Published : 13/05/2013 09:30:21
Categories : Party Planning and Entertainment
Has technology meant that traditional printed party invitations are no longer the best way of inviting people? Are emails, texts or even online sites such as Facebook now a faster, more convenient and cheaper way of inviting people? It’s easy to think of party invitations as being something exclusively for children's parties, but of course there are plenty of different types of invitation available, ranging from wedding invites to anniversary invites, retirement party invites to baby shower invites. It’s also easy to think that choosing, buying, writing on and then sending out printed party invitations is a bit 'last year', and that modern technology now provides better alternatives. It is certainly true that if you know everyone you want to invite, and have their email addresses, mobile numbers or you’re connected on Facebook, you could send out your invitations any of these ways. But whilst you could do it, the real question is 'should' you do it that way? Do printed party invitations offer any advantages still? How do the different ways of inviting people compare to each other, and are there any potential problems with taking a shortcut with technology?
Sending out emails to your friends and family can be a quick and easy way of inviting everyone. You simply need to write one message, and then add everyone's address at the top, hit send, job done. There's at least some chance that it will work, but there are a lot of problems with this. First of all, do you actually have everyone's current email address correctly? People do sometimes switch broadband provider, or email supplier, and it’s terribly easy to mistype an address. Secondly, will the emails arrive safely? Whilst emails rarely get 'lost in the post' they do sometimes go astray, usually because the recipient's spam filter is a little anxious about your message. Unfortunately party invitations are very easily seen as spam, because either the recipient's name isn't included, it’s a message being sent to a large number of people, or if the message includes phrases such as 'you're invited' and 'invitation', (often associated with scam special offers and opportunities). Thirdly, how do you know if people have seen it? Some people check their email several times a day, but others might only check once or twice a week, if they think of it. If it’s been a few days they may not even see it if there have been a number of other emails received since then. If you don’t hear back from people, you won’t know if they’ve seen it or not. Inevitably you'll end up having to call, or text, to chase up the RSVPs.
Text messages can be quick and easy to send out, as long as you copy and paste the message body, or you’re able to send the same message out to multiple recipients. The trouble with text messages though is that once read they’re often forgotten shortly afterwards. A text message doesn't offer anything that serves as a reminder of the event, so unless the people you’re sending your message to, all of them, enter the date in a diary or calendar, there's a chance they may not remember. Of course, text messages assume that everyone has a mobile, and that no one has changed their number recently. They’re also pretty poor in terms of appearance, and have to have all of the information squashed into a long screen of text, meaning that it’s very easy for people to overlook details such as 'bring a bottle', 'fancy dress', or 'parents to collect at 7.30 please.'
We've probably all seen in the newspaper the ghastly photographs and tales of horror caused by yet another Facebook party invitation gone wrong. The trouble with Facebook is that they so often change the rules as far as privacy is concerned. One day you can set your Facebook up so that no one but your closest friends can see your posts, and the next thing you know the whole world can see everything. A friend shares your content, or simply 'likes' it, and then all their friends can see it, and the friends of their friends. Seven degrees of separation could potentially mean quite a lot of people see your invitation! Unless you’re a super techno wizard and know the intricate details of Facebook's privacy controls, and know all of your friends have a similar level of caution where Facebook privacy is concerned, it’s really best not to publish invitations unless your home insurance policy is really, really comprehensive.
Printed party invitations are available in a wide range of attractive styles, and because they often stand up, or can be stood up, they can be placed somewhere as a reminder, almost like a card or a postcard on the mantelpiece or hall table, or even just stuck on the fridge. As well as looking attractive, they are an ideal reminder, and they’re also able to provide plenty of information in a very clearly set out format, with all of the key information and additional messages positioned so that they can’t be missed, and can easily be referred to. Most printed party invitations also have a clear RSVP section, with some even coming with RSVP slips or cards to make sure that people let you know whether they can make it or not. By all means include an email address, phone number, mobile number or postal address to help people respond in whatever way they find easiest, but relying on technology alone is all too often fraught with risks and problems, some of which may be mildly frustrating, and others downright awful. Printed party invitations are safe, convenient and attractive, and we here at Parteaz don’t see them fading into the history books any time soon. What do you think? Have you tried using an alternative to printed invitations? Do you think that technology offers a better alternative, or will you be sticking to printed party invites? Leave a comment below to let us know your thoughts.