Why you should think twice about who you invite to your business event

How do you determine the success of your event? Most starting marketers are happy with a packed room. Turn-out equals a job well done. But are they right to think so?

This philosophy makes sense for most B2C events: turn-out is a huge factor to quantify your event’s success. But with business events, it’s a tad different…

Interested in more on this subject?
We wrote a complete ebook about it.

The goal of your event

When we talk about business events, atmosphere and turn-out isn’t a goal by itself. Your guest’s experience is but a means to an end. There is a wide range of objectives your business event can aim to fulfil. Some examples are:

  • Revenue
  • Loyalty
  • Thought leadership
  • Lead gen
  • Brand awareness
  • Transfer of knowledge
  • Employer branding

Whichever of these goals you aim to achieve, the number of guests alone won’t determine the success of your event. The decisive factor will be the quality of your guests. In this respect, you should first think about your event goal. 

You can start building your guest list when you get a clear picture of what you want to achieve. Who will you invite to reach your goals? You’ll fill your event’s seats with qualitative guests who add to your predefined goals when you follow this approach.


The impact of the wrong guests on your event

Let’s look at what will happen when there’s a poor quality of guests at your event. You’ll most likely notice a negative impact on:

  • The image of your company:
    Imagine there are too many non-qualitative guests present at your event. For example a group of friends from your sales rep who needed to fill some empty seats last minute. What will qualitative guests – like the CEO of that one company you wanted to talk to for quite some time now – think of the event?
    Sadly, guests of poor quality have a huge impact on your relationship with top-notch guests. Why would they return? In their eyes, there were too few like-minded guests. There weren’t any good network opportunities during the event.


  • No-shows and empty seats:
    Avoid a mismatch between your guests and your event at all costs. If you target an audience that doesn’t fit the content of your event? The odds to fill your event are not in your favour.
    Or even worse: guests who register and don’t show up. These no-shows are an organiser’s worst nightmare. Next to the fact that it’s a waste of money, it also makes a bad impression on guests who did showed up.


  • Budget:
    When guests don’t contribute to your goals, it puts pressure on your event strategy. Senior management will lose confidence in your strategy. It will be harder to convince them to invest in future events.

It all comes down to the wrong guests creating a negative spiral to your event. So it’s best to think twice about who you’ll invite. You see, the quality of your guests is of life importance to the success of your event.


Who benefits from top-notch guests?

When your guests are in line with your set of goals, you’ll discover it positively impacts different parts of your company. Let’s go through them:


When there are qualitative guests in your event, sales will feel like a kid in a candy shop. During the event, sales reps will network and connect with different interesting people. The format of your event will open various doors for sales.

Are you demonstrating a product? Then sales can put up some sales-deals. Are you hosting a more casual event, like the business seats during a football game? Then sales get to know your guests a little better, and they smooth the way to a deal at a later stage.


Events are a tool in the whole marketing flywheel. It is often also a showpiece since it requires large investments. With a couple of smaller but successful events, the internal belief in the approach will grow. You’ll create proof to convince management to make extra investments for future events.


A successful business event pleases C-level executives. First and foremost, you’ll meet KPI’s: proof that business is going well. Next to that, management feels proud when they see a lot of qualitative guests at their event: ‘“Look how great my company is. It’s amazing that I can bring all these people together.”  


A strategic look towards your guest list makes an audience that looks alike. Therefore they’re in a place where they can network and make meaningful connections. This results in:

  • A positive image of your company
  • An openness towards sales opportunities
  • Word-of-mouth advertising towards third parties


Why it’s best to think twice about who you’ll invite.

Your guests have the biggest impact on whether you’ll achieve your goals, or not. So put enough time and thought into drawing up your guest list. 

We understand this is not a simple task. That’s why InviteDesk created a tool in which you can visualize all of your guests: what are their interests? To what events did they attend before? Did they always show up? 

This information you can use to create a rock-solid guestlist.

Our latest blogs