Every events manager knows those emails — the ones that push you into a pit of dread before you open them. It might be a pestering sponsor interrupting your workflow, or a supplier with a list of questions at the last minute. Just think about how productive you could be if you could leave those messages unread forever. 

Which of these classic event planning email subject lines haunt you on a daily basis?

Venue cancelled 🙁

At least, in this case, the bad news is right there for you to see. No sugar-coating or guesswork is needed, but it is NOT good news when something like that arrives in your inbox. (If you’re lucky, once you open it, there might be a bit more context that means the news isn’t as bad as you thought — thus making that subject line even more annoying for causing you unnecessary heart palpitations.)


Consider these the emails that cried wolf. When a message is labelled as urgent (or “Important” or “please read ASAP”) and there are multiple exclamation points, get ready for a big eye roll.

You’ve learned from experience that these messages are never really all that urgent. It’s either something that can wait until more high priority items are taken care of (an attendee with a request for gluten-free food) or it might be just a cheap ploy to get you to respond faster. Still, you have no choice but to open the message, just in case…

[No subject]

Everyone loves a good mystery, but when you’re in the thick of planning an event, you don’t want to play guessing games. And that’s just what an email with no subject ends up being.

While the content might end up being useful— like your (very busy) keynote speaker finally sharing their slides for review — the fact that you have no idea of what you’re clicking means you’ll probably end up wasting time checking something that could have waited.

Out of office re: Vendor deadline today

After a couple of weeks of promises to finalise event details, you reach out to your partners only to get a few of these dreaded auto-reply messages. Once you see that subject line, you know that the waiting game will have to go on just a bit longer.

Quick question for you…

On the surface, this one doesn’t seem so bad. The sender promised it would be “quick,” but that’s also code language for, “read this right now.”

Whether or not this one fills you full of dread really depends on the sender. If it’s from a caterer following up on your selections, you know there will be nothing quick about it.  

We need to meet to talk about your marketing budget and plan for the upcoming event. I’m free after 3 – when are you available?

Speaking of bosses, ever get one of these long-winded subject lines that could be a message in and of itself? And then you click into the message and it’s basically a repeat of the subject line?

Got a sec?

This one is like the love child of “no subject” and “quick question.” It’s vague, but the implication is that if you ignore it, it means you don’t care enough about that person to give them one second of your time. Who knew a simple email subject line could come packaged with its very own guilt trip?

If your email inbox overwhelms you, there’s a good chance that subject lines like these are partly to blame. The other issue might be that you don’t have a great process for decluttering your emails.

With some smart organisation and time management, or even suggesting that your team uses a communications tool, like Slack, to cut down on email back-and-forth, these annoying subject lines won’t have as much impact on your day.

More than just emails stressing you out pre-event? You need a plan. Download our event planning toolkit now!

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