Inviting people by email to events, meals or meetings is very common in business. Although there are some differences in what you write and the style of vocabulary you use between inviting a customer/client to an event to inviting a work colleague or supplier to a business meeting (and you will soon see these differences in the examples), the majority of the content and the basic structure of most types of invitation is almost the same.
The basic structure
- First, say what it is you are inviting them to and what it is about
- Then, invite them to the meeting/event and explain why you are
- After that, say when and where it is happening
- And lastly, ask them to confirm if they can attend
Persuade them to go
However, writing a good email/letter of invitation isn't just about having the right structure and including the necessary information, it is about getting the people to actually go to 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. They may see it as a waste of their time.
So you need to persuade them it isn't, you want to make them want to go. For a meeting, you want to make them believe that it is something useful or necessary for them to attend. For an event, you want to make them see that it is something which they will find interesting or be of use to them.
So think of the individuals you are inviting and come up with benefits specifically for them of attending, or potential costs to them of not attending. Then include the most appropriate in their invitation. Mention these in the part of the email where you are describing what it is you are inviting them to or directly after you invite them.
In this online exercise (with a quiz at the end) on emails of invitations, you'll see all of this in the two examples of good business invitation emails (the first to work colleagues to a meeting and the second for customers to an event). From these you'll learn and remember English phrases (both formal and less formal) that are used for inviting people to events or meetings and how invitation emails should be structured.
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 our other exercises and examples for over 20 different 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. The first is a less formal invitation to a work colleague to a meeting. The second is a formal invitation to a customer to a presentation.
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 do not hesitate to contact me by email (on email@example.com) 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.
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