Do you RSVP?

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What does RSVP even mean?

I remember in elementary school when my teacher taught us the meaning of RSVP:

R.S.V.P. stand for the French phrase “répondez, s’il vous plaît,” which literally means “respond if you please.”

When I was young the “if you please” was a formality…the point was you had to respond. But today it seems we take the “if you please” way too far!

I write this not only as an event planner, but as a human in the digital age. I know what it’s like to see an invitation cross your phone as you are about to get in the car, at a red light, on a phone call, walking into a meeting…you respond in your head, or you tell yourself you need to check your calendar, but life moves so quickly that You. Never. Do.

Which means that by the time you do see the invite…maybe the day before or the day of, you either reach out or just show up.

Here are two reasons why RSVPing is so important:

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1. It’s About You!

The host needs to know the headcount to ensure a delightful experience.

While as a culture we are still pretty good about RSVPing (with some coaxing) for weddings, I know that I can’t rely on the same practice for my corporate clients. In fact, when I am planning events for my corporate or luxury apartment clients, I know that I need to pad the numbers. And since I plan events for them regularly, I have figured out the formula for exactly how many attendees will come vs. how many have replied. I refuse to run out of anything…but for the friend planning a party, they don’t know that formula or behavior.

For example, on average 50% rsvp vs the amount of people who actually attend.When you are planning an event experience that you want everyone to enjoy, it’s soooo important to know how many people you need to expect.

No one is happy when food and/or beverages run out, or when there aren’t enough seats, servers, favors, etc. etc…and yet, a simple RSVP could mitigate that problem. We are quick to complain about events not having enough supplies…but 9/10 out of 10 that’s because of the Party Crashers.

And yes, if you don’t RSVP, YOU ARE A PARTY CRASHER!

2. It’s not about you!

It’s just rude…again, I admit I’ve been guilty of this, so it’s not just you, it’a all of us. But not replying is basically saying that You are more important than the person who thought enough of you to invite them to their soiree. Your time is not more important than there’s. And that simply isn’t true

So what’s the solution?

I realize that RSVPing isn’t going to magically start again because of this blog, BUT…if one of you starts, then it could snowball.

Here’s what I propose, the next time you see an invitation cross your gadget, take 2 minutes RIGHT THEN to check your calendar and reply…and put it on your calendar. That act along goes a long way.

Stationary by ig:@kpcalligraphyco

What tips to do you have for RSVPing? Comment below.