In many cases, your guest list nearly sets itself. A corporate staff event, for example, comes with a pretty obvious roster and even a client appreciation event or charity gala will be pretty easy to take to that 90% capacity mark. For those times when you need a little help getting that last 10% solidified, we’ve put together a little checklist to help you nail down your guest list, and a few tips for managing it afterward.

Guest List Creation:

  1. Know your goal. Having a clear vision and objective for your event is essential for everything from the venue to the design to the guest list. When it comes to the task at hand here, understanding whether your event’s main objective is new business, brand awareness, employee appreciation, fundraising, or something else entirely plays a big role in who ends up with an invite.
  2. Know your VIPs. This will probably be covered off in the “obvious” stage of your guest list planning, but it’s worth mentioning: be sure you’ve considered major players, like members of the executive leadership. You don’t want to accidentally leave a VIP out of your RSVPs.
  3. Know your vibe. When you’ve nailed down your go-tos and your VIPs and have a little wiggle-room left to round-out your list, it can be really helpful to think about the ambience you’re trying to create. Fill up those remaining slots with people who you know will add to the overall vibe of the event.

Guest List Management:

  1. Get organized. Create a spreadsheet to help you track and organize your initial list, note who has RSVPed, and easily make updates.
  2. Get hardcore… if you need to. If your event is more complex or is going to be happening yearly, you might want to consider using a CRM. For example, one of our personal favourites is Social Tables, a collaborate event software that your team can use to stay organized and keep everyone up-to-date on all aspects of the event, including your guest list.
  3. Get techy onsite. Paper is out, at least in this situation. Use an iPad if you need to manage guests onsite vs carrying around a clumsy stack of paper. If your event is ticketed, try a service like Eventbrite to make that part of the process virtually self-managing and stress-free.

Of course, your guest list is one of the very first steps to your event, and there’s a whole lot that needs to happen between nailing that down and wowing your guests on event day. Luckily, we know just the team of creative and energetic event profs who can help you with everything from siteplans, design, and décor to staffing and labour. Get a full rundown of what we do on our corporate event planning page, and get in touch with us here. We’d love to chat about the great things we can do together.