Before your party, send a series of pre-party messages that show you’ve put effort into the planning. I call these “Reminder messages” for obvious reasons.
These reminders are important because they:
- Generate excitement for your party,
- Keep your party top-of-mind, and
- Ensure high attendance.
When you use reminder messages for your party, you’ll stand out in a culture that thrives on the image of people who are too cool to care.
Why you should listen to me: I've hosted hundreds of happy hour events and cocktail parties in New York City and Austin, Texas. New York Magazine once called me a host of "culturally significant" parties. But don't take their word for it. Keep reading to see my tips that will help you meet new people.
Less Ghosting, More Hosting
Unless you’re hosting a wedding or the Met Gala, no-shows are an inevitable part of life for event organizers. People will tell you they are coming to your party and then never show up.
Don’t take it personally. People are busy. No-shows happen for a variety of reasons such as work, family, or social emergencies. Or perhaps someone just decided that going home to relax was a better use of the evening.
Your job is to promote your event to guests in a way that generates excitement. From the moment you create your invite until the day of your party, keep your party top of mind. Reminders persuade your invitees that your event is special. When you use these, you’ll set yourself apart before the party even starts.
The 3 Party Reminder Messages
Send this sequence of reminder messages to your guests:
- Seven Days Before: Send out a short reminder that includes logistical info plus a fun, light-hearted image attachment.
- Three Days Before: This is my favorite. Send another reminder which includes a brief biographical note about many of your guests. I call these your Guest Bios. This message takes the most time to create but has the potential to be the single greatest hook to ensure excitement and solid attendance.
- Morning of the Party: Send a final reminder, Include any logistical information–like your address and phone number–clearly up top.
You’ll find the reasoning for each of these plus examples below.
Party Pro Tip: I create calendar notes for myself because I’ve found that forgetting to send even one can drop attendance.
Download the Google Document I made where you can easily copy, edit, and paste the party reminder messages I outlined in my book, The 2-Hour Cocktail Party below.
Video: Party Reminder Messages
If you like video, I filmed this quick summary of the 3 most important party reminder messages. Watch it for an overview.
How to Send Reminders
Use email or the messaging tools built into your event platform to send your reminders.
Mass messages are bad for invitations, but they’re great for communicating with people who have already RSVPed. They’ve signed up to get them!
If you’re using email, blind carbon copy (BCC) everybody who has said Yes or Maybe to your RSVP.
Send the email to yourself and include all of your guests in the BCC: field. You’ll respect their privacy and email addresses when you use BCC instead of carbon copy (CC). You’ll also save your guests from unintended reply-all cancellation notes or questions.
But Don’t Worry…
Perhaps you worry that you’re over-communicating with your guests.
This is a totally normal concern, but unnecessary. In all my time as a host, no one has ever told me that they heard from me too many times in the lead-up to the party. Instead what I’ve gotten is a consistently high proportion of RSVPs actually showing up to my party.
You want your event to be a success. You want people to enjoy themselves. Your enthusiasm is genuine. Share it authentically and you will never annoy people. Fun reminders require nothing of recipients beyond a quick read. Far from being annoying, they can brighten the days of your guest list and add to their anticipation of your party.
Seven Days Before
The first reminder is a short note that tells your guests you’re excited about the party and looking forward to seeing them. Send this message to people who have RSVP’d as well as to those who you haven’t heard back from. It’s a subtle calendar reminder and a hint to RSVP for those who haven’t done so yet.
I like to attach a funny GIF, meme, or group photo from one of my previous parties. This keeps the reminder message fun.
Three Days Before
Prepare to step up your reminder game. Just when people are most likely to develop potential last-minute scheduling conflicts, you send an irresistible reminder using Guest Bios to ramp up anticipation and commitment.
Morning of the Party
Send one final message to your guests on the morning of your party. Copy the last message you sent three days before your party to use as a template. Then update the subject line and add a fresh introduction to express your excitement.
Use this message to inform your guests of any important details–for example, directions to your home or any special instructions. Maybe your house is at the end of a cul-de-sac and you’ve tied a big red balloon on the mailbox. Add that information to this message.
Party Pro Tip: Provide guests with your phone number in case they need to contact you with last-minute questions or directions.
But it’s not just about details. This final message is particularly aimed at any invitees who might be thinking about backing out or who might have even forgotten about your event. It’s your final chance to ensure a strong turnout. Keep it fun and include the Guest Bios again for those who didn’t read them in the last message.
Party Reminder Messages Example
For a less casual introduction that could be used for a professional event, I sent this:
Your final reminder should show your guests that you’re excited for the party. Give them tongue-in-cheek reasons why they should be, too.
“Great cocktails, amazing people, and free high fives,” for example. I include a few emojis in my reminders, but if that’s not your style, delete them. You could also attach a fun picture of yourself, a family-friendly meme, or one of your favorite GIFs.
More Party Reminder Messages
I made a PDF that you can download here that has everything you need: Copy and paste templates, multiple reminder messages for various parties (formal, casual, birthday, etc.), and a few other things:
- Funny party reminder messages
- Gentle reminders
- RSVP reminders
Or get the Google Document I made where you can easily copy, edit, and paste the party reminder messages for your next party!
Download it here by putting in your email address in the form below. If you can’t see that form, click here to download the file manually.
Party reminder messages are important because they generate excitement, keep your party top-of-mind, and ensure high attendance.
Remember to send this sequence of party reminder messages:
- Seven days before,
- Three days before, and
- Morning of the party
Follow these tips and see how your party will stand out among others!
Do you want to learn how to UPGRADE your parties? Want to host an amazing event that is easy, fun, and has your guests begging for more? Do you want to make new friends, build big relationships, and boost your career? You can do all of that with a simple 2-hour cocktail party. Check out the book that I wrote and download the first few chapters for free to see exactly how it works.
More party tips!