Monthly Archives: October 2020

How Far in Advance Should I Send Party Invitations?

When you’re planning a party, you want to make sure that all of your potential guests receive their invitation just at the right time. If you send your invitations out too early, they may be forgotten about. But send a party invitation too late, and your invitees may have already committed to another engagement.
So, how do you know exactly when to send a party invitation? When is too early, and when is too late? The answer depends on a variety of different factors. For example, what kind of occasion the party is for, and whether it’s a formal or casual affair.
In this guide, we’ll explain how to time sending your party invitations correctly, for the best chance of a successful turnout. We’ll discuss the best time to send out invitations for a range of different parties, from kids’ birthday parties to engagement parties and formal dinners.
How to Time Party Invitations Correctly
If you send out your party invitations without giving your guests enough notice, you risk a low rate of attendance. Your invitees may have already made other commitments, such as work, a holiday, or another party. This is particularly likely if your party is during a busy time of year (such as Christmas, or the school summer break).
Even if your invitees are free on the day in question, failing to give them enough notice may mean they don’t have enough time to prepare – such as finding childcare, arranging transport, or sorting an outfit. The result? They may RSVP ‘no’, simply to avoid the last-minute hassle.
You might be tempted to send out your invitations months in advance, in an attempt to combat this. But sending out your invitations too early can be just as dangerous! If you give your invitees too much notice, they might not be willing to commit to something so far in advance. Or they may forget about the party altogether.
The key is to find the ‘sweet spot’. However, this can differ greatly from party to party. It depends on:
• What kind of occasion you’re celebrating
• The age of the invitees
• The formality/tone of the event
• What time of year it’s being held
• How much time your guests will need to prepare. Will they need to wear fancy dress, travel from afar, or bring a gift? If so, they’ll need more notice
You should also have an idea of how important the final head count is. For example, for a casual ‘house party’, you might only need a rough idea of guest numbers. But for a formal dinner party, you’ll need to know exactly who is attending – which means you should send your invites out earlier, giving your guests more time to RSVP.
When Should I Send Party Invitations Out?
How early to send out party invitations depends on what kind of party you’re hosting. Let’s take a look at some of the most common kinds of parties, and discuss the appropriate ‘invitation window’ for each one (and why).
Kids’ Birthday Parties

Kids’ birthday parties are typically held at weekends, though some may take place during the school holidays or after school on weeknights. The problem is that these are all times during which parents typically plan to do things with their children, so you’ll have to get your invites in early.
But parents are also, understandably, prone to forgetfulness – so don’t send them too early, otherwise your party may be overlooked. For a child’s birthday party, send out invitations between 3 and 4 weeks in advance.
Adult Birthday Parties

For an adult’s birthday party, you can generally follow the same rules as for children’s birthday parties (3-4 weeks). The only exception is for larger and more important birthdays – such as a 50th birthday celebration. For these, you might want to go a bit earlier – send out invitations 6-8 weeks in advance. This is because for bigger celebrations, you’ll likely invite more people who live far away, and they’ll need to make travel arrangements.
Holiday Parties (Hallowe’en, Christmas, New Year’s Eve)

Holiday parties can be tricky, simply because – unlike birthday parties – there’s a very good chance that other members of your family or extended friend group will be holding a similar party on the very same day as your own. That means that your invitees may book themselves up before you can even get the invitation out to them.
If you’re thinking of holding a Christmas party, Hallowe’en party or New Year’s Eve party, get your invitations out 4-8 weeks in advance. That way, you can be sure you’ll be the first off the mark.
Destination Parties

Though destination weddings (weddings held in a foreign country) are relatively popular, destination parties for less important celebrations are relatively rare. However, they aren’t unheard of. If you’re thinking of holding your next birthday party, engagement party, or holiday party in a foreign country (or far-flung area of the U.K.), you’ll need to give your potential guests plenty of warning.
They’ll need time to book their transportation, arrange accommodation, organise time off work, and potentially renew their passport. Send out your invitations between 4 and 6 months in advance.
Engagement Parties

Engagement parties are usually big, formal affairs, with many friends and extended family members invited to join in the fun. They’re not quite as formal as weddings, but aren’t too far off. Due to this, engagement party invitations are typically sent out at least a month in advance. If you’ve got family travelling from out of town, you’ll need to send out your invites a bit earlier – 6 to 8 weeks, ideally. Unlike weddings, engagement parties don’t require save the dates.
Housewarming Parties

Housewarming parties may be formal or informal, depending upon your personal tastes – and the crowd you run with! But most housewarming parties lean towards the casual side.
If you’re serving a sit-down meal and will need to know exactly who’s coming, send out your invitations 2-3 weeks in advance. If you’re just serving snacks and/or drinks, 1-2 weeks’ notice is plenty. Make sure you don’t hold the party too soon after moving in – give yourself time to unpack first, and get the house in order.
Formal Parties

Formal parties often include catering, and may be held in a hired venue rather than at someone’s home. This might include, among others:
• Graduation parties
• Homecoming parties
• Wedding anniversaries
• Baby showers
• Office parties
• Parties celebrating a new job or promotion
• Dinner parties
• Cocktail parties
For formal affairs, you’ll need to know who’s coming well in advance, as your venue and caterer will need an accurate head count. Send out your invitations 4 to 6 weeks in advance.
Casual/Informal Parties

For less formal parties, you can get away with sending out party invitations a bit later. Informal parties might include ‘house parties’, pizza parties, summer pool parties, and any other casual gathering with friends.
For many casual gatherings, paper invites aren’t used at all – you might just set up a Facebook event, or give your guests a quick text or call. A week’s notice is generally fine, especially if you’re just providing snacks and drinks for your guests rather than a full meal. But if it’s particularly important that certain people attend, you might want to speak to them a bit sooner.
When Should the RSVP Deadline Be?
When sending out a party invitation, don’t forget to include some way for your guests to RSVP (indicate whether or not they’re coming). The traditional way to do this is to include a reply slip at the bottom of the invitation, for your guests to cut off, fill out and post (or hand) back to you.
You can also include a separate reply card in the envelope (this is common for weddings). For more casual occasions, you might simply include your phone number or an e-mail address instead.
We’d recommend that you always set a RSVP deadline when sending out your party invitations. Include this deadline on the reply slip, or on the invitation itself.
But when should the deadline be? In essence, this depends on when you need the final head count by.
If you’re serving food at your party, your caterer will need to know how many meals to prepare for. They’ll probably ask for the final head count 2-3 days before the event. Add another few days on top of this, as a grace period (in case some forget to reply, and you have to chase them up). An appropriate RSVP deadline, therefore, might be 1-2 weeks before the event.
This works for most parties, but for bigger and more formal occasions, you might want to make that deadline a bit earlier. That way, you’ll have more time to prepare.

How to Use Promotional Products Effectively

Are you thinking about purchasing some promotional products to help your business? If so, you’re not alone. Promotional products are one of the most effective and popular forms of advertising in the world today. They are effective and affordable tools that can really boost a company’s sales, and draw in more clients and regular customers.
Promotional products are, in essence, any physical item that you give out to customers (or potential customers) in order to advertise your business. They typically display your company’s name, logo and website, and may include a description of your services. Some promotional products are disposable, while as others (such as fridge magnets) may be kept for months or years.
Today, we’ll explain exactly why companies use promotional products, and whether or not they really work. We’ll also discuss the most popular promotional products, and how you can use them effectively.
Why Do Companies Use Promotional Products?
Many companies use promotional products alongside more traditional forms of advertising – such as posters, billboards, TV, newspaper and radio adverts. Like advertisements, promotional products are designed to show off your brand and draw new customers in. However, they are slightly different to regular adverts, and much more effective.
The majority of promotional products are designed to be kept by the consumer, and used (or looked at) regularly. Some examples include personalised pens, postcards, mugs, t-shirts and fridge magnets, all bearing a company’s name and logo.
This clever merchandise may be given away at trade shows, as a competition prize, as part of a grand opening (or re-opening) celebration, or simply gifted to customers and clients as a ‘thank you’. An advertisement on a billboard may be forgotten within seconds of viewing it – but if your customers have a magnet on their fridge bearing your logo, they’ll see it multiple times a day.
Do Promotional Products Really Work?

Simply put: yes. According to research by the Advertising Specialty Institute, most consumers will keep a promotional product for eight months (on average). And when they no longer have need of it, over 60% of people will give the product away rather than throwing it in the bin.
Company mugs are particularly good examples of promotional products with staying power. The research suggests that around 50% of consumers who own logoed drinkware use it 2-3 times a week or more. The consumer might also serve drinks to visiting friends and relations in your company mug. So, not only will the person who originally received the product be constantly reminded of your brand, but their friends and family will be too. These repeated impressions can have a significant impact on a company’s reputation and sales.
It’s an established fact that consumers who have been given a promotional product will view the company in a more favourable light as a result. They’re also more likely to do business with the company whose merchandise they own, over a competitor.
How to Use Promotional Products Correctly
There are all kinds of promotional products out there. In fact, almost everything that can be printed on can be turned into a branded product bearing a company’s logo. We’ve seen promotional hats, bags, umbrellas, coasters – you name it.
But the most popular and commonly used promotional products are flyers, postcards, magnets, and mugs. Let’s take a look at each one and how you might use it effectively to promote your company, whether big or small.

Flyers are some of the most basic and affordable promotional products. The great thing about a flyer is that it’s lightweight, cheap to design and print, and perfect for slipping into letterboxes or handing out in shopping centres. You can order flyers in a variety of different sizes, and they’re essentially a blank canvas for your own design.
Advertise your company’s most popular services, or use them to feature a brand new product. Use them to promote your brand ethos, or what makes your company stand out. Flyers are great for advertising sales and special promotions, too. Either hand out your flyers to your customers when they purchase a product or service, or hire a door-to-door leaflet distributor. That way, you can draw in new customers in your area.

Postcards, similar to flyers, are flat printed products designed to be posted through a letterbox. However, postcards are much more robust. Rather than being made of flimsy paper, they’re a more durable and hard-wearing cardstock with a professional glossy finish.
Everyone enjoys getting a postcard in the mail, so they can be a great tool to help your business flourish. Choose a pre-set design template or create one of your own. Postcards are great for keeping your services or products fresh in the minds of current clients, past clients, and prospective clients alike. They work great as greetings cards (for Christmas, Easter, or other special times of year).

A magnet is an example of a promotional product that’s designed to last. The best thing about a magnet is that it’s often displayed on the fridge or freezer, in the busiest part of the home (the kitchen). Your client or customer, as well as the rest of their household, will be exposed to your logo every day.
Fridge magnets are versatile and can be used to promote virtually anything, from a specific product or event, to your company in general. As they have a practical purpose (to hold shopping lists, receipts, or notes in place), they’ll be used regularly, creating the kind of exposure your business needs.
Magnets work best as ‘freebies’ given away with the purchase of a product, but can also be used as an alternative to a business card. Hand out a magnet after a productive conversation with a prospective client and you’ll be sure to create a lasting impression.
Personalised Mugs

Personalised mugs are some of the most effective promotional products available to businesses today. Made of ceramic, they’re designed to last for years, and be used over and over again. We’re a nation of tea-lovers, so they work especially well in the U.K.
Because of this, mugs are used most effectively to advertise a business as a whole, rather than one specific service, sale, or promotion. They work great as:
• Freebies given out at trade shows and corporate events
• Competition prizes (company raffles, etc)
• Gifts for attending a grand opening (or re-opening, if your business has had to close for a while, e.g. due to Covid-19)
• Christmas and birthday presents
• Thank-you gifts for longstanding clients and repeat customers
They’re also fantastic given out as gifts to employees – they’ll take them home and spread the word of your business to their family and friends. Use them in your own home, too, and subtly advertise your company every time you entertain guests!
Where to Buy Promotional Products in the U.K.
If you’re looking for affordable yet high-quality promotional products, look no further than We’re an established printing company that specialises in promotional products such as flyers, postcards, magnets and mugs, as well as:
• Business cards
• Letterheads
• Address labels
• Notepads
• Appointment cards
• Greetings cards
As well as personal products, such as wedding invitations. When you shop with 123Print, you’ll receive a quality, professionally printed product that is compatible with any budget. What’s more, all of our products are fully customisable (for free). Use our handy editing tool to design your colour scheme, upload your brand’s logo and create a custom design that’s right for you.
Once you’ve placed your order, we’ll aim to ship it the very next business day, provided you place your order before 11am. We have a 100% satisfaction guarantee policy, so you can rest easy knowing your designs are in good hands!

Electronic vs. Paper Party Invitations: Which Should I Choose?

Just a generation ago, we were sent to school with a pocketful of paper party invitations for all of our classmates. These days, physical invitations are becoming less and less common, in favour of e-cards, texts and emails. While there are certain occasions on which paper invitations are still common (weddings, for example), other events seem to have largely made the switch to digital (such as birthday celebrations, anniversary meals and hen nights).

We believe that paper party invitations are far superior to digital ones, despite our society’s growing tendency to conduct all interactions online. There’s something just so exciting about receiving a letter in the post, and opening it up to find you’ve been asked to a party. It’s much more personal than a Facebook message – not to mention, it gives the host an opportunity to set the tone of the party, and show off their style.

Today, we’ll discuss the benefits and drawbacks of digital party invitations, and explain the advantages of sending paper party invitations by good old-fashioned post.

Should I Send My Party Invitations Online?
Some people choose to send party invitations via the internet, rather than traditional post. One of the most popular mediums for sending online invitations is Facebook Events.

This service has a few noticeable benefits. It’s free to use, and allows guests to RSVP immediately, rather than sending a reply slip through the post. Guests can also see who else has been invited to the party, simply by checking the list of invitees.

The downside is that Facebook notifications are easily missed. Some people don’t have a Facebook account at all – and many that are signed up don’t check their notifications very often. There’s also no feature to invite ‘plus ones’.

The alternative is to send an e-mail or an e-card. Unfortunately, though, not all of your guests will check their inbox regularly – and e-mails can easily get lost in the ‘junk folder’. E-card services can also cost just as much as paper invitations, or even more.

And with any method of sending invitations online, the main downside is that it’s just not as exciting or personal as receiving a real card in the post. You can save a paper invitation as a keepsake, and cherish it for years to come – the same can’t be said for a Facebook event.

Why Send Paper Party Invitations?
So, why should you send out paper party invitations to your next big event? Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary celebration, hen night, stag do or simply a house party, there are several distinct advantages to sending a traditional card in the post.

Not Everybody is Digitally Inclined
If you’re only planning to invite young people to your party or event, then digital invitations might be appropriate. But you have to bear in mind that there are plenty of people out there who don’t have a computer, smartphone, or access to the internet. It’s no good trying to send a Facebook invite to your Great Aunt Gladys when she’s never so much as signed up for an account.

Most people have e-mail addresses, but older individuals might not check their inbox very regularly. Your party could have come and gone by the time they even notice that they have a new message. However, they can’t fail to notice a card coming through their letter box!

Higher Attendance Rate
If you send paper invitations to your guests, you’re bound to get fewer no-shows, and fewer people ignoring your invitation altogether. Facebook events and e-mail invitations have a surprisingly high attrition rate – that is, people who don’t reply, or reply ‘maybe’ or ‘yes’ but then drop out at the last minute. Digital invites may be okay for casual gatherings, but for a planned event, you’ll need an accurate head count (especially when organising aspects such as catering).

If your invitees see that you’ve gone to the effort of designing, printing and signing paper invitations, they’re far less likely to ignore it. Include an RSVP slip or a reply card with the invite, and they’ll take it far more seriously.

Post is Harder to Miss
E-mails, e-cards and Facebook events are quite easy to miss, even for those of us who are comfortable with the digital world. Some people receive dozens, or even hundreds, of e-mails and social media notifications every single day – meaning that an invitation to a party often gets lost. Either that, or it’s redirected to the spam folder.

Although it’s possible for post to get lost, it is quite rare. Most people will find their invitation along with their morning post and write the date into their diary straight away, or stick the card on the fridge – meaning your party won’t be forgotten about.

Set the Tone for Your Party
Designing your own wedding invitation gives you a brilliant opportunity to set the theme and general aesthetic for your party. It’ll give your guests an idea of what sort of party it might be – how to dress, what kind of entertainment to expect, and so on.

For example: say you’re planning an elegant, Oscars-inspired New Years’ Eve bash. An elegant, black party invitation with a looping, cursive font and silver or gold embellishments would set the tone beautifully. You simply can’t do that through e-mail or Facebook.

Make it Clear Who You’re Inviting
A physical party invitation comes in the post. And because of that, it comes in an envelope – an envelope which you’re able to address, specifically, to whoever is invited. It also gives you an opportunity to offer your guest a plus-one – for example, “Miss Jane Smith and Guest”.

If you send an invitation online, however, it’s a lot trickier to be specific about who is invited and who isn’t. Your guests may not know whether they’re welcome to bring their children, for example, and it can cause a fair amount of confusion.

Let Loose Your Creativity
Are you an artsy or creative sort of person? If so, you’ll love the freedom that comes with designing and personalising a paper party invitation. You can be as specific as you want with your colour scheme, decorations, border, and artwork. You can choose from a range of font styles and design an invite that will really ‘wow’ your guests. By contrast, it’s a lot harder to be creative if you’re using online invitations.

Where Can I Order Party Invitations?
At 123Print, we specialise in affordable, high-quality, and totally customisable printing. We’re an established company that has been trading for over a decade, so we know exactly what it takes to produce the perfect party invitations. We’re extremely proud of all of our products, in fact – everything you order will come with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. So if you’re not happy, we’re not happy!

We stock a wide range of party invitations to suit every occasion, from children’s birthday parties to weddings. But if you feel creative, we also offer you the ability to create a completely bespoke invitation, right on our website. Design it from scratch, or base it around one of our popular templates – the choice is yours.

Our beautiful party invitations come in two sizes – standard (A6) and large (A5). Prices start from just 40p per invitation, and we always aim to dispatch orders by the next business day (if ordered before 11:00 GMT). Why not get designing today?

How to rock your business cards in 2020

Business cards are still right out there as one of the best forms of direct advertising. But with so much contact information available for any one individual these days, exactly what should you put on a business card or leave off? If you were to add a mobile number, email, Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp, you would end up with a business card the size of an A4 piece of paper which rather defeats the object.
Read our handy guide on how to create just the right impression with something not much bigger than a matchbox.
• Be selective and choose what information you want to include – you won’t be able to fit in everything so pick your main two points of contact or, create a card especially for a particular conference or meeting. That way you can aim the detail you include specifically for that target audience
• Make sure the card doesn’t look cluttered or crowded – even if you drop information, some of your contact details may still be quite long and just not look right on a small, simple card. The impression is everything so far better to drop some detail rather than cram it in or, use a typeface which actually makes it too small to read
• Focus on font, colour and design because that is what makes the initial impact not the actual contact information which is usually of less interest to people on the first examination
• Use colour and image to convey that first impression. If your company sells swimming pools then blue with some sort of splash or wave effect will convey that effortlessly. Equally, fireworks with bright explosions of colour will leave the recipient in no doubt about what it is that you sell
• Have the logo as the most dominant feature on the card
• Ensure the information is legible – if you have used an exploding firework image on the front of the card then that isn’t going to work as a backdrop for text – it will get lost in the colour and be too hard to read
• If you are using colour then don’t use more than two or three colours – don’t allow the card design to become fussy or complicated
• Stand out with a plastic or laminated card a bit like a credit card or driving licence – if you are in the motor trade then you could use something resembling a numberplate design – the American styles are very popular or old-fashioned vintage plates with silver lettering on a black background. These business cards last much longer than card versions as well
• Use a non-traditional shape – this always gets attention – but don’t create something that won’t fit in a wallet or anywhere else otherwise you will simply encourage people to throw them away. Most people try and stick with a reasonably conventional rectangular shape even if they do vary it to fit in with their branding
• The texture is important – it can create interest but it is also an important part of creating that essential first impression. If a business card is made of a thin or inferior quality card then it really won’t last the course
• Pale shades are more easily legible than strong colours when it comes to reading wording or understanding logos or designs
• Thermography is a technique which creates the raised shiny print which is ultimately very readable and also tactile
• Business cards can be embossed or foil-stamped
Do some research amongst friends and colleagues and online and take a look at what other people are doing. There are some amazing designs out there. Take a look and review what you like and don’t like about different cards and which ideas would work or not work with your particular business.
The finished product must shout quality – it is a direct marketing tool, you won’t find anything more right up close and personal so don’t waste that chance to create a strong impression. Be prepared to review your business card regularly and make sure it is not developed as on offshoot to the rest of your stationery suite and branding; it should sit right at the heart of it.
Create different business cards for different sectors of your client base and different events but also maintain a constant theme. Keep your eyes open for new styles or techniques which you can use to refresh your cards and make sure they are current and vibrant. There is a huge amount of advice, guidance and inspiration online.
And for the finishing touch, why not treat yourself to a luxury case to carry your cards in? You really don’t want to hand over some creased, dog-eared offering to a potential hot business client. Storing business cards in your wallet can result in them looking tired and crumpled, not the impression you want to convey at the optimum moment. Choose from:-
• Smooth inlaid wood cases with a side opening hinge perfect for keeping cards flat and smooth and easy to extricate one when you need to
• There are soft leather options a bit like your wallet but designed just to carry the cards so they stay pristine and fresh
• Opt for leather and brushed steel which is a rigid container and will keep your business cards immaculate
• Engraved metal so in the style of those classic cigarette cases from the Art Deco era, so stylish, and these can be personalised with your initials or company logo
• Vintage solid silver, check out the hallmark for the year of manufacture and the maker
• There are also some lovely coloured metal cases out there, eye-catching and vibrant
Whether you are looking for something modern or antique to store your business cards, there is a huge choice available, perfect for completing that perfect impression when you encounter a new client or associate. A smart card case is a perfect partner for a well thought out and cleverly designed business card.