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Four Tips for Online Event Planning

As it has with anything else, the Internet has taken the realm of event planning by storm over the past two decades and revolutionized it along with the rest of our lives.  This humble writer can still remember the novelty of Facebook Events when they appeared early in the site’s career.  After the inevitable dispute of whether it was “cool to post your party on FB,” people began to realize that if they really wanted an accurate idea of who was coming, relying on your Facebook guest list was the way to go.  Along came Evites, Google Calendar, and a slew of other organization and event planning tech tools.  And now here we are, in 2014, with weddings and Bar Mitzvahs and other traditional events now joining the online event planning wave.

We know that while the opportunity to organize your event entirely digitally can be daunting – especially when considering things like Bar or Bat Mitzvahs, governed by proud traditions of countless centuries – the benefits can also be plentiful.  From editing and sorting a seating chart without endless new pieces of paper, to organizing your guests’ meal preferences in one Google spreadsheet, and collecting those online RSVPs in one place, online event planning has many appeals.  If you’re still worried about moving your event online, allow us to impart some wisdom on making your online event planning experience a productive one:

Figure out what parts of your event will be helped digitally – but don’t hurt yourself: If this is your first digital event, there’s no reason to feel like you need to reinvent the wheel.  Take a few minutes to sit down and consider what aspects of the event planning process would benefit from a move to digital.  Guest lists and online invitations are the immediate no-brainers; Once you can keep track of your guests on the move, and not worry about losing information, any event becomes much less stressful.

Make sure your payment and personal information are in good hands: While there are many good tools available for those looking to move their event planning online, the same old worry with the Internet is present in this market as well.  Given that moving the event planning process online doesn’t change how much it costs to plan a wedding, it’s critical to make sure any service you use has trustworthy methods to protect your payment or personal data.  Services that use PayPal or trusted methods for payment processing are always a good place to start; but make sure not to rely on social media for advice solely.

Speaking of social media…: One of the most exciting developments for online event planning is the continued advent of social media.  While sites like Facebook were initially only ideal for creating basic event pages and collecting digital RSVPs, the combination of social media and mobile technologies allow for everything from wedding Pinterest boards to event-specific Twitter feeds.  It’s never been easier to share information quickly with your guests than these days.

A New Type of Tradition: Just a decade ago, the idea of having your cell phone out at a restaurant would be considered rude.  These days, any restaurant table holds a few smartphones, right next to the silverware.  We think of this as a short parable for the new online event planning and digital RSVP trends; while the idea of messing with years-old traditions is certainly a tough one, the convenience is just too great to ignore.


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