When You Should NOT Use Facebook for RSVPs

Thumbs DownTalk about a total fiasco! What looked like an exciting record opening party for a popular artist resulted in scores of angry people and certainly a black eye for the event planner.

The event seemed simple enough. It was to be held in a popular restaurant that could accommodate about eighty people. Since the event was free, the planner simply wanted a list of people attending. She even announced the event on Facebook, which would seem to guarantee that they could easily sell out the event.

This is where the problems began. The planner wanted people to bring tickets in order to gain admittance to the facility. So she also set up an online registration form where people could sign up and have a printable ticket they can bring to the event. However, she also enabled the RSVP function on the Facebook page! Furthermore, the Facebook page did not have a link to the “real” online form. Consequently, people who signed up on Facebook thought they were cleared to go to the event, when in fact they had not properly registered.

Before the doors even opened, far more than eighty people stood outside, eager to meet the recording artist. When the planner asked to see their ticket, however, most people did not have one as they had signed up on Facebook. Needless to say, they were very unhappy when they were turned away. My contacts say that the police had to come by to make sure things didn’t get totally out of control!

The lesson of this is simple. Have one and only one online form for registration. If your event is free and simple, then RSVPing on Facebook or another social media site may work just fine. However, if your needs are beyond the most basic you probably should use a real online registration system!