You may be invited to a professional event, but you will not be able to attend. In these cases, it is obviously necessary to inform the person who sent you the invitation, by formalizing your refusal by an email. This article gives you some tips for writing an invitation refusal email to a professional event.

Express a refusal

When you receive an invitation, you generally expect to know if you are free on the day to answer yes or no to your interlocutor. In the case of a refusal, your letter must be neat to not give the impression that you do not participate because the event does not interest you.

Some tips to express a refusal by email

Our first advice to write a formal refusal email is to justify your refusal, without necessarily going into the details, but enough to show your interlocutor that your refusal is in good faith.

Start your email by thanking your interlocutor for his invitation. Then justify your refusal. Throughout the email, stay polite and tactful. Finally, make an apology and leave an opportunity open for next time (without doing too much).

Email template to express a refusal

Here's a very email template to express your refusal to a professional invitation, through the example of an invitation to a breakfast to present the back-to-school strategy:

Subject: Breakfast invitation of [date].


Thank you for your invitation to the breakfast presentation breakfast presentation on [date]. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend because I will be meeting with customers that morning. I am sorry I can not be here because I was looking forward to this annual meeting at the beginning of the year.

[A colleague] can participate in my place and report back to me on what has been said during this informal meeting. I remain at your disposal for a next time!