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OU Home  >  Executive Events Office of the President  >  Meeting & Event Planning  > The Invitation Process

The Invitation Process

Today invitations are often computer generated and sometimes sent by bulk mail. Getting people to reply at all is a real accomplishment. Often, those who do accept the invitation, change their minds without the courtesy of canceling their reservations. Regardless, invitations are among one of the most important components of an event.
There are three keys to success in knowing what to call people. First, know the culture of the campus and abide by its rules. Second, know when and how to use correct forms of addresses when dealing with “outsiders”. Finally, when in doubt, always use the most formal form of addresses. There is a brief listing under Forms of Addresses. By no means is this a complete listing. There are many good sources for researching the correct forms of addressing people; to include the internet. This important etiquette procedure should not be taken lightly.
Recipients should receive a formal invitation six to eight weeks prior to an event; an informal invitation or campus-wide flyer two to four weeks prior to an event. Keep this in mind when working with the University Communications and Marketing department (UC&M) to create and produce the invitation package. The typical formal invitation consists of the main invitation, an RSVP card, a return envelope, a mailing (outer) envelope, and a directional map. The design of the invitation and all printed materials should all carry the same look and theme. Be sure to make the outer envelope inviting to open. Remember you are competing with lots and lots of mail delivered to mailboxes every day.
Depending on the event, there may be a need to hold a special or “VIP” reception. It is recommended that this reception not be “advertised” in the invitation (whether formal or informal) so that those not invited will feel left out. Those being invited to this special reception should receive a special reception card with their invitation.

It's important to note that when taking RSVP's, as part as Oakland University's Emergency Preparedness Plan, please obtain an emergency contact number should the event be cancelled or delayed.