Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How Do You Know How Many to Expect for Your CD Release Party?

My new CDs have arrived! I’ve sent them off to the U.S. Copyright office, to the CD Baby folks for digital distribution, and to my webmaster and virtual assistant. Next, the tracks get signed up at soundexchange  to receive statutory royalties from airplay. That’s all done, and now. I'm turning my attention back to the CD release party.

I sent the invite out via email to my family and local area fans on my email list, and I posted a facebook event page for it. I’ve downloaded and printed it, posting it around town. I’ve sent press releases about the party to the local paper and posted it on, a website dedicated to blasting musicians’ events to the world. To date, I received very few responses, despite the fact that I’ve asked people to respond so that I don’t run out of food at the party.

Why do so many people ignore RSVP requests (requests to know if they are attending or not)? I went on a mission to find out and see how to get people to respond. Here is what I found:

• A deadline to respond may cause people to hop to it (according to v.1073.

My take: My CD release party is a public event, paired with a fundraiser, and I still want people to believe they can show up, even if they decided to attend at the last minute.

• Some people don’t know what “RSVP” means (according to v.1073 and Helena Echlin.

My take: Really? Okay. I’ll word it differently, asking people to “respond with their intentions” instead of to “RSVP”.

• Tell people to respond and then they’ll get a ticket to the event. This implies that they won’t be able to attend the event without a ticket that they can download and print (according to Charlotte at at  and v1073.

My take: Again, I don’t want to imply that people can’t come if they don’t RSVP.

• Pick up the phone and follow-up email invites with a phone call. Not everyone reads their email, and not everyone’s Internet server accepts emails from invitation sites like and Just about everyone online suggests this technique.

My take: Yes, email is imperfect. So is snail mail. But since mine is a public CD release party and I’ve emailed hundreds of friends, family, and fans, phoning is out of the question. I did phone a few VIPs (like my brother, for instance), but otherwise, I’d need to hire a robocall service to do this kind of follow-up. If this were a small, private party, then a phone call reminder would work wonders.

Here’s what I plan to do: I’ll send an email reminder, gently requesting people to respond by replying to my email if they intend to come to the party. And instead of re-sending a party invite, which may have been blocked by their web servers, I’ll send a link to the invitation . I’ll ask that they respond by the 15th (the party is on the 20th) so that I can have a good sense of how many people to feed.

What do you think? Do you have any suggestions for me? What would you do to get people to respond? And how do you get people to come to your release parties? Or do you just send out invites and hope for the best?

Anne :-)

P.S.—By the way, the facebook event invite does not work, at least not for me. There are people who say that they are attending who obviously are not, and there are a large percentage of people who do not respond at all. And there is no way to re-send the invite to people who have decided to ignore it.

1 comment:

Christine Buffaloe said...

Congrats on your new CDs! I can't wait to listen to them.

People just don't RSVP anymore. The sad thing is that folks just don't WRITE anymore. With the age of technology, sitting down and writing a personal note has become a thing of the past.

Let's go back to the bygone days!