Although save the dates are most commonly associated with weddings, they can also be used to alert colleagues to upcoming business functions. Save the dates are useful for business events because many of your coworkers may have meetings and business trips scheduled far in advance. A save the date serves as a pre-invitation that alerts guests well ahead of the event so they can plan their schedules accordingly. A save the date gives attendees ample notice, which can likewise increase your guest count.
When to Send
Plan to send the invitations around six months prior to the event date. Invitations are typically sent out about eight weeks before an event, so the save the dates should be sent out significantly earlier so the two invites do not overlap. This also provides ample planning time for guests juggling hectic schedules and meetings. Even if management-level workers are not attending, alert them to the function at the same time the save the dates are sent out. It allows supervisors and management a great deal of time to plan shifts to cover those who will be attending the event.
Fill the guests in on as many details as you have available six months out from the event so they can be as informed as possible. This includes the title of the event, the location of the event, as well as the dates and times. This helps the employees coordinate their schedule accordingly.
If the event is out of town, for example, they will need to account for travel time. If the event is a half-day long, then they can still schedule meetings at other points in the day. Courtesy in recognizing the employees' busy schedules will go a long way to encouraging attendance.
Give a brief synopsis of the event, if possible, on the save the dates. This will help entice the workers to attend and also make clear the relevancy of the event to the jobs, positions and interests of the employees.
For example, if the event is a motivational workshop, let the invitees know what the subject matter is. If the event will have a keynote speaker, alert the employees as to who he is, what his credentials are and what subject matter he will discuss.
At the conclusion of the save the date, include a friendly note or phrase encouraging participation. This could include a simple "Hope to see you there" or a more forward "Looking forward to seeing you." Include a note that an invitation is to follow, especially if not every detail of the event is covered in the save the date. This will counteract any unnecessary inquiries by the employees and make clear they are not expected to RSVP yet.
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