Is the RSVP an Endangered Species?
I recently hosted an event at my home and was asked to provide 25 people. It was suggested that to achieve that number, I had to invite twice as many so invited somewhere on the order of 52 people.
As the event date drew closer, a significant portion of those who received e-mail and/or phone call invitations had yet to respond. I made a second round of inquiries and a few people finally weighed in.
Just 48 hours before the event, a third and final round of contacts went out and still more finally got around to responding. After all, I needed to supply food and drink and needed something close to an accurate headcount. My fear was too many who had failed to reply would arrive and I’d be caught short.
By the time the event started, an even dozen had yet to reply to my calls or e-mails. That, coupled with a few last minute cancellations and no shows, meant I had fewer than 20 people there and I felt like a failure.
At the same time, I’m planning a more family-centric gathering and we mailed out invitations. A smaller percentage has yet to reply but the silence after several weeks is disturbing.
What troubles me even more is that when I mentioned the above incidents to others, they all nodded and told me their own horror stories. That gets me to wondering what is so difficult about a simply acknowledgement of the invitation with a yes or a no? Sure, things happen and people suddenly become available or needed elsewhere – I get that. But the utter silence or lack of comprehension that an RSVP helps the host plan a successful gathering amazes me.
Are phone calls or written invitations not good enough? Must we resort to more electronic methods such as Evite? In our household we’re divided over that as a proper tool for parties so choose not to use it. Even there, I noticed, people can’t be bothered for a simple click.
Just what will it take to get a proper, timely response?