I have more than 800 meetings every year and so I send and recieve a lot of calendar invitations. More and more people use calendar invitations from their Macs, PCs and mobile devices - it's easy, fast and sometimes it works. But only sometimes.
MS Outlook invitations are the best - only an ICS file in e-mail. Don't you have a compatible e-mail client? Open your TextEdit or Notepad and read it, it's fun! Google is a little better - sending ICS and text information which is really hard to read. iCloud (why I'm using iCloud) sends ICS file and quite a nice e-mail - but all in all - the only way how to effectively use calendar invitations is to use the same system as your contacts. I can't believe that it's 2014 and we're still not able to invite our friends to a party. I have some tips how to upgrade your invitations to the whole new level!
More invitations is better
If you're planning your meeting via phone, agree that both of you will send the calendar invitation. It's better to have 2 invitations in your calendar. Especially if you'll update your meeting data, it's greater challenge for both of you.
Event name is not important
Don't use event names that means something. If you have a lunch about marketing campaign with George, just name your event "George". I'm sure that George will appreciate this. If you combine this with Tip #1, your game is starting.
Update as much as you can
Updating your events is great for all invited friends. First of all - choose any free slot in your calendar, type your event, invite people, send invites and then start to look for the best day and time. Tens of update e-mails are great for all of you.
Location - not important
Location is not important in your calendar events. I suggest you using your own shortcuts and names that nobody can understand. Beware of using addresses, GPS or the real name of a restaurant where you plan to meet with your business partners. They could find it easily on Google and the game is over. Something like "The pub we go every friday with our friends" is the best one.
Don't use notes
Nobody uses Notes section in event invitations. Beware of adding anything useful (agenda etc.). The only thing which is acceptable is to write an agenda for a different meeting. Show must go on!
More invites, better meeting
Send your invitation to all available e-mail addresses of your contacts. More invitations sent is better. Better safe than sorry
Time is not important
If you have a meeting from 10am to 10:30am, feel free to invite for an event from 9:30am (30min is your travel time) to 11:30am (the meeting could be longer). If you want to be a calendar guru, set all your events as "all-day" and use your smartphone to call when you'll meet with your business partners - they have a lot of time and they can wait for you for all-day.
Set at least 5 alarms for an event: 3h before, 1h before, 30min before, 15min before and on the meeting. People you invite will love it!
If you really want to tune up your friend's calendars, use automatic repeating for events. Click on repeating, set custom, configure something really cool and invite your friends.
Use your local language
If you are planning international meetings, be sure to use your native language that nobody can understand. Something like "Táboření v přírodě s přáteli" rocks!
If you will to use all my tips for your online meeting invites, your contacts will love you and your events will be unforgettable.