Use a Multipurpose Guest Chart

For large events it is so much easier to track invited guests, mailings of Save the Date Cards and Invitations, replies to RSVP’s, and post-event follow-up communications using one comprehensive chart rather than many different lists.

A multipurpose guest chart holds all vital guest information and you can easily collapse columns or rows to focus on one thing at a time. A chart in a spreadsheet program like Excel is much easier to work with than a table in a word processing program like Word. The bigger the event, the more columns you’ll need. If you are inviting many people you may find the following columns useful:

  • “Last” Name
  • “First” Name
  • Addressee “M/M” (Mr. and Mrs. John Smith)
  • “Street” Address
  • “Street2” 2nd Address Line
  • City State Zip “CityZip”
  • Save the Date Card Sent “SD”
  • Invitation Sent “Invite”
  • RSVP “Reply” (mark comments too – “OOT” for out of town, “Later” for interested in event but can’t go now, etc.)
  • “Group”

If you are inviting different groups of people, you’ll use the Group column for indicating the main group the invitee belongs to. Assign code letters to the groups like or “S” for event staff, “V” for volunteer, “M” for management, “D” for donor, “H” for honorees, or “G” for groom and “B” for bride, etc. It is extremely helpful to be able to sort by column, and easy to automate printing by doing a mail merge with the mailing info listed.

Anticipate phoning or emailing? Add those columns.

If you have almost everyone’s email addresses, you can go lean and green and do everything through the Internet. Internet companies such as Socializr, MyPunchbowl, Pingg, and Evite make the whole invitation and reply project very easy.