Because Facebook is the biggest social media giant right now, many event planners make the mistake of using is as platform for their events. But unfortunately, they quickly find their Facebook event is buried beneath spam, tech issues, and a fast-moving news feed that sometimes eats up posts about events in a day. At a time when tech personalization is more sophisticated than ever, Facebook can hardly live up to the standard. People don’t just want tech to cater to their every need as if they were royalty- they want it to recognize them as individuals and create a highly personalized experience for them. Facebook events simply don’t have what it takes to systematically create this kind of top notch experience for its users. As a result, Facebook events are failing. Luckily, there are alternatives. For a complete guide to optimizing your event according to top trends in event planning, browse through our other articles and view the most recent one. Or just keep reading to learn about some much better alternatives to Facebook events.
Why Avoid Facebook Events?
The most obvious reason Facebook events usually don’t get a good turnout is that your event is likely to be ignored. Disclaimer: This is not because friends and family don’t care about you or your event. You probably will receive RSVP’s from those people in your tight knit circle of friends, and maybe even some people on your friend list whom you don’t know as well. But even if you employ Facebook ads to spread the word, your event is likely to go unnoticed by a larger audience. Facebook events are mostly filtered into the same, overpopulated stream, giving your event a sort of spammy, impersonal feel. Recent trends in event planning tech are highly interactive and give attendees some basic control over the agenda. They employ tech measures such as voice assistants to answer questions, start conversations about preferences, and even make suggestions about future opportunities to see vendors or sponsors speak, play, or do whatever it is they’re doing!
Tech Personalization is Trending, and Facebook Events Are Getting Lost in the Crowd
One of the biggest millennial trends in event planning is personalization. Modern society already makes people feel like royalty with the use of voice assistants like Siri and Alexa that cater to you on a whim, and are readily available on their cell phones. Millennials- and, increasingly, other populations- want their event to be highly personalized, and they need to feel that they have some control over the vendors they see, the speakers they listen to, and the general setup of the event. Facebook is just not systemically designed to meet those needs.
Picture this: You’ve signed into Facebook and are perusing your news feed as per usual. Dispersed almost randomly between status updates and funny memes, you notice a couple of events scattered over your feed. The events are random, not at all similar in nature, and only some of them are being hosted by people you know. Others are impersonal sponsored ads, which usually smack of spam and are immediately overlooked. The events on your Facebook feed are probably a mix of social meetups, work-related events, concerts, and other gatherings related to a plethora of different arts and entertainments. If you’re brain isn’t already fogging over with a headache, then it will be when we mention that some “events” on your news feed will be surveys about any number of topics that populate your news feed based on topics you and your friends frequently search for. (You can imagine how broad that list is, and how (un)likely you are to happen upon a survey that asks questions about anything you care about. The overall effect is that your event is likely to be swallowed up by the cacophony of noise from blended Facebook activity.
Unless yours is a small, highly personal gathering for friends you know you can count on to show up with bells on, Facebook is just not the place to invite people to your event. Even some of your own friends may have unsubscribed to receiving event notifications via email. Recent research from Statista shows that the average email open rate for a personalized message was 18.9 %, whereas it was just 13.1% for an email that was not personalized. Sometimes there are so many event notifications popping up on people’s news feeds, they just don’t to hear their phone pinging twenty times a day. They’re busy engaging in other business or social interaction on their phone, and the constant stream of notifications crowds brain space. Remember, all notifications sound the same. So yes, your phone could be pinging up a storm because you’re being invited to different events, but many of them are sponsored ads by people or brands you’ve never heard of- and you don’t really care about them anyway. Since Facebook they’re not highly personalized based on your own shared interests, your news feed will be inundated by paid ads that don’t even catch your eye mid-scroll.
It would be a euphemism to say that Facebook is a cacophony of notifications. “Someone has commented on a status you commented on”. Or, “Your friend liked and shared your shared link”. “You’ve been tagged in a photo”. (Sometimes these “photos” are mass chain letters, links from work-from-home businesses that sell everything from fit tea to tummy wraps and self-proclaimed life coaches). If you’ve added groups to your page, which most people have, you’ll also be notified any time someone posts or comments in any of those groups. When you consider this, the invite to your event could get seriously lost in translation, even for your own close friends! This means that even people who would have really wanted to come to your event might now show up.
These days, the most successful events are highly personalized by tech features that Facebook usually doesn’t employ. For one thing, Facebook limits your ability to reach remote audiences. Are you hosting a virtual event as a way to introduce or promote your brand or product, and you’d like people across the nation- or even across the world- to learn about it? Well, most successful event planning systems rely on a broad spectrum of technological features for event registration, invitations, promotions, and follow-up. Some of them have remote translation services that make their events easier to navigate for people who speak multiple languages.
Facebook Events Limit Your Outreach
In a nutshell, here’s why your event loses momentum on Facebook: Even when you pay for ads that promote your event on Facebook, your outreach is still mostly limited to your friends. You might ask, How can that be? After all, you paid to circulate your event among a larger group of potential attendees! Well, that may be so, and ideally that’s exactly the kind of return you’d want to get for your money. But Facebook promotions target users based on their location, demographic, and profile information. Yes, profile information. We doubt there’s any need for us to spell out how far this method scatters your event into the wind- but rather than reach remote audiences, it simply blows back to you. The prospective attendee target is simply too generalized, and fails to target any viable niche audiences.
Think about it: Your profile information might very well be accurate when it states that you like dogs, certain cosmetics brands, sports in general, and Bernie Sanders. But does that mean that you’ll welcome a mash-up of sponsored invites to events related (at least in some remote way) to those interests? Also, keep in mind that Facebook is only analyzing you via what you share on Facebook. They’re basing your interests on the posts you share, like, and comment on. They’re basing it on your click-throughs on Facebook alone, where advertisements are distributed through a loose, poorly connected system.
We can’t underline enough the emphasis on tech personalization in the event planning industry. In a world where technology has impersonalized so much of daily life, people are hungering for a connection- and they want it without giving up the world of technology on which they’ve become so dependent. Interaction is of the utmost importance. When you’re planning an event, are you giving users some choices in the matter of their experiences? Are you asking beforehand who and what they want to see at your event? Do you have at least a general idea of what’s important to your target audience (i.e., music, art, a tranquil or carnival-esque environment?) Will your event reach diverse and remote audiences? If you’re promoting it on Facebook, the answer to all of these questions is likely no.
Most successful events right now feature a high level of interaction. On Facebook, you will have a page dedicated to your event, and the people who are invited will be able to write on your wall. Three options will present themselves at the top of this page to the people you invited: Yes, no, or maybe. And if your event is like most on Facebook, you will get a good share of maybes. This in itself is not a bad thing, but it is impractical because it doesn’t give you a solid head account. Mishaps like seating or food and drink shortages, ect., can really make or break an event. With Facebook’s invite system, it’s just too easy to under or overestimate the amount of attendees who will be coming to your event.
Let’s face it- people are notoriously bad about RSVPing to Facebook events. They might click yes at first glance, genuinely titillated by the idea of your event, but later on reality sets in. They have too much work that week to attend. It’s actually further away from home than they originally thought when they cursorily scanned the info. They really didn’t take time to view all the details because their Facebook page is a veritable circus, notifying them about the last time someone used a restroom. Or they really did do their homework on your event, but they forgot they had a prior commitment that same night. If they’re really sorry, they might go the extra mile and write their condolences on your wall. (This is considerate and all, but not very helpful to you in the grand scheme of things).
Remember, clicking “yes” is not really a commitment. Facebook doesn’t require registration for events, so attendees haven’t actually invested anything in your event. If they don’t go, they’re not losing out on any money. At first glance this might seem like a plus for Facebook events, and for the people you invite, it can be: They get to save money when it’s time to RSVP. Unfortunately, you’re the one who loses out. You miss out on attendees, exposure, and an accurate headcount. But with Facebook events, you’re also missing out on the chance to get to know the needs and shared interests of your attendees. If you’re planning on creating future events, the Facebook setup is very different from the registration process, which helps you personalize the experience for niche audiences at your event. Everyone is simply a head in the count- and sometimes not even that, because without buying a ticket, people are less motivated to keep the commitment when something else comes up. (And trust us, something else often does come up. That’s life).
The reverse might also be true for Facebook events. People might intend to RSVP to the event, but forget and still show up. Or they might show up with an apology for being too busy to RSVP- but not busy enough to show up. Then of course you have the people who universally reply “Maybe” to every event that piques their interest. Hey, we understand that people like to have options at hand, but the same people often complain when they do attend at event, and there aren’t enough drinks to go around. True, event planners could err on the side of caution and count “maybes” as “yeses”, but it would likely result in added expenses and poor organizational quality of your event.
Also, keep in mind that not everyone is on Facebook. There are always a few who haven’t bitten into the trend, and if any members of your organizing committee isn’t there, then Facebook events are not your answer.
You can also be added to Facebook groups without your permission, and some of them have titles you don’t won’t to be associated with. Once you’re added, you’re suddenly inundated by notifications and emails, and you may not even know where they came from. With this added nuisance, it’s even more likely that your invite could get lost in the mix.
Let’s Face it- Your Cell Phone Doesn’t Get Along with Facebook Events
It goes without saying that event planners rely heavily on mobile services. The planning and promotional stages of event, and even the process of tracking data throughout an event, require your cell phone. You’ve got to be able to take your work with you. The functionality of Facebook on both Android and iOS mobile phones is very limited. Although you have the ability to scroll through posts, you cannot access documents. Posts and events also do not appear in the same order as they would on a regular computer or laptop. As some of our previous articles have discussed in much more detail, tech personalization relies heavily on mobile apps for voice assistants, augmented reality, reaching remote audiences, and more. So unless you’re working largely from home, Facebook just isn’t optimal for event planning. In many ways, it’s not even practical.
We mentioned earlier that Facebook’s news feed is overcrowded and on the disorganized side (which may be fine for social situations or casual browsing, but is a veritable disaster for events). But Facebook’s partly due to it being overpopulated, it also moves very quickly. This means that older posts are quickly relegated to the bottom of your feed. Depending on the traffic on your page, they might even disappear altogether within a day or two as other posts take priority. People could miss out on posts and updates about your Facebook event. If you and your organizers have made any significant changes o the event, there’s a high probability that at least some attendees will miss them.
Facebook also has a penchant for swallowing up the links you post in groups. (Don’t ask us why, but it’s not uncommon for them to just disappear into cyberspace). It could be a measure to limit spam and control an overpopulated news feed, but it’s a bit of a time bomb- it seems as if this random cleanup can happen at any time to anyone. How can you be sure which links Facebook will approve of and disapprove of? The location of the links you post might also have something to do with whether Facebook leaves them be or eats them up. But to our knowledge, no one knows the exact formula, and there are no surefire ways to avoid having your link gobbled up without warning.
Event planners also vie for the sponsorship of social media influencers, but first have to analyze influencer profiles, followings ,and interaction level. Once it’s determined that a certain influencer is right for their events, the influencer has to decide your event is right for them! The competition is often worldwide.
Avoid Facebook Events- and Start Making Other Plans
We recognize how expensive and time-consuming event planning can be. Current trends in event problem augment reality through graphics to bring sponsorships and vendors to life. They cater to people like royalty by employing voice assistants that not only answer questions and perform actions, but make conversation and suggestions. They reach remote audiences and enhance communication with automated translation services. Countless mobile apps are dedicated to live polling, guest management, and data collection during live events. A slew of ever-changing trends defines different populations’ ideals about what makes a great experience- and what will bring them back again.
Our unique upcoming app, Plans, was designed with everyday users and event planners in mind. Although we would never recommend that you skimp on tech personalization, we do recognize the growing need for a social media space that effective promotes your event. Our easy-to-use, accessible app, populates your news feed based on the shared interests of your friends. This way, most events you’ll see will be aligned with your interests. Plans allows event planners to target niche audiences, who then spread the word in a relaxed, interactive social setting.
Plans is designed to connect event planners with influencers that are aligned with their event and branding persona. But it is not a networking or business app, and it’s not so big that your event will get lost. Its emphasis is on interaction, which is a top event planning trend that’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Social media giants like Facebook and even Twitter have the largest user populations in the world, but what those users are not getting is a personalized experience. And if there’s anything millennials want, it’s a highly personalized experience. Trust us.
Event planners, keep your eyes peeled for Plans. It’s starting just the sort of open conversation that will spread the word about your event. With Plans, event planners get a higher quality experience than Facebook events. They are also very likely to reach a higher quantity of attendees. Yes, Facebook is a social media giant, but in the case of events, its size and setup is actually its albatross. One of our goals is to provide event planners with an effective way to save costs on social media marketing. Plans is not about images; it’s about accessibility, enjoyment, and enrichment. It mixes business and pleasure together in a perfect cocktail, and offers something for everyone. Our aim is to provide users with opportunities to cultivate quality experiences they are likely to remember- and share with friends on Plans and beyond.