People create events, right? It makes sense to be able to send invitations to people online then. Yup.
Evite pretends to help you do this but they could care less about helping you have a successful event and College Humor’s video parody, “Web Site Story” sums it up perfectly at (3:47 into the video)
“I hate Evite. There’s nothing in emails and you have to click through to the site”
Evite is the AOL of Event Scheduling
Last year, I received an email from someone who wanted to have a fundraiser for Barack Obama. They were pretty sure they wanted to use Evite. Here, I explain to them via email why Evite was not the right choice:
9/16/2008 – Adria
I am also going to contact <so and so> and <that guy> about some better ways to quickly collect email addresses and send out notices to the group than **cough** Evite **cough**.
It’s a horrible service because:
- It’s advertising based so invites are filled with crappy advertising
- The actual invite you receive doesn’t have any useful event info
- Because Evite want you to go to their site and view their ads
Unfortunately, several emails later, they were still talking about Evite:
9/16/2008 – The Folks Who Need Help
Here’s the deal: if you think you’re in, email me or <so and so>. Our goal is to get a master email list then use a centralized online invitation system like Evite to confirm numbers. We’ll have to know in advance who’s coming and you’ll need to confirm that you’re coming through that system (maybe more than once…) so we can make the best plans. I want my friends (and the people you think would love this) to have confirmed seats.
So, look for more details soon, share with friends. And give us their email addresses now if they want an Evite when it comes time. We’re working with advice from the Obama campaign, but we’re obviously total amateurs at this, so your grassroots spirit is much appreciated!
So I tried again streamline my message again about Evite:
9/18/2008 – Adria
I don’t recommend Evite for the reasons I named:
1. They use a lot of advertising which they show to your guests
2. They do not include the event details in the email as a way to force your guests to view ads on their page
I think there are better alternatives out there but it sounds like you’re short on time and very interested in using Evite.
How about the ability to tell who opened your emails? This is a feature with most newsletter services which could be used to deliver your invite. There would still need to be a service to manage the RSVP.
And I got:
9/18/2008 – The Folks Who Need Help
I will try to call you at 2pm to discuss . . . not totally set on Evite – just wanted to convey we want an efficient yet simple process given it is a one time event and we can do a little leg work with the outliers (i.e. those who want to bring 10 people, etc.) if we have to.
Online Event Scheduling That Works
So what is a non technical person to do? You have 3 strong alternatives to crappy Evite and I’m sure my readers will suggest more:
Google Calendar – Create events, invite whoever you want, they can RSVP and change their availability, send updates via email to attendees, all important information comes in the email, provides a map, FREE
Facebook Events – Need to be on Facebook, easy to create event, people can RSVP and change their availability, post photos about event, comment on event, FREE
Eventbrite – Create events with a web page, create different types of tickets, send updates via email to attendees, charge money for tickets, offer coupons and discounts, provides a map, easy to promote on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, FREE for Free events
Thanks to Eric_Cox611 for the heads up on the video via Facebook