RSVP WkSheet

RSVP Worksheet

Air Force Protocol
from 'Til Wheels are Up'

RSVPs

RSVP Worksheet:

Have your RSVP worksheet ready to go as soon as the invitations go into distribution/into the mail. You can start receiving RSVPs the same day for those that go in distribution and, if you had the invitations date-stamped and taken directly to the post office, those calls start as early as the next afternoon.

If you have included an RSVP card/sheet, all the required information should have been on it -- guest's names, etc. If you are taking RSVPs by phone, make sure everyone in the office is briefed on taking the exact information you need. Sometimes we're asked why we continue asking for the spouse's name -- there's always a possibility that someone may have a "new spouse" or perhaps they're bringing a co-worker or other relative instead of their spouse. Also ask for spelling of the first name of the guest/spouse -- even a name as common as Sharon can be: Sharron, Sheron, Sharyn, etc.

Your RSVP worksheet should have a column for all the information you need -- yes, no, how many, who, what menu, method of payment, telephone number, special seating requirements, etc.

RSVPs:

The "rules" say RSVPs are to be answered within two or three days of receipt of the invitation; however, as we all know, this just doesn't happen! We find that when the invitations first go out there is a "rush" of calls/replies then it slows down and picks up again just prior to the function/deadline. It is perfectly acceptable to start phoning people one day after the RSVP date on the invitation. We suggest phrasing your call something like this: "Hello, this is Captain Baldwin from the 56 FW Protocol Office, I am calling to inquire if Mr. No-Name received his invitation to General Motor's community leader reception on 31 January and if he is planning on attending." We find that, in many instances, the individual/secretary respond with a "Yes, I called in an RSVP" (whether they have or not, who is going to admit to being "rude"!) -- or (worse case) "My secretary, Miss Errorless called in my RSVP to Captain Forgetful on Tuesday, 2 January, at 1:30 p.m." That's when you take action to hang Captain Forgetful from the flag pole out front!

When is it appropriate to regret?
In the military for official functions, never, unless there is an illness or death in the family, or the member is TDY or on leave. If the spouse is unable to attend, it is appropriate for the military member to attend alone. It is also acceptable for the spouse of a military member to attend some functions to represent the military member if they are unable to attend -- but check with the host or your protocol office first. Again, if you must regret, RSVP immediately.

As you start getting a few responses, it's time to start printing out an acceptance and regrets list so you're prepared to brief the commander/his representative on who is attending. Also keep a running total of acceptances so you can keep track of how many people you're going to have in order to let the club/restaurant know. If you see the numbers are quite different from what you originally gave them for planning purposes, let them know right away!



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