Q:

What should one include in the wording of a business dinner invitation?

A:

An invitation to a business dinner should include standard invitation language, such as stating that the host "cordially invites" the recipient to the event. The invitation should convey basic information such as the date, time, place and purpose of the event and the identity of the host. It should also include information on how to RSVP along with any special instructions, such as parking details.

Business dinner invitations may be formal or informal. Email and phone invitations are becoming more common for informal events. For informal events, some businesses mail invitations on their own stationery. Formal invitations for corporate events typically are printed in a dark color on white or off-white paper.

Guests are invited 3 to 4 weeks in advance for informal events. If guests are invited by phone, a written reminder goes out 2 weeks before the event. For important seminars that people must plan to attend from out of town, 6 to 8 months' notice is customary. For meetings such as seminars scheduled to last over several days, it is appropriate to note what type of food is on the menu along with information about special guests or speakers. Invitations for luncheons are sent 3 to 5 weeks in advance, and invites for breakfast or cocktail parties should go out 2 to 4 weeks in advance.

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