I received many event invitations each week and I am amazed by how the PR professionals fail to use new technology. I will review what are the most common mistakes and how to easily solve them.
The typical media event invitation is received by email. The event details, including the RSVP email, is nicely published on an image file. I understand the need of presenting a design invitation but why not also type the RSVP email and show it inside the email message. It often happens that the RSVP email is not the sender email. The blogger needs to remember the email and type it to respond. Not very user friendly.
Then, you need to add the event to our calendar. Again, you have to remember the venue name, address and time to type it to our calendar. On top of not making typing errors, you must set a reminder alert. Frankly, it’s a cumbersome process that any of the Add to Calendar tools out there would streamline.
My question to PR professionals is “Why make it so difficult for bloggers to attend a media event?” when you hope to get press coverage from them.
The Easy Solution
I recommend to PR professionals that they continue to send media event invite through email with a nicely designed invite but that they add a link to handle the RSVP process. And do it via an online invitation management system like Eventbrite. It will make the entire process easier for you and your guests.
I used Eventbrite both as an event organizer and as an attendee. I like it in both scenarios. I will go as far as to say that there is absolutely no reasons not to use it since Eventbrite is FREE for free events. Practical features include:
- Create a branded event page to manage the RSVP and provide your event details
- Attendee management with contact information of the attendees. You can keep track of the number of attendees in real time.
- Add to my Calendar button. They support Outlook calendar, Google calendar, Yahoo! calendar and iCal
- Share buttons. Attendees can send an email to friends, tweet it, share it on LinkedIn, and like it on Facebook
- Automatically schedule a brief reminder email to be sent to your attendees 48 hours before an event
- Automatically generate customized name badge templates for all registered attendees.
If you are not tech savvy, do not worry. Eventbrite produced tutorial videos to get you started. Please make it easy for everyone to attend your event! Then, you can concentrate your efforts on organizing an event that bloggers would not want to miss.