digital invitations
- Printed invitations
Particularly in recent years, more and more companies are tending to actively promote digitization and switch to digital invitations.
This is especially due to Four major disadvantages of printed invitations:
High cost: For the printing alone, you have to calculate with at least 1€ per card, even if you buy larger quantities (500 cards). In addition, there is the shipping (about 0,70€ per card), if necessary also the commissioning of a design agency. This can be really expensive in total.
No personalizationThe recipients of your cards feel valued when they are addressed personally. In the case of printed cards, this leads to the fact that you have to enter all names manually or deposit them during the ordering process. This takes time that you can invest in more meaningful things.
Invitation gets lostYou know how quickly things can vanish into thin air. You had put something "right here", but you can’t find it anymore. Your (potential) attendees may also feel the same way. In this case, however, it means: In order to collect the information about the event again, the customer himself must become active once more. This reduces the chances that it will actually appear in the end.
Complicated attendee managementImmediate acceptance or rejection is not possible with the classic variant. To keep track in the first place, invitees may be prompted to visit a website (z.B. via QR code) and leave a response there. The problem: For many, the leap from the analog to the digital world is awkward and time-consuming.
The decision for or against digital invitations additionally depends on other factors:
Text of the invitation
Before you get your event invitation in shape, think about the content. This is true for both printed and digital invitations.
Tips for writing invitation texts
"So how do I get started??"Very few people can write appealing text effortlessly – and certainly not at the touch of a button. Therefore, before you sit in front of a blank page (or a blank sheet of paper) for minutes or even hours, we recommend that you first build up the content of the text.
Disclaimer: If you want to save yourself the work completely, skip this section and choose one of the ready-made text templates.
Back to the content of your invitation. Use the following easy-to-implement tips for the structure of your text: You will notice that the content of your invitation is already 80% complete with the help of just 3 building blocks – in the end, it’s just a matter of linking everything together.
Formulate an attractive subject line
80% of the people read only the headline of a text – this exciting realization from the Advertising underlines its meaning impressively. What this is about? Sometimes certainly due to lack of interest in the topic at hand, but often due to the headline itself, which arouses no interest at all. In event invitations, the subject line is a proxy for the headline. Here applies: Why should people, who already have to yawn when reading the subject line, torture themselves through the rest of the invitation??
Crisp and attractive subject lines are characterized by the following points:
Precision: Don’t beat around the bush, but get to the heart of what you want to say. Unnecessary additions have no place in the subject line.
"Power Words: These are words that attract attention and almost automatically arouse interest. Such words are for example: secret, tips, convince, betray, effective or guaranteed.
user-centricity:It’s not about you, it’s about your (potential) participants. Steer the focus away from you to your reader and communicate clearly what specific benefit/added value they will get if they attend a certain event.
Ideas for snappy subject lines:
- Ask questions: Do you know the biggest mistakes .. ?
- Set up theses: Why ..
- Question and answer game: you want to ..? Then ..
Answer the W-questions
You probably already know this method from elementary school (yes, it’s a real all-purpose weapon), also for event invitations this is Answering the W-questions Already at least half the battle. At the very beginning of your structural process, write down the answers to the W-questions. You can also do this in bullet points, but the main thing is to get started!
WHAT takes place? Mention the occasion of the invitation.
WHEN it takes place? Mention the date of the invitation.
WHERE it takes place? Specify the location of the event and provide direct directions to the event.
WHO Speaks, performs or participates? Provide information about the content of the event.
WHY Should I be there? Point out how readers will benefit by participating.
HOW and UNTIL WHEN you can register? Explain in detail how and where readers can sign up. Step-by-step explanations are suitable for this purpose. Also, if relevant, communicate a registration deadline.
HOW MUCH COST OF REGISTRATION? If participation in the event is subject to a fee, be sure to mention the associated costs.
In addition, you should answer these questions:
- Is a certain clothing desired? After all, you don’t want a visitor to feel uncomfortable because of this.
- Who can I contact if I have further questions? Include all contact options (phone number, email address, messenger contact).
Often, the key to an invitation lies in the way it is addressed – and no, this is not (only) due to the choice of the appropriate salutation. Rather, throughout the invitation, make each reader feel warmly welcomed.
Actively address your readers at all times (We cordially invite you instead of you are cordially invited), call them by name (if possible) and choose a friendly tone to establish a certain closeness. With bonus offers you can also try to win the favor of your potential guests – this already works with simple measures such as inviting the partner and extends to a supporting program for children.
Digital Christmas cards from the exclusive UNICEF card collection
Digital Christmas cards from the exclusive UNICEF card collection
UNICEF meets Power eCard
UNICEF meets Power eCard
By using digital Christmas cards from the exclusive UNICEF card collection, you can support the United Nations Children’s Fund from now on – as an active contribution to UNICEF’s work for children. Whether you are a new or existing customer: All UNICEF motifs can be booked as add-ons in addition to every Power eCard license. 100% of the proceeds for the "UNICEF Motif" add-on will go to UNICEF without any deductions.
Phrases that you should avoid
"Your physical well-being is taken care of" – guaranteed you have read this phrase yourself many times in invitations. In general, this is also a good sign, as food is certainly not an unimportant factor in the decision for or against an event.
But let’s face it, we live in 2019 and no one would say that these days. Nevertheless write that still many. So that you don’t have to resort to the creepy phrase repertoire in your invitation, we will provide you with a better wording set, with which your invitation will not sound like 1990. Instead, make a fresh, friendly and open impression on recipients.
Your physical well-being will be taken care of.
I would like to cordially invite you to our event XY.
We would be happy to welcome you at the 20.01. to welcome you at our event.
Please make it easier for me to plan and let me know if you can come.
We will make sure that you are provided with enough food and drinks during the event.
I cordially invite you to the event XY.
We look forward to seeing you at our event on 20.01. to welcome.
Please let me know if you will be there so I can plan everything for you.
Text templates for stealing (English and German)
Template (german): Invitation for product presentation
Subject line: Experience the unveiling of the shoe that will permanently change your running style
you are ready for the next level of running shoes? Then be there for the presentation of the new XXX on Monday, 10. June 2020, at 12 noon at our headquarters in the process.
In addition to delicious finger food, you can expect deep insights behind the scenes of our production and a keynote speech by our CEO. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by!
Please register until 25. May 2020 so that I can reserve your place for you. Participation is of course free of charge.
Greetings and see you soon
Template: Invitation to product launch
Subject line: Experience the idea of a shoe that will change your running style forever
Are you ready for the next level of running shoes?? Then join us for the presentation of the new XXX on Monday, 10 June 2020 at 12 noon at our headquarters.
In addition to delicious finger food, you can expect deep insights behind the scenes of our production and a keynote from our CEO. Don’t miss the chance!
Please register by 25 May 2020 so that I can reserve your seat for you. Attendance is of course free of charge.
Best wishes and see you soon
For an (almost) irresistible invitation, there are not only textual triggers but also some creative ones that you can use specifically to convince your dream attendees to attend the event.
Tailor the design with its four central components (images, typography, background, colors) precisely to your target group.
Images play a special role in visual communication in that they can arouse emotions and desires, impress, inspire, but also shock.
- Decide on images that match the mood you want to convey
- Be creative and don’t keep choosing the most obvious images that everyone else is already using
- Do not use stock photos, but give pictures a personal touch
If you don’t have time or budget for your own shooting with photographers, you can go to https://unsplash.com/ choose between several high resolution photos. You send your event invitation digitally? Then use moving images! At https://mixkit.co/ you will find a huge selection of videos – also in a high quality. For both platforms the materials are complete free of charge and license-legally also commercially without any restriction usable!
Our subconscious interprets fonts and assigns them meanings. You are also able to evoke associations and emotions in the viewer – this makes you a (secret) weapon for designing event invitations.
- Choose two fonts, one more eye-catching for the headline on the front (z.B. X) and a legible one for the sub-headline and the body text on the back (e.g., "X").B. X)
- Fonts that are too similar can "bite" each other, so you should avoid combining two serif fonts (Times New Roman and Minion), for example
- Make sure the font contrasts with the background, which makes it easier to read
- Too large indents or line spacing can cause the text to fall apart, so use appropriate sizes and spacing
For the web (and thus digital invitations), Google offers (https://fonts.google.com/) a selection of over 800 fonts – and it’s free of charge!
If they design your invitation card two-sided, most likely choose a picture on the front, while the back contains the body text. The focus here is therefore more on communication through words. It is therefore important to remember that the font should stand out strongly against the background (contrast).
But that doesn’t mean you can’t use other design elements here: For example, additional graphic elements can be used over the background to support the corporate identity, or "decorative elements" can be used.
Each color has a specific effect and evokes certain feelings in the viewer. Don’t miss this opportunity and consciously influence the perception of the potential subscriber with an appropriate choice of color.
The following table provides a quick overview of the psychological effect of colors.
Red: dynamic, passionate
Yellow: cheerful, cheerful
Green: natural, alive
Blue: trusting, objective
Orange: energetic, warm
purple: creative, magical
Black: serious, classic
White: simple, friendly
Gray: businesslike, professional
Examples of event invitations
Now that you have delved deeper into the design of invitation cards, you are probably asking yourself: "And what does this look like in practice??"
Take a look at the following examples of digital event invitations and consciously pay attention to the combination of the different design elements.
Good planning is half the battle – this is especially true when it comes to sending traditional invitation cards by mail.
If you don’t allow for enough time here, the whole effort can end up being a proverbial waste of time. Design, printing, preparation of address lists, printing of address labels, packaging of the mailing and dispatch by post usually take several weeks or even months. When planning your time, also keep in mind that your recipients, especially in the area of corporate events in the B2B sector, need sufficient lead time to even schedule appointments and to free up time for your business event.
Even with digital invitations sufficient lead time must be planned in, even if here the Time required significantly less overall is.
In addition, the decisive factor for the planning of the mailing is always single or multi-level invitations want to send. The difficulty here is to find the golden mean: On the one hand, you want to get enough attention for your event, but on the other hand, you don’t want to be too obtrusive to your potential guests.
In our experience, the best effect is achieved with a three-stage mailing, including the following steps Save the date, Invitation and Reminder. First of all: The implementation of a three-step invitation can almost only be realized with the help of digital solutions.