How To: Registration DeadlinesPosted on: September 19, 2018
How To: Implementing Registration Deadlines
RSVPs… The bread and butter of non-profit fundraising events. I mean, what’s a fundraising dinner without guests! Of course you WANT guests to come… as many that are genuinely interested in supporting your organization’s cause as possible! And we all know it takes strategic preparation and planning to get the right guests for your event there. There are many details to think through as you are inviting your guests: What should the event theme be? Who will be the keynote speaker? When should you send the save the date? And the list goes on! One perhaps seemingly small, but very important detail that you shouldn’t overlook when preparing your invitation is your “RSVP By” date.
Without a clearly communicated registration deadline, your phone will be ringing off the hook and your email inbox flooded with last minute registrations. We all know EVERYONE waits until the last possible minute! Let’s TAKE CHARGE of when that minute is. A clearly communicated registration deadline or “RSVP By” date will not only make the your time LESS stressed but also more efficient as you prepare all the final logistical and strategic details for your event. Let’s reduce any unnecessary stress. Can I get an amen?!
When should you close registration?
For your center’s Banquet, Dinner, Gala or Event, when you choose to close registration is entirely up to you. Depending on factors like room size, the deadline indicated by your caterer, venue, number of table hosts, etc, it might be the day of, or it might be weeks in advance! This varies greatly from event to event and organization to organization.
We suggest that you build in a cushion of time, between closing registration for your guests, and when you are actually required to provide final numbers to your caterer or venue, etc. Also, as the Event Coordinator you have the ability to allow your Table Hosts to edit their tables even AFTER you have closed public registration.
But, making sure your guests are properly informed throughout the months, weeks and days leading up to your event is another thing indeed, and takes some planning and foresight to accomplish seamlessly. Once you have established the appropriate registration closing time for your organization’s event, we recommend you consider including your “RSVP by” or “Registration closes on”, etc. date on as much of the event material as you can!
Consider including the “RSVP By” date for your event on:
- Invitations – Printed & Email Version
- Email Communication (reminders, follow up invitations, progress reports, etc!)
- Informational Material (printed or emailed) provided to your event partners (Do you utilize Table Hosts, Event Sponsors, Underwriters etc?) Be sure they are informed!
- Social Media (Does your organization have an active social media presence? This is yet another way to post images and information about the event! Post links to the registration page, and an image of the invitation, if appropriate for your organization and event.)
- Promo Video
- Web Page (Be sure to add this to your AttendEasy Event page!)
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but rather some ideas to help you start brainstorming and develop a strategy that is tailored to your organization’s event.
If you have never implemented a registration deadline for your events before, expect that the first few years will take some extra effort to educate and inform your partners! Don’t get discouraged, it is POSSIBLE to establish! Be prepared to give it some time and with your best judgment utilize flexibility!
And for those handful of guests that didn’t register, but show up anyways? Plan for them AND with Live Attendance you can easily register and seat them upon arrival.
Happy Planning, friends!
Photos via Unsplash
This article was inspired by our customers and written to encourage your fundraising efforts. Although we work with ministries and events daily, our team members are not Event Consultants. We encourage you to consult with your event consultant, executive team, and/or affiliate organization before making any major changes to your events