9 E-vite Systems for TheaterMakersAug 17, 2022
During the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual events became the new normal for TheaterMakers to get their work in front of an audience and will likely stick around even as theaters begin to reopen. Perfecting your e-invite method now will serve you well in the long run. To cultivate an audience, first, you need to build awareness.
In our Execution Plan, we lay out 7 easy steps to professionally invite people to your show in a way that will set you apart and ensure your project’s growth. Investing in a system to optimize your invitation process will take your attendance to the next level- so we’ve researched all of the top e-invitation systems and picked our favorites for your consideration!
1 - Greenvelope
If you are hosting a fundraiser, cabaret, concert, or theatrical production, Greenvelope is a great option for TheaterMakers who are serious about cultivating their audience. With a dashboard that is easy to navigate and packed with helpful features, Greenvelope lets you choose from one of their templates, upload your own design or create your event page. Once you upload your invitees, take advantage of their advanced guest list management to track responses, send reminders, survey attendees, and more. Pricing is completely based on your needs and Greenvelope donates a percentage of every sale to Mountains to Sound, a non-profit organization that maintains forests.
- Mobile app (iOS and Android)
- Ticket sales option for fundraisers, concerts, or productions
- Customer donation capabilities
- Survey option for RSVP’d guests
- Automated Google Maps links
- Easily tracked RSVPs
- A host can communicate updates to all or specified guests
- In-house designers can create custom invitations for any event
- Guests can only respond to the event as a whole, not individual aspects
- Free only up to 10 guests
- No paper invitation option (for hosts who want handheld and virtual invitations)
2 - Eventbrite
Eventbrite is more than an e-vite service, it’s a place to host virtual events from large-scale festivals and benefits to smaller events like readings and pre-recorded broadcasts. With above-average reviews, Eventbrite is credited for its extremely clean user interface, ticketing functions, and host ability to track RSVPs and event details. With aspects that work to the advantage of large and small events, Eventbrite conveniently hosts all of your event’s info in one place. Vimeo and Zoom integration offers options for streaming events and Eventbrite also has the capability to collect donations and set up automated reminders. Choose from 3 pricing packages and calculate your potential earnings with the Payout Tool.
- Mobile app (iOS and Android)
- Big event capability (tickets, donations, etc.)
- Unlimited information on flyers and invitations
- On-site advertising by location or common interest
- Small event usability
- Easily tracked RSVPs
- Hosts are unable to communicate with individual members
- The dashboard is not customizable
- Minimal instructions on how many features are actually present
- Invitations are not customizable
3 - Paperless Post
Featuring pre-designed “Virtual Event” invitations, Paperless Post may be the TheaterMaker’s best option for advertising an event. Choose templates for cards and flyers with ease or use the customize tool for one of kind invites. Paperless Post also includes designer options from Vera Wang, Anthropologie, Jonathan Adler, and Kate Spade. One unique feature is the option to set a maximum capacity for non-ticketed events by deactivating the RSVP button once your event has reached capacity. Paperless Post also lets you send a text message for instant RSVP tracking. Some users have found the use of purchasing coins for their payment system a bit confusing and TheaterMakers should be aware of how quickly costs can escalate from add-ons and customizations.
- Sophisticated designs and animation
- Comment wall for patrons to interact before and after the event
- Poll questions, and mailing list options
- Maximum capacity capabilities
- Paper invitation option if desired
- Link directly to your website for tickets or donations
- Hosts are not able to communicate with nor update/remind guests
- Designs are not customizable but you can upload your own photos
- Payments system found to be confusing and difficult by new hosts and customers
- More expensive than other sites (if ordering above the free capacity)
4 - Punchbowl
Heavily compared to Evite, which is arguably the most well-known electronic invitation company, Punchbowl is constantly working to better their platform, improve their services, and meet customers’ needs. They offer three basic tiers of pricing, plus a business plan for events with 500+ attendees. One stand-out feature is their exclusive line “Characters Kids Love” featuring popular Disney stars that may be the perfect option for Young Audiences TheaterMakers. Punchbowl has been working to make its own name in the industry and though there has been some customer dissatisfaction with the terms of their free trial, Punchbowl is still a good option for your basic invite needs.
- Extremely varied invitation styles (hand-painted, pencil-drawn, minimal, extravagant, etc)
- Easily accessible mobile application for both hosts and guests
- A host can send updates and reminders to guests, individually or all-inclusive
- Free up to 100 guests
- Eco-friendly; Punchbowl donates part of the proceeds of certain designs to organizations that focus on recycling and paper reduction
- Not preferred for large scale or upscale events
- You must provide credit card information to activate the free trial.
- Designs are less customizable
- No preview option
5 - Evite
With over 2 billion invitations sent and counting, Evite has certainly mastered the art of digital invites. The site has both free and premium designs, and for TheaterMakers taking advantage of the annual membership, perks include such advanced capabilities as attendance tracking, event reminders, and the ability to add your own logo. Eliminate having to link with streaming services by hosting your event through the Evite Virtual Party option. For an extra dose of professionalism, show your appreciation for your guests by sending Evite’s free Thank You cards after your event.
- 14-day free trial for premium features
- Customizable RSVP style
- Ability to add a co-host
- Shareable invitation links
- Mobile app for iOS and Android
- Limited settings and designs with the free trial
- Few customization options
- Visible guest list
- No RSVP notifications
- No auto-save feature for in progress invitations
- Guest emails must be entered manually
6 - Hobnob
This may be arguably the easiest platform to use. Everything- from designs to event descriptions to guest list to RSVPs- can be completed on your phone. For users seeking a rapid response option, Hobnob offers invitations sent via text. Whereas many sites offer digital-to-print capabilities, Hobnob operates solely through the digital market so eco-friendly users rejoice! For TheaterMakers with ticketed events, Hobnob’s ticket sales fees are lower than Eventbrite and are secured with Stripe Payment Processing. Easy to create and manage, ticketed event invitations can also be delivered via text, giving buyers instant purchasing power. Membership plans are billed yearly and range from $2 to $10 a month for users with recurring events.
- Easily accessible mobile application
- Perfect for last-minute invitations
- In motion design options
- Competitive ticketing prices
- Works across multiple platforms (Twitter, text, Messenger, etc.)
- Photo sharing for post-event memories
- The free package is limited to 10 invites
- Invitees must download the app after the initial invite for updates, etc.
- No direct messaging feature from host to guest
- No landscape viewing option for iPad users
- Does not link to GPS or Location Services
7 - Guestboard
Guestboard is an all-in-one event planning and communication platform that allows the modern TheaterMaker to create a short-term community for their event. Very comparable to Evite and Punchbowl, there are no major flaws in the website, and planning an event for 10,000 is just as easy as making plans for a group of ten. Chat boards provide a stress-free way to communicate with attendees and new video chat features offer all the bells and whistles of top video conferencing services. There are no ticketing options so event planners will have to find an alternative system for ticket sales and event management, but with plenty of free helpful tools right at your fingertips, Guestboard may just be the right fit for your next theatrical endeavor.
- Free up to 30 guests
- Allows interaction between attendees for networking
- Competitive pricing
- Sleek and elegant designs that work for a broad range of events
- Offers partnerships with sponsors for discounted services in the Deal Marketplace
- Interactive price maps show available accommodations near the event
- Does not support ticketed events
8 - Facebook Events
If your sole intention is to get the word out, Facebook Events has significantly increased its popularity in recent years. With over 100 million global users, the highlight of this feature is its ability to reach more of the general public than any other site mentioned. Users are able to share the invite with their Friends list if they desire, giving your event an endless amount of extra promotion. Facebook Events also pairs perfectly with Facebook Live for TheaterMakers with events that require streaming capabilities, but if you require multiple participants for a reading, a video conferencing service like Zoom is recommended. Though the Events design template is pretty basic, you can use personal photos and videos on your event page. Selling tickets is also made easy with sharable links or through a partnership with Eventbrite.
- Unmatched reach potential
- Simple and effective to use
- Links directly to your calendar
- Events can be ticketed
- Attendees can network and make inquiries on events posted on public walls
- Events can be “boosted” through ad sells
- Shareable across multiple social media platforms
- Basic design template
- Oversaturated marketplace
- Does not allow individual invites
- Free event attendance numbers difficult to project
9 - RSVPify
Finally, a site that has “SHOW/PERFORMANCE” option in its dashboard! Free up to 100 guests, RSVPify is convenient in its ability to allow hosts to interact with RSVPed guests, add in plus ones, and manage guest lists. The innovative seating chart builder allows the TheaterMaker to drag and drop new ticket buyers directly into the program. One feature of note is the Secondary Event Manager which allows organizers to invite specific guests to exclusive events such as Talkbacks or a VIP Meet and Greet. Other perks include QR code scanning, custom questions for post-event surveying, and check-in/out management, which will surely come in handy for invited readings. If you are planning a festival with multiple performances, RSVPify allows users to respond to multiple events and organizers to manage several events at once. However, while there are many pros associated with the website, RSVPify is commonly seen as difficult to navigate and there have been several complaints on the difficulty of reaching live customer service assistance.
- Free up to 100 guests
- Instructional videos for novice users
- Receive RSVPs for multiple events
- Secondary event capabilities for exclusive invitations
- Registration form builder
- Manages ticketed events with ease
- QR code technology
- Difficult user experience
- Minimal customization options
- Some users experienced poor customer service
- Guests cannot change RSVP once an invitation is accepted
- Subscription price only (not per event)
Make sure we are on the e-vite list for your next performance – invite us [email protected].
For more tips like these, join our tribe of TheaterMakers at The TheaterMakers Studio for resources and so much more that will help get you to the next stage!