Writing an effective email of invitation (to a meeting, an event, a business meal etc...) is more difficult than most people think. For an email of invitation to work (i.e. the person agrees to go), it's not just about telling the person what, when and where the meeting or event is and asking them to confirm if they can go; you also need to make them want to attend what you are inviting them to.
Although the meeting or event may seem important to you, it may not to the people you're inviting. So you need to persuade them it is. And you do this by making it sound interesting, useful or necessary for them.
In addition to convincing them of the importance, you need to use the right type of vocabulary in your email. Vocabulary and phrases which are polite, clear and make them do what you want them to.
To learn how to write good emails of invitation, I have created the below online exercise. This exercise uses two examples of good business invitation emails (the first to work colleagues for a meeting and the second for customers for an event). Use these examples to work out what you need to write in one (what type of things you say and the English vocabulary/phrases to say them) and how (what structure you need to use).
To persuade somebody to go to a meeting they said they couldn't go to, see the online exercise on 'how to write an email to make somebody attend a meeting'.
To see exercises and examples for over 20 other types of business emails and advice on writing them, go to our email exercise menu.
Exercise & Examples:
Read the following two examples of different types of business emails of invitation. When reading them, guess what the meaning and use of the words/phrases in bold are from the context (the sentence) you find them in. For example, what does 'I am writing on behalf of' mean and why is it used in the following sentence?:
'My name is Sue Jenkins and I am writing on behalf of Reef Technologies plc.'
By doing this, it'll help you to both remember them and use them correctly in your own emails. When you have finished reading the examples, do the quiz at the end which will make sure that you do and when you have completed it, give you information on how they are used and why.
Click to see 20 other email/letter exercises & examples
We're holding a meeting on the current problems with the computer systems and I'd appreciate it if you could come. Having somebody like yourself there from the legal department is important because of the problems we've had with the loss of customer data.
The meeting will take place next Thursday at 2pm in meeting room 3 in the Corley Building in Leeds.
If there's anything you would like to discuss in the meeting, send it to me by email and I'll include it in the meeting's agenda.
Let me know as soon as possible if you can attend.
IT Project Manager
Dear Mr Smith,
My name is Sue Jenkins and I am writing on behalf of Reef Technologies plc.
We are pleased to announce that we are sponsoring a series of presentations on the future of renewable energy. The presentations are going to be performed by world-renowned experts in the field (for example Dr Josh Bartlett from MIT and Mrs Jennifer Woods from Clean Future inc.) and will consider future advances in the technology of renewable technology.
Due to your company having worked with Reef Technologies plc in the past, we would like to invite you to the event. The event will be held at the Randalls Conference Centre in Leeds between 3pm and 8pm on the 12 April 2013. If you require directions to the venue, please let me know.
If you would like to attend, please confirm your attendance by replying to this email by the 18 March 2013.
If you have any questions about the event, please don't hesitate to contact me by email (on firstname.lastname@example.org) or by mobile/cell (on 07867 7433123).
I look forward to receiving your reply.
Reef Technologies plc
Now answer each of the below 11 questions with one of the phrases in bold from the above emails. To check your answers, press the "Check answers" button at the bottom of the quiz.
When the answer is correct, this icon will appear next to the answer. Click on it to find extra information about the word/phrase (e.g. when, where and how to use etc...) and a translation in Spanish.
Now that you understand the new vocabulary, practise it by creating your own email of invitation.