The questions below should be considered when you are compiling and developing your Event Plan and budget.

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Firstly, you will need to consider how your invitations are sent, as this will impact the other considerations.

Sending your invitation by post

This is a good choice if you have the budget for printing and postage, you require the invitations to look exclusive and elegant, and you have sufficient lead time. If you plan to post your invitations, due consideration should be given to weight of paper and invitation size in terms of the cost implications for your budget. You can contact people via post without prior consent.

Sending your invitation by email

The invitation will still need to be designed, but can be sent as a jpeg attachment or a gif file in the body of the email itself. If you are lacking time and/or budget for print, materials, and postage (or if your list consists of lots of guests from overseas) this is a good option. It is also a more environmentally friendly option, particularly if you have a large guest list.

Sending your invitation by email is a good choice if you want your guests to sign up for a lecture, for example, online. The Events Office currently use Adestra to design and send the invitations. Guidance about online registration platforms can be found in the event management toolkit.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation it is not acceptable to contact someone via their personal email address or directly via phone if they have not given you prior consent to do this. To obtain consent you can either write to them by post or email a general email address in the public domain (e.g. Further information is available on GDPR and events.

Depending on budget and requirements, you can:

Use the services of a professional designer

For high-profile events, the Events Office uses the University Design Studio to create bespoke invitations. If you are using a designer, provide them with a full brief of the event, the budget you have available, and discuss what it possible. A discussion with the designer as to how long the design and print process (if sending by post) will take is essential, and should be worked into your Event Plan timeline. Ensure that all copy is signed off before you brief it into the designer, as this will save time and cost.

Design them yourself

The Events Office has lots of examples of invitations that you can amend; these are simple, elegant and cost effective. You are more than welcome to visit us in the Events Office to have a look at some samples. The Events Office uses Adobe InDesign in order to amend and design invitations. If you would like to purchase a license for Adobe InDesign for a PC or MAC, speak to IT Services. If you plan to design them yourself, please ensure you adhere to the University's branding guidelines. If you are using email marketing software, such as Adestra, you can create invite templates to avoid having to start from scratch each time.

This should be decided at the time you are compiling your Event Plan. Usually, the host will sign off copy, for example the Vice-Chancellor’s Office. 

  • Who the invitation is from (the host)
  • The title and date of the event
  • The venue and address
  • The start and end time
  • Dress code (if there is one)
  • Whether they are able to bring a guest
  • A space to write the name of the invitee is optional (including on e-invites)
  • The RSVP address/ link to the registration page and RSVP date
  • A request to send dietary and access requirements, if applicable, when sending the RSVP. If there is a lot of information required from your guests, such as transport requirements for example, it is advisable to build in a second communication into your plan, after RSVP
  • A contact name, email address and telephone number

The answer to this question depends on how much lead-time you have, where your guests are located, and how you plan to send out your invitation (post or email). You may wish to consider sending a 'save the date' prior to the invitation.

The Events Office recommends that you send your invitations six to eight weeks prior to the event. If your guests are likely to have far to travel, or likely to have extremely busy diaries, you may wish to consider allowing longer. Conversely, if your event is virtual, you can account for a shorter lead time.

You should build the sending out of invitations into your Event Plan timeline.