The Top 7 Mistakes of Guest List Management


When organizing an event -- any kind, really -- having a guest list is unavoidable. The bigger your guest list, the more crucial it becomes to actually manage your list. Seasoned event managers will tell you: the secret to a successful party starts at the door. With that, here is our list of 7 common mistakes to avoid when managing your guest lists.

1. Clinging to paper and clipboards

Guys, we get it. There’s nothing quite like walking into a fresh stationery store, walls lined with intoxicating paper, patterns and pens to satisfy every paper lover’s dream. And while we totally encourage you to bring back snail mail, write a love note to your S.O. or send a postcard to your favorite pen pal, resorting to your paper fetish to manage your guest lists is only going to cause you grief. Ditch the Clipboard™, save the trees and keep your paper passion separate from your event goals to ensure your guest lists stay organized and scalable.

2. Not specifying whether guests are allowed

Whether your event doors are open to all or you’re going for something more exclusive, it’s important to be clear about whether guests are welcome, and if so, how many. Guestsnow’s event management platform allows you to specify if your guests can bring a +1, +2 or just themselves. The clearer you are, the more in control you’ll be of the people that crash (or hopefully don’t crash) your party.

3. Not setting a deadline to RSVP

Similarly, being clear about when guests need to confirm their presence is key. Failing to do so will cause headaches for you, for your partners, for your sponsors if you have some, and for your guests if they miss the deadline they didn’t fully know about. This is a rookie mistake but it happens more than you might think, so put this on your checklist when creating your event pages and sending your invitations.

4. Not extending your deadline to RSVP

Let’s be real… no one meets actual deadlines. When you’re putting together your event timeline, make sure you include an early RSVP date and a final RSVP date. Share the first one in your initial invites and use the extension as an opportunity to check in with your guests, remind them of the event and give them the great news that they have an extra few days to confirm their presence. It’s win-win-win.

5. Not reminding guests about event details as they come up

Speaking of checking in with guests, not doing it merits its own section as a mistake to avoid. This becomes even more important when you’re planning an event far in advance. New details will pop up; unexpected changes may occur; and well, people will misplace the invite or worse, forget about it altogether. Make a point to inform your guests as though you were reminding your posse about the details for that club night this Saturday.

6. Not having pictures to recognize VIPs

This is a common practice at weddings, where the photographer has a “face book” to make sure important family and friends are captured in your pictures and videos. Doing the same for the VIPs at your events will save you a lot of running around, gain you massive brownie points with said VIPs and the managers that invited them and ensure your event sets the standard for how things should be run. Don’t know what they look like? Guestsnow makes things even easier with push notifications for VIPs. The minute they check in, you know about it.

7. Not giving partners access to your guest list

As organized as you may be, managing guest lists for promoters or other partners can quickly unravel into an organizer’s worst nightmare. Don’t do this to yourself! Features like Guestsnow’s promoter access allow you to segment your guest lists and hand off the management of a particular subset for your partners to manage themselves. You’ll always have the final say, but won’t get bogged down by other people’s responsibilities.

Hopefully these tips will help you make your future events run smoother. Pair them with Guestsnow’s event management tools and you’re golden. Try the app for free or log into your existing account now.