There has been a shift in how we socialize over the past three years, and it has come with a change in how we view or send out invitations online. In the past, there were obvious and dominant ways to invite people to your baby shower, but the ways we communicate are becoming fragmented.
Facebook event invites – once the most reliable way to make sure enough or too many people appear in your Rager – don’t work if you’re inviting people who are no longer browsing Facebook. According to eMarketer, the number of Facebook users under the age of 24 has steadily declined since 2015.
Evite has been around for 24 years and is still a go-to for anyone who wants to send an email invite, but it can get caught in spam filters or not read by people who don’t use email for personal correspondence. Third-party tools can also inadvertently spam your friends.
Not only has our favorite technology changed. Even when someone sees an invitation to the dance party at the end of the summer, they may take things like their COVID-19 risks and mental health into account before they say yes.
“People take longer to decide whether to attend an event,” says Matt Haze Captor, event producer in San Francisco and owner of party planning company Moore SF. “A lot of people who might have attended any event in the past think longer and back off a lot.”
One solution, Captor says, is to meet people on the apps where they are already, and then follow up regularly for multiple services that match their usual communication patterns. For example, let’s say you invite your family to Halloween brunch and need to reach out to younger cousins and older aunts. Text messages will get to the kids, but emails or even phone calls may be best for older relatives. Be sure to send out reminders in the weeks leading up to the party, and on a weekday morning to your forgotten or last-minute friends.
Let’s break down your invitation options.
But first, the privacy alert: There are privacy risks with any third party invite option. Invitations apps, especially free ones, take care of your personal data and especially your data Friends contact information. If possible, manually enter the contact information for the people you invite and don’t give apps access to your entire contact list.
Invitation applications templatesPaperless Post, Punchbowl, and Evite all have templates for digital invitations that you can email, and they’ve added the ability to invite people via text in recent years. Hobnob is another newer option that is designed to be text first. Keep in mind that Generation Z is less likely to use email for friend-to-friend communications as older generations, and email clients sometimes over-throw these emails into the spam folder.
calendar invitation: By far the most aggressive way to tell someone you’re having a party, sending them a calendar invite is also very effective. It will automatically appear on their calendar and they will be pushed to RSVP, just like at work. (This may annoy friends who prefer not to handle your call for a pedicure like Zoom with their manager.)
Facebook event: If you invite people that you know are active on Facebook, a Facebook event has advantages. The company will remind guests with an RSVP or that the event is coming for you. However, don’t rely on your Facebook friends list when thinking about who to invite. A number of people have abandoned their accounts in recent years and could be disqualified.
Instagram Post: For larger events, Instagram stories have become an option to reach followers wherever they are. You can post a story with the time and date, a bit of art, and even request a DM RSVP.
Event applications: If you’re holding a larger event, tools like Eventbright and Secret Party can help you reach the right people. When you want to maximize the number of attendees, posting event details via social media is a must. Just be careful you don’t end up with a viral party that gets shut down by the police.
DIY: To avoid the privacy and spam risks of third-party apps, just go the old-fashioned way: with emojis. For an intimate event, you can start a group chat, or copy and paste the written invitation and send it to everyone on your list. Repeat your arrival via DM, email, or any other place that potential guests usually communicate with. If you want to model something into text, try using a tool like Canva to give a touch up (or my favorite free drawing in the Apple Notes app).