Recently, the popular news aggregate site Slate published a piece by a columnist extolling the virtues of the digital RSVP for weddings. While digital RSVPs have been a mainstay of the Internet for quite a few years now, previously they had been limited to such inauspicious mediums as Facebook Events and Evites. The convenience and portability of a digital RSVP is inarguable – these sites and others proved that, as well as proving the willingness of the everyday computer user to respond to them.
However, despite the prevalence of digital RSVP options such as these and countless others who didn’t hit it as big, the use of digital RSVPs for more formal events such as weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, corporate gatherings, and a plethora of others has been delayed a bit. Why? Well, as has been a common theme during the past decade of exponential technological innovation, traditions and cultural norms remained in the way. While everyone can probably agree on the convenience and peace of mind offered in organizing events digitally, the digital RSVP was still seen as the ultimate bad T word – tacky. Sure, you could invite all of your guests within the drop of a hat through a client like these. But what would your sister, mother, friends, grandmother, rabbi, et al think when they saw it? For years, people assumed they’d suspect the worst.
Fortunately, as more and more social traditions are flung out the window with continued technological advancements (case in point: cellphones littered across tables in even the fanciest restaurant), the digital RSVP seems to finally be getting the love it deserves. Let’s take a look at a few key reasons why the digital RSVP is quickly becoming the new normal of event planning in these halcyon days of 2014:
- Umm, did we mention convenience – I mean, if you don’t already see this aspect of it, then we’re not sure what else we can do to make it clear. All of your guests, all of their info, all of their contact numbers – all on your mobile phone or tablet. Everyone who’s ever organized a major family event knows how the RSVP process can make mortal enemies out of even the closest friends and family. But now, those old “The Post Office lost it!” or “I just forgot!” excuses are history. Send the RSVPs digitally. Get them back digitally. Take away the Mystery of the Unresponded, once and for all!
- Traditions change with the times – Like the aforementioned former etiquette regarding cell phone use in a restaurant, many traditions are going a rapid transformation, matching the rapid transformation in technology that has grown exponentially over the past few decades. If it’s OK to talk on your phone at the table now (and believe me, ten years ago that would have had my grandmother foaming at the mouth), why not invite grandma to the event digitally?
- Social media makes the address book irrelevant – One of the biggest hurdles to widespread adoption of something like a digital RSVP in the past was the logistics of it. Back in the day (you know, in 2002), there was no easy way to contact 200 various friends and family without digging through the address book (or even, gasp, mailing a letter). Now though, between Facebook and Google, the old address rolodex on the desk has joined the rotary phone as a relic of a time gone by. With social media and Google keeping all of your contact information together in one place, digital RSVPs have become infinitely more convenient not only to gather information, but to send out in the first place.