When I was growing up, party invites were always on paper. They might be handed out in person, or they might be sent through the mail, bit it was always a nice card in an envelope. It was always one invite per household, and we’d indicate how many people were coming through the RSVP.
But I’ve grown up, and times have changed. People now keep a far closer eye on their inbox than their mailbox. They’re willing to immediately respond to an email, but they drag their feet when it comes to filling out an RSVP card and walking it out to the mailbox.
A bunch of services now let you send event invites over the web, but the formality of paper invitations doesn’t translate well. I want to invite Matt and Ashley, who are married, but I can’t simply send the email to the household, as I can do with a paper invite. Do I just send the invite to Matt and expect him to speak for the both of them? Not if I want Ashley to continue speaking to me!
So I email an invite to both of them, and both RSVP for two. Presumably they both mean they’re bringing the other, but I can’t tell that to the invite service I’m using, so now I have reservations recorded for four people, even though it probably should only be two.
Invitecast gets around this problem by letting me organize invitees into groups. When Ashley goes to respond to the invitation, she can see if Matt has already responded, and they can both respond for one another by name rather than as an ambiguous, unnamed guest. I can also invite their children by name, even if the kids don’t have email addresses, and the parents can respond for them as well.
And rather than having to keep a spreadsheet of responses, Invitecast tracks them automatically for me. Besides letting me know how many chairs to set up, it also lets me send follow-up emails based on replies. That let’s me give a nudge to those who haven’t responded at all or a note of thanks to everyone who’s replied they’re coming. No need to pick out emails individually; a couple quick clicks tells Invitecast which group of people a message should address.
Invitecast hugely simplifies party organization. I can invite someone without having an email address for them (such as in the case of a child), and I can send an email to someone who isn’t invited (such as the parents of children invited to a birthday party). People can be organized into groups so every member of the group can see what has already been submitted, and they won’t be able to double-up responses. The result is a far more accurate RSVP list, letting me more easily plan my big event.