Invitation Basics

What kind of invitation you send is determined by the kind of event it is and the budget you have. Meetings usually only require an e-mailed invitation, while major celebrations might require hard cover invitations designed by a graphic artist and printed by a printer. Cost of printed invitations can be between $3-10 per piece, depending on the paper, size, colors and amount ordered. This does not include the cost to design the invitation.  Using social media such as Facebook and Twitter has become more popular lately; be careful using these if you would like selective audience.

You should send out invitations no later than three to four weeks before the event. If possible, send out a “Save the Date” invite at least six to eight weeks before the event. It often takes a few weeks to gather the information on who should be invited and how to contact them, so give yourself plenty of time on this. You never know how many people will attend an event, but you can estimate that at least 25-30 percent will not be able to make it.

What to Say in an Invite/Registration
Include all of the information necessary, but nothing extra. A good rule of thumb is to provide: what, where, when and why. Include a map of the area that highlights location, recommended parking location and major streets around the area. Make sure the font is well readable for people with eyesight problems. Ask if people have any accessibility requirements or dietary needs. If you have a speaker(s) that you would like to highlight, include information about them on the side or back of the invitation as well as an itinerary.

Sending e-mails to promote or advertise an event is very effective IF you consider a few key details:

  • Event date/time/place
  • Event title
  • Speaker(s) name and brief biographical information
  • Brief description of the event
  • Image
  • Link to website (always drive them back to your website)
  • Consider including a link to the RSVP page, if relevant

VIP Invites

If you would like to invite the governor, legislators, ABOR members or other high profile people, you have to notify Office of University Affairs before you send out an invite. Certain people have been assigned contact from ASU to these individuals, inviting them only to a selected few high profile events to help increase the possibility of their attendance. In addition to University Affairs contact the following people for invites.

State Governor/legislators and Federal contacts – Matthew Simon, Associate Vice President for Federal and State Relations.

ABOR  Julie Zehring in Office of the President at 480-965-1334.

Municipalities and counties – Kristin Irwin. Associate Vice President of Community and Municipalities or Karen Gray, her Executive Assistant.

Always copy Laura Rutherford when you contact any of the above people, because if you don’t hear back from them, Laura can help follow up on your request.

Inviting Donors
The Engineering development office values your relationship with alumni and friends. Please contact the stewardship coordinator or call 480-965-0289 at the Fulton Schools development office when you are planning an externally focused event.  They will help you invite alumni, friends and donors, as appropriate, to attend an event. The benefits of this partnership is to enhance your supporters’ experience with stellar students and world-renown faculty and also to deepen our connections with supporters.


There are many different Registrations sites available online.  Below is a list of few below:

Stova is a complete event management software platform, offering one integrated solution to create, manage and optimize every aspect of your event. ASU recommends you use Stova to manage your event. Anytime you are taking payments for your event, you need to use Stova as it is the platform approved to accept payments on behalf of ASU.

ASU offers trainings to units and departments. If you are interested in scheduling a group training, Email to request a training.

Google Docs
Google Docs may be an easy option for your internal invites for smaller meetings.  It is free and you can make it private to those that are invited only or open to public.  It can be used for multiple sharing opportunities as it lets you create different kinds of online documents, work on them in real time with other people, and store them in your Google Drive online.
More information can be found at Google Docs


Make sure you know the last day that you can change your food order, as well as the date you have to give guarantees (day your final count is due). Design your RSVP date accordingly, leaving three to five days before your earliest deadline. It is recommended to send out a reminder the week that the RSVP is due.

Forgot to RSVP
You can always guarantee that you will have several people that show up that did not notify you in advance. This is especially true for students, faculty and staff.

No Show
No shows are as certain as the people that don’t RSVP. On most occasions the no shows balance out the people that show up unannounced. If it is urgent that you know the exact number ahead of time, try contacting everyone to confirm their arrival the day before the event. Also call those that have not sent an RSVP to make sure they got the invite.


Website for your event

It is important to create (and regularly update) a dedicated website for your event. For promotion and for historical archiving, it’s very helpful to have a permanent place where guests can go to get information. Stova can help you create a website.  You always want to drive your guests to your website with more information.  Include some basic details on the website:

  • Event date/time/place
  • Event title
  • Speaker(s) name and brief biographical information (consider linking to a lengthier speaker bio or CV)
  • Description of the event (what to expect if attending)
  • Photo of speaker(s)
  • If it is a lecture series, include past speakers and titles, as well as a brief explanation of the lecture series- how/when did it get started, and if it’s a named lecture, share a brief bio of that person.
  • Contact person where they can call or e-mail for more information
  • Parking information (a link to a campus map with directions)
  • Cost and/or RSVP details (and link to an RSVP page if relevant)

Promoting your event

Come up with a marketing strategy that includes a detailed plan on how you are going to reach your guests.  This should include brand recognition, demography of target audience, social media strategy and how you are going to reach the target audience.  This can be through email, industry, through ASU communications team, social media and other mediums.

Create or update the email list to recruit attendees.  If the event is recurring there should already be an existing list of potential attendees that can be reached through email.  Create an email subject line that is worth opening and highlights the benefits for attending the events for the attendees.

Other ways to reach people

  • Advertise or sending media release to national publications
  • Contact industry or universities that may have interest in your event
  • Use social media such as Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and school websites
  • Generate buzz with hashtags
  • Research and reach out to influencers that are interested in the event subject
  • Send a request to Engineering Communications to publish information in Newsletters, social media or websites.
  • Website

You can design the materials yourself in-house or hire a designer. If you design yourself, Microsoft Office has tons of great templates and clipart available.  Be sure to maintain communications standards and use the correct ASU logos, fonts, etc. An ASU Communication Guide has been created with important information and resources.

If you cannot produce promotional materials in-house, allow time to send designs to a printer- usually 1-2 weeks is needed, sometimes more.  The following ASU services might be able to help you.


Nametags are recommended at any event to help others remember attendees’ names. Many people like to greet others with their names, and having name tags is helpful for this. The best person to do your nametags is the person taking RSVP’s. Don’t forget to have nametags for anyone overseeing the event as well as volunteers, speakers and special guests.

Make sure you always have plenty of blank nametags (at least 30 percent of your intended attendee numbers) for unannounced attendees. Having a printer at your registration desk is necessary for high profile events. This allows you to print name cards on the spot for those that did not RSVP. It makes people feel great to have a printed nametag, even though they forgot to send an RSVP.


Borrow your event décor!

The Fulton Engineering Dean’s office events team has linens and décor items available for loan to others in Engineering.

Engineering Events Inventory