Respondez s’il Vous Plait! In french it sounds so much fancier but translated it simply means “Please Respond.” Did you know that the usual rule of thumb when planning a party is a 10%-30% decline rate?
I have a good story from when I was 20 I was new in town and I threw a casual movie night and passed out little “flyers” at work and church to my new friends without requesting an RSVP. I bought and prepared food for 20 people and only one kind fellow turned up. It was an awkward party where just the two of us sat and watched movies with a giant spread of food. Ha!
I’ve since learned a few tricks that have increased the number of my party attendees. Here are four things you can do to encourage people to come to your fabulous fête!
1. Send great Invitations. When I get an invitation in the mail that someone has clearly put a little thought into it gets me very excited for their party. You can do things like include something edible or even just make the text on your invitation funny or clever.
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2. Make it Convenient. Check the dates by asking a few well-organized friends before you send out the invitations so as not to plan it the same night as the school play. Consider the time of day and things like making parking or babysitting available. The more convenient, the more people will be able to attend.
3. Hype up Your Party. It might seem a little funny to add some PR to your party but it helps. If you are planning on bringing in 500 red balloons or making 5 kinds of gelato from scratch then mention to friends (preferable the ones that talk the most) some of the preparations for the party. People will talk, get excited, and formerly laid dinner plans will suddenly get rearranged.
4. Build a Rep. If people know that you will make it worth their time to drive across town or find a babysitter or pull themselves away from the new Netflix DVD’s that just showed up, then they’ll do whatever it takes to be at your party.