Perfecting the event invitation

10:38 pm

The event invitation is the first impression a beauty editor has of a launch, product or new brand. Therefore, the importance of making an intriguing impact while providing key information about an event through the invitation is imperative. Here we chat to top beauty editors from Cosmopolitan, Famous, Girlfriend, Chloe Morello, Gritty Pretty, POPSUGAR and beautyheaven about their ideal invitation and what brands should and shouldn’t include.

Set the tone
The first thing your invitation should do is establish the mood of the event. Why is it being hosted? Whether it is a new product launch, brand celebration, treatment experience or skin check, tell guests exactly what they should expect. An example of this working successfully is Nair and Batiste’s Garden of Eden-themed invite. “It was a pretty spot-on indication of what was to come,” explains beautyheaven hair editor Olivia McKinnon. “It came in a wooden crate that instantly sparked intrigue and contained a toffee apple and rubber snake. The message and theme of the event was clear and consistent.”
If the event is a launch, be clear about the product category. Keep in mind, certain magazines write for various audiences, which will alter the purpose of their attendance. “As a magazine with a teen demographic, obviously there will be some product launches that are just not relevant for the age group I am writing for,” says Girlfriend beauty writer Melissa Mason.
Design and delivery Design is an important element of the invitation, and gives the invitee their first impression of the launch. Personalised names and simple metallic shades have been voted the best way to go. “I love silvers and golds on white or black card,” says POPSUGAR beauty editor Laura Wilson. “It’s simple, chic and classy. I think I speak for everyone when I say we don’t like them rolled up, and that there is no need for them to be too big.”
Vlogger Chloe Morello’s favourite invitation of the year was for Kérastase’s 50th Anniversary celebrations. “It was elegant and concise, and it specified all the information like the dress code, which is really helpful,” she reveals. “If the invite is personalised with my name on it, that really catches my eye.”
A good thing to keep in mind is that soft-copy invitations are much easier for guests to record detail and keep for longer. “Email is fine. Alternatively, a beautiful invitation with hand-written calligraphy is always appreciated (and sometimes, held onto),” advises Gritty Pretty editor Eleanor Pendleton.
Location, location It is important to include a detailed address for where the event is being held. If it is located somewhere that is difficult for guests to find or outside their usual travel zone, it is a good idea to include directions and instructions to locate the specific area. “Even if the location is a well known hotel or restaurant, we still need a street number and street name for transport purposes,” says Cosmopolitan beauty director Leigh Campbell.
Save the date If you are sending a “save the date” notice, send it through email before you send out the hard copy invitation to guests. “Save the dates are great because I can immediately pop the event into my calendar, and add the details when the official invite arrives,” says Mason.
It’s a matter of time Always include a beginning and end time. Often media are juggling multiple launches a day, so knowing what time they can expect to be back in the office is appreciated and allows for them to slot the event into their schedule smoothly. “Always write the details and be as specific as you can – if there are appointments throughout the day, please specify that,” advises Famous beauty editor Justine Dunton-Rose.
The X factor If there is going to be a brand expert or celebrity ambassador in attendance, let the media know in advance on the invitation. A special guest is a point of difference that should be highlighted to invitees, and media will then be informed of who to expect and come up with questions beforehand. “If a special guest like a general manager, celebrity or international hair or make-up artist is attending, list their name in the opening line,” says Pendleton.
Répondez s'il vous plaît Always include RSVP details and provide a mobile number and email address for last minute questions or queries. According to Pendleton, “It’s always a good idea to list a mobile phone number of the PR contact in case there is a last minute cancellation or if a beauty editor falls sick or is running late.”
Another tip is to follow up invitation send outs with an email - this will cover mail being lost, inboxes being full and the post being late. “I've had a few situations where the original invite hasn't made it to me for some reason outside of the PR's control, but the follow up has,” says Mason.
Make a meal of it If different meal type options are included on the invitation, guests have the option to account for this in their RSVP, saving correspondence back and forth. “It’s good to know what to expect food-wise, whether it’s lunch, light snacks, or finger food,” says Wilson.
Dress code If you are having a fancy event, incorporate a dress code on the invitation to ensure guests dress on-par with the event atmosphere.
#socialmedia If the event has a hashtag or various social media handles, be sure to feature them on the invitation so that media know what to credit before they arrive at the event.

Create confusing clutter If you are going to send out props and presents with your invitation, be careful about what you send. “Do not include items that are a logistical nightmare (or just plain messy!). I once had a clown come into my office and deliver an invitation straight to my desk… it was absolutely terrifying,” advises Pendleton.
Write a press release Be wary not to hit media with an onslaught of information on the invite, keep it to including just the important points. “Don’t include pricing or product information, that's what the event is for!” warns McKinnon.
Come across too keen Avoid sending automatic calendar invitations to media before sending an official invitation. “Please don’t send a calendar invitation to Outlook before we’ve been formally invited to a launch by email or post,” says Campbell.
Get names wrong There is nothing worse than receiving an invitation with the name spelt wrong. “I’ve experienced many a time where my name is misspelt and it sets the wrong tone right from the start,” advises Pendleton
by Maddie Moore 

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