Tuesday, April 22, 2014

An Exciting Announcement!

We are excited to announce that we have a brand new Company Picnic package available this year!

We checked in with Cowgirl Christine to catch the latest on this fun new choice.

Why did you decide to do a new package this year?
Each year we like to develop a new themed picnic package.  Many of our picnic clients are repeats so by changing the theme each year gives their guests something new to look forward too.  Each themed package includes food and activities relevant to that theme.  For example, the Wild Western picnic package includes delicious BBQ, the mechanical bull, and a mini rodeo at the end that includes our roller roper, cow milking contest, and ranch Frisbee throw!  Our Wild Western Picnic clients like to take the theme and run with it.  It's fun to see them encouraging everyone to dress Western for a "Best Dressed" contest or hire a photographer and provide hats, bandannas, mustaches, and other props for fun party pics.  
We are really excited about this year's new theme, The Country Fair, which is based off of the traditional county fair.

Where did you get your inspiration for this year’s theme?
We drew tons of inspiration for this new package on Pinterest!
One neat idea that we will be doing is hanging pennants on the bandstand for decor.  We will also be encouraging companies to bring their own pennants and banners to hang. 

What can guests expect with the Country Fair Package?
In this package the first hour is spent playing our Midway games with carnival prizes included and enjoying cotton candy, popcorn, and either a fresh squeezed lemonade or root beer float at the adorable stand.
The Ranch J in this package not only plays music but acts as a "barker" during the Midway games, straw hat and all!  
The Country Fair picnic package includes 5 ranch style midway games, but we offer even more on our Ranch Specialties and Extras page. 

Guest should come hungry! What is on the menu?
Food is a HUGE part of any county fair!  That is why we chose to serve cotton candy and popcorn right from the start.  The buffet includes our delicious pulled pork slider sandwiches, nachos, corn on the cobb, and seasonal fruit cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  We have a long list of additional menu choices to consider adding.  One really exciting addition is our new partnership with the Funnel Cake Truck  (listed under FUN Food Additions).  How fun is that to have the funnel cake truck pull up to your company picnic?  We just know that our guests are going to love it!
YUM! (image via)

What other fun activities can guests look forward to?
Of course we included our friendly petting farm animals, adorable pony rides, and moonwalk into the package.  We also decided to include the pedal karts.  We love the pedal karts because the seats are adjustable so they are fun for adults too!  In fact in the third hour of the picnic, those pedal karts will be used for our mini tractor pull!  Yes, the racers will choose a volunteer to be pulled in a little red wagon behind the pedal kart.  The first one to the finish line wins.  
Speaking of winners - everyone loves to win at a cake walk, right?!  Well, we have included a cupcake walk into the package!  We can't forget about the Pie Eating Contest too.  The Country Fair package guarantees that guests will have a great time from start to finish!

For more information on our how EASY it is to plan a Company Picnic at Faulkner's Ranch, click here.
For more details on our four exclusive Company Picnic Packages, click here

Have a great day, y'all!

Monday, April 21, 2014

10 Ways to Get Guests to RSVP

R.S.V.P. stands for a French phrase, "répondez, s'il vous plaît," which means "please reply."

In other words, will you be coming to the event or not?

One would think that it is common etiquette to RSVP, but many are wondering if the days of the RSVP are long gone.  More than not these days those four little letters go unnoticed leaving party hostesses scratching their heads and biting their nails before the big event.
Thankfully, there are ways that you can encourage your guests to RSVP.

Here are a few tips to make sure that you get the response you need when sending out invites.

1.  Send them out on time!
You can't blame guests for not responding if you send out your invites right before the event.  That is why it is important to send them out well in advance.  Of course, this time varies by the event type.
For weddings, it is recommended that invitations be sent out eight weeks before the wedding at the latest.  This gives guests four to five weeks to respond, so you can make your RSVP date three to four weeks before the wedding.
For company picnics, as soon as you have a date and time, send out a save-the-date.  To get the best turnout, at least eight weeks notice is also recommended.  However, with company picnics you'll have the option to send out more reminders, as well as post flyers around your office.  You'll want to build excitement for the event, so more than one invitation will be needed (more on that later!).
For children's birthday parties, send the invitations out three weeks in advance and ask for the RSVP one week out.  The only exception is for summer parties when children are busier.  Then it is recommended to send the invites out at least a month in advance.  

2.  Mail invitations on a Wednesday.
Or at least mail them towards the middle of the week.  Weekday mail often gets put in a "to-read" pile.  Mailing invites toward the middle of the week ensures that it gets there on the weekend and is at the top of the pile.  Plus, since it is the weekend your guests will be more likely to respond when they open the invitation.  

3.  Utilize an online invitation service.
Although they lack the formality of a paper invitation, online invitations such as Evite are much easier for guest to RSVP to.  There are several providers to choose from including Punchbowl, Sendomatic, and even Facebook events.  What's nice is that most of these are free, so you can even send them in addition to your paper invite with no extra cost.  However, if you are planning a formal event, stick to the paper invitation.  Since online invitations are casual, it can send a mixed message about what to expect if they are sent for a formal party.

4.  Explain what RSVP means.
Some guests may not know what RSVP means.  So, instead of writing "RSVP by [date], say something along the lines of "Please respond by [date]" or "The favor of a reply is requested by [date]."  

5.  Make the RSVP date prominent and urgent.
On many invitations, the reply date is tiny and in the corner where it is easily overlooked or seems unimportant.  Choose to make the date prominent on the card.  It is also a good idea to provide a date as well as a sense of urgency to RSVP'ing.  For example, instead of just "Please RSVP" say "Please respond by June 11th so there isn't a pizza shortage!"  Our brains respond to scarcity, so phrases like this are more likely to get a response.

6. Avoid asking for "Regrets Only."
Asking for "regrets only" can quickly turn into a party disaster.  Instead, expect that your family and friends will happily send in their RSVP's.

7.  Make it clear whether guests are included.
When you send out your invites, make it very clear whether it is intended for just the person receiving it or if they are allowed to bring a guest (or even multiple guests).  While people are more likely to attend an event if they are allowed to bring someone, sometimes that isn't always possible.  So, be clear on your invites as to who is invited.  For weddings, don't leave your guests wondering if they can bring a date.  For company picnics, make it clear that they need to respond with how many members are included in their family.  As for birthday parties, it can get a little tricky.  Many times parents worry over whether or not to include guest's siblings.  If your intent is to just invite the child, you can state on the invitation "Due to space limitations at the party venue, we cannot accommodate siblings" or something along those lines.  
8.  Provide alternate ways to RSVP.
Instead of just responding by phone, provide e-mail addresses or even a website where guests can RSVP (e-vites make this easy!).  You can even include "Text or Call [phone number] to respond."  Many guests might hesitate to text at first, but if it is clearly stated on the invitation then they will find it okay.  Remember, the point is to get the responses no matter how they do it.

9.  Send out a reminder!
There is nothing wrong with sending out a reminder e-mail or online invite a few days before the RSVP count is due.  Websites like Evite do this on their own, another reason why online invitations are becoming so popular.

10.  When in doubt, call!
Let's face it, people forget! So, feel free to call people who haven't responded to see if they received the invitation and plan to attend.  However, if you follow the tips and tricks above, hopefully you won't have to do this step.

Have a great day, y'all!

~ Your Friends at Faulkner's

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