So, your event is approaching…There are a number of ways you can inform and invite attendees, but which digital platform is best for the type of event you are hosting?
Do you go the DIY approach and create your own digital event invite? Or do you invest in a professional to design a custom branded registration invitation?
In this post, we’ll walk you through the two most common invite types to help you choose the best digital invite for your next event!
Facebook is typically used for casual, social events that don’t have many moving parts or event details. If you need to collect any information from your attendees because you are booking hotel rooms or flights, then this may not be a good option for you.
BEST USED FOR:
- Casual social events (small or large)
- Events with multiple participant types, such as sales conferences, trade shows, incentive trips, etc.
- If you need to retrieve secure/private information for hotel rooms, flights, payment, etc.
- Franchises/corporations who need to uphold brand standards
- Easy, quick RSVP for guests (Yes, No, Maybe)
- Fast, easy creation process you can do yourself!
- A great platform to build buzz around your event
- Engage guests by allowing them to post their excitement on your event’s page
- Not branded
- Details about your event may get lost on your page (If you want to include detailed information about your event, you will need to post it in an update on the page. This becomes an issue because guests will need to scroll/search through your feed to find relevant information)
- Can’t collect any information from guests (RSVP is a simple “Yes, Maybe, No” without the option to ask any other questions about your guest)
- Very limited reporting (The only “report” is your guest list on Facebook)
- Can’t control content (Anyone who is invited can post on your event page)
- Lack of security/privacy
Not sure how to create your own Facebook event? Have no fear! Here is a step by step tutorial on how to create a Facebook event from your homepage using a desktop.
HOW TO CREATE A FACEBOOK EVENT:
- Click “Events” in the left column of your homepage screen
- Click the blue “+ Create an Event” button in the left column
- Choose if you want to create a Private or Public Event
- If you choose Private: no one can see that you are attending this event and only invitees can view the page (only personal pages can create private events, company pages are only able to create public events)
- If you choose Public: a post is created for anyone who RSVPs “Yes” notifying their followers that they are attending your event, and anyone can view the event’s page (can be created using a personal or business account — just be sure to specify the host in the top-right corner of the pop-up window if you’re also a business page administrator)
- Click “Upload Photo or Video” next to “Event Photo or Video” or choose a suggested template theme (templates only available for private events)
- If you chose to upload your own header photo: choose a cover photo from your computer (must have pictures saved to your computer in order to upload)
- Name event
- Type address into the event location
- Write a brief description in “Description” box — can include any pertinent info, such as when to RSVP by, or it can be a welcome letter to guests
- Enter event date and start time (can add event end time by clicking the blue “+ End Time” to the right of “Date/Time”
- Unclick “Guests Can Add Friends” if you don’t want your guests to invite people you may not know. This feature lets you control the guest list.
- “Show Guest List”…It’s up to you if you would like guests to see invite list…if you leave the box checked, guests will see invite list, and as people respond, their names will be categorized into “Going,” “Maybe,” “Invited” (aka Has Yet to RSVP), and “Can’t Go” under invites. If you uncheck this box, guests will not be able to see who was invited or who will be attending.
- Click blue “Create Private Event” at the bottom right-hand corner of the pop-up window
- Once the event is created: Invite guests by clicking on grey “Invite” button at the top-right corner of the page (you can add from preexisting Facebook groups you are a part of or you can add friends individually)
- You can change event cover photo, date, time, description, co-hosts, schedule, and invite settings by clicking on the “Edit” button to the right of invite button
- You can change notification settings, message guests, export guest list, export event, and duplicate event by clicking on “. . .” button to the right of the edit button
- Notification Settings: control the type of notifications you receive about this event
- Message Guests: send a mass message to a group of attendees (can send as a group message or mass message can be sent to people individually) — useful for a group of people who have yet to RSVP reminding them to respond
- Duplicate Event: will create the same event, but it will not include the guest list
- Export Event: save to calendar or send to your account’s email
- Export Guest List: will create and immediately download an excel doc of the guest list to your computer
- You delete or cancel the event by clicking “Edit” button and clicking “Cancel Event” in the bottom-left corner of the pop-up window
Custom Branded Website
Hiring a planning professional to create a custom, branded site is most beneficial to those who are throwing a corporate or non-profit event. Typically, these types of events require more personalized information to be shared and retrieved. Such as travel plans, hotel reservations, food preferences, sponsorships, and more.
The reporting function of branded websites allows event organizers to easily send relevant information to vendors. Furthermore, the website builds buzz around your event and acts as a central hub for any information attendees might need leading up to your event.
BEST USED FOR:
- Internal Meeting
- In-house Training
- Sales, leadership, or any type of annual conference
- Incentive trip
- Non-profit function
- Social events
- Customized look, feel, and branding
- Ability to obtain real-time data statistics on attendees and their preferences
- Build buzz around your event
- Custom logic, skip-enabled surveys
- Fully customized and automated emails to registrants
- Ongoing monitoring and updating for any changes by registrants
- Secure, password protected reporting
- Functionality for full export of data to Excel and text files
- Availability for multilingual content
- Not free
- Can’t create yourself
- Longer RSVP process for attendees as they may need to answer a few questions about themselves/their preferences
And there you have it, the two most common ways to tell invitees about your upcoming event! The key here is knowing which type will work best for what you are trying to accomplish, and what info, if any, you may need from your guests.
If you’re hosting a social event, we hope you learned some new tips to help you play around on Facebook. But, if you’re hosting an event that may require the touch of a seasoned planner, feel free to reach out to learn more about the possibility of a custom, branded website!
Katie is the Event & Marketing Coordinator at Eventfully Angela. When she’s not planning events or social media strategies, you can find her playing with her adorable pup, Maggie, or cheering on her alma mater, the Villanova Wildcats, during basketball season!