Updated Aug 24th, 2020 by Nicolas Zenker
There is so much more that you can do with RSVP technology than simply form a list of “regrets” and “acceptances.” When used effectively, RSVP tools can not only serve as indicators of event attendance, but can actually help you expand your reach and engage with your audience. With customizable features, email integrations, and easy to use interfaces, RSVPs have become so much more than the cursive laden pieces of paper that Emily Post used to talk about.
As a business owner, it’s important to make the most out of every tool you have in your toolbox. If you are still using RSVP services in their most basic form, you are leaving a lot of their power and effectiveness on the table. Put your ideas of basic RSVPs aside and let’s dive into 3 great things that RSVP technology can do for your business.
Basic RSVPs give you nothing more than a head count and a name. Come event day, your best chance of impressing attendees will be with having enough chairs and name tags. Now imagine that your attendees show up to your event and they’re welcomed with their favorite drink. From there, they sit next to other attendees with similar interests and get worksheets pertaining to the exact skills they’re working on. That’s what can happen when you think outside of the basic RSVP box.
Technology has advanced to the point where it is easier than ever to turn a basic RSVP form into a multi-question survey that can give you all the information you need about your attendees prior to your event. Are you hosting a dinner? Ask about dietary restrictions. Have you been planning a career fair? Ask about the types of companies your job seekers hope to see there.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions on your RSVP form. The more information you have about your attendees, the better prepared you will be to put on a stellar event. Don’t worry; anyone who takes the time and money to attend your event will be happy to answer a few questions that will make it a better experience for them.
An additional benefit of asking questions on your RSVP form is that this information can then be used for your customer engagement strategies in the future. Birthdays, music preferences, hobbies, and career goals are all valuable pieces of data that you can use to personalize your marketing campaigns and connect with your audience moving forward. Given that RSVP services now integrate seamlessly with popular email marketing services like Mailchimp and Constant Contact, there’s no excuse for failing to collect emails and using the answers you get from your RSVP forms to personalize your communication with your audience.
We all know that RSVPs are great because they make sure that everyone is on the same page about who is attending your event and who is not. Again, this is the basic and boring way to use RSVPs. Yes, it’s true that you can use RSVPs to send event reminders and make sure that your attendees have your event synced to their calendars. But, you can take this a step further by using your RSVP tools to create a domino effect of referrals.
Let’s say that you’re hosting a webinar and you want to expand your reach. You set up a landing page with an RSVP form and a video that tells your registered participants that they will be entered into a raffle for a free 30 minute consultation call with you for every referral they make. Suddenly, your RSVP landing page is being shared across social platforms and through email chains. While you could have had standard “yes” or “no” buttons on your RSVP form, by thinking creatively, you actually grew your audience.
Given that technology has made RSVP forms so easy to customize, you can let your imagination run wild in regards to how you use them to engage and attract your audience. If you think of your RSVP form as a valuable piece of marketing material, you’ll be better equipped to turn leads into attendees. Some services even offer RSVP forms that you can embed into any webpage, making it easier than ever to implement an RSVP feature into the pages you’ve already optimized.
There’s no need to receive an RSVP response and then silently and patiently wait for the event to happen before ever reaching out and getting to know your attendees. As soon as a new RSVP hits your inbox, you’ve been given the green light to interact.
Use the time prior to an event to build community and trust between your company and your attendees. You can also use this pre-event time to build rapport between the attendees themselves. Maybe you start a dedicated Facebook group where your workshop guests can network and get to know each other. Maybe you offer a training course prior to your conference so that participants feel energized about the topic you’ll be presenting.
If you position your pre-event engagement well, it can actually be an incentive for people to commit to your event. Think about a music festival that drips out exclusive interviews with the performing artists to anyone who registers prior to a certain date. Not only is there a spike in early bird registrations, festival goers are attracted to the bonus content and are able to enjoy what the festival has to offer before it has even begun. Offer training courses, behind the scenes video content, swag, and worksheets that are intrinsically valuable aside from the event you’re hosting. In doing so, you’ll not only draw people to your event, but deliver extra value that leads to a great customer experience.
AddEvent is making the boring RSVP exciting again by offering customizable landing pages, seamless email integrations, and easy to use embeddable forms that can equip any page with RSVP capabilities.