It takes Kool and the Gang to celebrate: Hot tips to get company party RSVPs

December, the twelve and final month in the calendar year, arguably surpasses the graduation frenzy of June in sheer partydom. As you plan your own company party, you may find this evidenced in the response – or lack thereof – of your guest invites. (Yes) RSVPs are particularly tricky to come by for smaller companies that may not have the resources to match the celebrity, freebies and general za za zu of larger companies.

When the scales are uneven and invitations are flying left and right, how can you compete for an evening on someone’s social calendar? Here are a few tips from me to you:

  1. The early bird gets the worm. It’s never too early to drop a mention of your party as long as you know it is 100% guaranteed to happen. People are a social species for the most part. The prospect of connecting with folks who have common interests usually excites us. This is particularly true if you work for a smaller company, given that many may not even have the budget to pull this off.
  2. Ask yourself, “What would Ferris do?” As mentioned in our previous post on open house tips, a fun theme or uncommon activity can help your event stick out. Ferris Bueller made movie history by transforming a typical school day o# into a thrilling back-to-back chain of dance mobbing, car racing and dog chasing. What can you do to differentiate your party from the run-of-the-mill holiday parties that you’re competing with?
  3. Layer your cake. Layer your communication. Have you ever seen a single layer cake at a wedding, bat mitzvah or quinceanera? I’ll bet you haven’t. That’s because there are some occasions in life that merit more. Your party should be one of them. In this spirit, commit to party invites on multiple platforms: paper, electronic, email and phone. When it comes to the phone, tie in the matter of your party to a greater discussion about work. This way you’ll err on the side of thorough (as opposed to obnoxious) in your follow-up.
  4. Ready a reminder. Even though smartphones, laptops, tablets and Cloud storage have given us the ability to combine and synch our calendars, it’s still important to send out an event re- minder a few days to one week prior to your party. We can have access to all the technology in the world, but this won’t help if someone forgot to pop an event on the cali in the first place and now has a conflict. Catch these slips before you submit final numbers for chairs, foods and the like by sending a simple reminder.
  5. Parties are karmic. Remember that the other eleven months: It goes without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway: if you don’t focus on building relationships with your guest invites during the rest of the year, they will probably feel disinclined to reciprocate by attending your party. Parties are karmic in this way, so do your best to demonstrate an authentic interest in whomever you’re inviting throughout the year.

What other tips do you recommend for rustling up company party RSVPs?

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