Manage the Guest List, Save the Budget
The guest list is one of the most important parts of planning an event. If not done right, it can create a logistical nightmare and lead to costly unforeseen expenses. As an event planner, if you manage the guest list well you should be able to stay within the budget.
Indeed, a very common issue when planning corporate events is that people who said they would come do not show, while people who said they would not come, end up attending! Both no-shows and unexpected guests can cost money if the .
Part of your job as the event planner is to help your client avoid these situations and save on the cost and headaches associated with them.
These valuable tips can help to secure maximum event turnout:
- The first step is to ensure that two or more people oversee the guest list, not just one person. This helps with double-checking the attendance list and doing all of the necessary follow-ups. Also, on the day of the event, they can help manage logistics and avoid a potential hiccup with an unexpected guest. The two staff members who will be overseeing the guest list must be detail-oriented and on top of their game.
- For more casual events, invitations can be sent as an e-vite via email or through an invitation service provider with easy online RSVPs. This is particularly useful for to which a lot of people you personally don’t know have been invited. This is an easy way to keep track of RSVPs.
- For high profile events, send out a paper invitation with a self-addressed stamped envelope to encourage people to return the RSVP. Make it clear on the invitation that you need a response whether they plan on attending or not. If you don’t get a response, follow up with an email or a phone call.
- Call each guest on the RSVP list a week before the event to prevent no-shows and remind guests of their commitment. Ask those who are not coming the reason for them declining the invitation.
- Guests may be afraid to say no; let them know that it’s okay not to come. This can prevent no-shows from occurring and will encourage some of the people who are on the fence to truly reflect on and communicate their intentions.
- To reduce no-shows to a minimum, follow up again 1-2 days before the event to reconfirm who is attending.
Preventing no-shows is important so as not to waste any of the budget on people who are not attending. However, remember that there will still be some people showing up who have not confirmed their presence.
Typically, venues and caterers require a final head count by a certain date before the event. Adding guests at the very last minute may prove impossible or at best, very costly.
There’s a strong possibility that the few no-shows remaining will be counterbalanced by the ones who attend without confirming. In any case, it’s always safer to order a bit more food ahead of time and to plan your budget accordingly – even if there’s a chance some of it will get wasted. That way, you won’t have to deal with frustrated guests.
By managing your guest list ahead of the event, you’ll not only avoid incurring additional expenses, you’ll save your event budget.