Party Clinic: Words of wisdom - Crash course in ... Invitations

Making sure guests come to a party is arguably the hardest task.

Luna Events managing director Jo Parsons believes first impressions count and invitations allow you to impress

Pick a theme It is always much easier to work around a theme that actually ties in with the event. People love to receive props; a mask, garter, jewel - all of these items are tangible things that guests will keep, and will be a constant reminder of their great night out.

Choose an original design When you're creating the invitation try and be original. Whether it's the colour, the texture or the shape, always make your invitation stand out. Don't use the formulaic approach of A5-sized card; it's important to mix things up a little bit. One of the best invites I received last year was A3 in size and it really stood out. I have seen all sorts of materials used, from Perspex and leather to negatives and knickers. Be inventive, because it's possible to print on nearly everything.

It's not just the inside that counts Make the envelope or packaging in which the invitation is delivered as funky as what guests will see when they open it up. That way, when it falls through the letterbox and lands on the doorstep, there is something exciting among the bills and credit card statements.

Think ahead Give your guests something that can either be used at the party or later. A good example comes from Boujis members' club, which designed an invitation for a White Lines party during the tennis season.

It was printed on transparent laminate and contained a sweat band. Those same sweat bands are still around and are worn to festivals and at tennis courts across the country. It can be something really kitsch or cute, and doesn't have to cost a fortune. It's about putting a smile on someone's face; the simplest things often have the biggest impact.

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