Formal installation events, whether for a religious official, a new board member or a new public officer, call for formal invitations. Send your honored invitees paper invitations via regular mail. Also, create a substantial online presence to garner publicity for the event's featured honoree. With the right language, information and presentation, you can ensure the right tone for such a formal occasion.
Items you will need
- Personal computer
- Stationery (paper and envelopes) or invitation vendor
- Recipient addresses
Locate an invitation vendor that will help you design, print and label the invitations for your installation event. Companies that specialize in wedding invitations or local print shops are a good place to start. You will be able to select the paper type, layout, typeface, color scheme,and size once you choose a vendor.
Draft the invitation language. The invitation text should be brief and elegant. Begin the text with an explicit invitation. Appropriate language to use could be any of the following. "The Board of Directors cordially requests the pleasure of your company for the installation ceremony of [Name] as [Office]." "You are cordially invited to join us for the installation of [Name] to the position of [Office]." "Please join us for the official installation of [Name of Honoree] by [Organization or Company] at [Venue]." If guests are permitted to bring a guest of their own, say so. Unless explicitly stated, invitees to formal events will assume they are not permitted to bring guests not included on the invitation. Including room for a "plus one" is accomplished by addressing the outer or inner envelope, if the latter is provided, as such: "John Doe and guest."
State the date, time and street address directly below the explicit invitation at the very top. In formal invitations, the date and time are spelled out entirely, with no abbreviations or numerals, like this: "Saturday, the twenty-fourth of November, two thousand and eleven, at seven o'clock in the evening." If the location of the installation ceremony is out of the way or hard to find, include brief instructions or a landmark in addition to the street address: "Located opposite the Petite Bistro restaurant." Include the dress code if one will be observed: "casual," "black tie," or "business casual" are standard examples.
Include instructions for invitees to RSVP if you need exact numbers for food, beverage and seating purposes. Consider including a small response card with the invitation for invitees to mail back. If this is too reminiscent of a wedding or costs too much on top of the invitation itself, include instructions for invitees to RSVP via email, Facebook, or another social media platform. Specify a deadline for invitees to RSVP. Appropriate language could be, "We politely request that you RSVP via email/post/phone by Monday, the eleventh of July." Make sure the total text fits neatly on the invitation you have chosen without looking squashed.
Proofread a hard copy of a sample invitation before you agree to send the invitation out for printing. If your installation event invitations are going out to hundreds or thousands of people, inquire with the vendor about their stuffing, sealing and stamping services; ask if they can recommend a service if they do not provide it themselves. Paying an outside company to prepare your invitations for mailing can save you a lot of time and worry while ensuring a professional-looking result that will reflect well on your organization and the person being honored at the installation event.
Use similar language in other announcements and publicity for the formal installation, including press releases if applicable, but scale back the personalization. For publicity regarding the installation event in newspapers or online, it's not necessary to include the same explicit instructions; letting the general public know about the change in office, and introducing some biographical information about the honoree, are sufficient.
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