Image by: Christian Scholz
I learned a lesson over the weekend regarding using Facebook as an event planning platform. I stopped actively using Facebook early this year so I’m only vaguely familiar with the event planning tools that the site offers but from what I’ve heard and seen they’re very functional for most event planning needs. The caveat that became glaringly obvious over the weekend is that when planning an event on Facebook it is easy but unsafe to assume that those you might want to participate in the event are using Facebook at least enough to be aware of the event. That means paying careful attention to whether they are responding to the event invitation or event related postings or else, more effectively, you should reach out with event details in some was that is more targeted than just adding it to your Facebook.
This caveat became clear when my brother came to town over the weekend. In our communications he planned a family event and suggested the possibility of social event with some mutual friends. I never heard anything more about the social gathering so I assumed it was either not happening or not yet planned. Then our family event ran long and as it was ending he suddenly looked at the time and declared that we were late for the friend event. Worse yet, he didn’t have any contact information with him for the friend he had coordinated it with on Facebook and he didn’t have immediate access to Facebook when he saw the time.
If you are satisfied with only connecting with active users of Facebook at your event then there’s no need to worry here. If you aren’t satisfied then you should consider the need to use multiple channels of communication about your event because with their willingness to throttle unadvertised posts and secretly manipulate user timelines for social science experiments Facebook is likely to grow it’s non-user base faster then its user base in the future.
The recommendation to use multiple channels of communication for an event you care about is true regardless of what primary means of communication you might want to employ.