In Praise of the Online RSVP
Shameless plug: We opened our new hospital. It’s awesome. We’re proud. But for now, I'm going to skip what we learned from a marketing standpoint and talk about a simple tool we used for our special events: the online RSVP.
If you have big events and a limited staff, the online RSVP is your best friend:
• First, you'll find out how many people might show up. At our hospital’s community open house, we had about 4,700 people attend. Approximately 2,000 of them registered online for the event. Maybe it's because we were raffling off five iPod Touches for those who RSVP’d online, but so be it because…
• Second, when you have people register online, you can collect e-mail addresses for your e-blast database. This is, of course, opt-in. Of the 2,000 people who pre-registered, more than 1,500 opted-in to receive e-mails.
• Third, it’s convenient and helpful. When people registered for the open house event, they received all of the logistical and parking information for the day in their confirmation e-mail. This helped establish order and gave people a sense of what the day would look like.