I see Company X has updated the event – again.

The Fringe is coming, and the Facebook event invites are FLYING.

Oh, Facebook.

Remember how cool it used to be to get event invitations? It was Veronica’s birthday and it was so neat, she’d used a Facebook event and you could RSVP yes or no or maybe and put something on the event wall and then a few weeks later, just GO to the event?

And now everybody is inviting everyone to everything using Facebook invites.

With some of the sort-of recent changes lately, I’ve heard a lot of folks expressing the same sentiment, suddenly feeling bombarded with information about:

– an event they do not (yet) know about;

– from a person they do not know;

– and notifications up the yin-yang about every movement on that page by anyone else invited. So your FB notifications (or email) becomes full of

– Anastasia Fussbottom invited you to (HER FRINGE SHOW!)
– Anastasia Fussbottom changed the date of her event (HER FRINGE SHOW!)
– Anastasia Fussbottom changed the time of her event (HER FRINGE SHOW!)
– Arnold Duckpants wrote on the wall for (HER FRINGE SHOW!)
– Anastasia Fussbottom added a photo to the event (HER FRINGE SHOW!)
– Arnold Duckpants was tagged in a photo on (HER FRINGE SHOW!)’s wall.

You get the picture. (Besides, it was fun to write Anastasia Fussbottom once).

What  are our options? From the user’s perspective, it’s not blowing a gasket until you can get to a computer and turn notifications OFF. See below.

Trouble with this is, it puts the user, ticket buyer, audience member in the “don’t annoy me” driver’s seat.  And folks are not trying to be annoying when they promote a show, they just want you to see their show!  And I personally like knowing about shows going on. I go to a lot of them.

I don’t see it as the promoter’s fault, as they are using what I view as a faulty tool. I’m fairly certain they don’t want to let their potential audience know they’re fixing a typo.

Someone asked me once how often I wanted to hear from a marketer about a festival show, via social media. I thought about it. Four times. max.

1) tell me in advance about your show;
2)remind me you open this week;
3) share a stunning review with me, or that you’re selling out fast;
4) remind me you’re closing.

I’m trying something with a client this Fringe Festival. We’re doing two things – an event invite and a Facebook page. Why?

Traditional event invites, so we can reach all of our network. I love that I’m using the word “traditional” to describe FB invites, BTW.
ETA: Pretend your Facebook invite is ‘going to print’ – have everything ready to go when you hit go.

What’s the page for? All the updates. Folks who are sent the invite are also sent the page link – like the page to get the updates you really want without being inundated by every little thing that Anastasia Fussbottom does.

Pages are also public. Tourists do come to the Fringe – they will not get your invite, but I bet they will search the word Fringe on Facebook. It’s more free space online to market your show outside your network.

ETA: My goal is to have as many shows and events get explosive attendance without people being annoyed by the marketing. It ain’t you, it’s the tool, and until it’s fixed – here we are.

Anyway – my two cents. Keep selling those Fringe shows, there’s an amazing crop this year.

ETA: Today. Today is the workshop. Today I’m doing a marketing workshop panel thingy with the 100. There will definitely be more about that later.

23 Responses to “I see Company X has updated the event – again.”

  1. See i agree. I click “get notifications“ because I found I wasn‘t getting the all the invites with them off. But I don‘t need a play by play everytime you change a comma! Must be a middle ground somehow

  2. I tend to ignore Facebook events entirely.

  3. I agree. It’s at the point where I ignore many invites because it’s just so overwhelming. I like the idea “pretend as though your facebook event is going to print.” It’s so easy to not proofread the text, or to hurriedly post an event knowing that you can easily make as many changes to it as you want. But keeping in mind that every change is a notification that potentially may drive some people crazy, and actually discourage them from coming to see the event, performance, or what not, is definitely a good reason to ensure that the text is spell-checked and updated when you press go. – Nicole Rosove

  4. I am very selective on the number of friends I have the number of events so I have not experienced this problem to the same degree as the other people . See you tonight.

  5. This is a conundrum. I place blame on facebook for making this a confusing matter LOL They started with a “friend” invite mentality and it turned into a “business” marketing tool. My “friend” invites get lost in the muddle of overwhelming number of “business” invites because I now choose to ignore invites. I have noticed that people are posting jpg’s of their shows with simple tag lines about the when, where, how and people can just share them – sort of like a electronic flyering.

  6. I agree, I enjoy seeing shows, but do not enjoy the notifications… I have always found that less is more, I don’t enjoy being dumped with all those invites and changes, especially by people I don’t even know. Very cool blog. Love the four times max rule…and the idea that you should not put the info out until you have all your T’s crossed.

  7. To this day I have yet to be overwhellmed by invites, so I have not encountered a problem. However I do agree that a marketer of any event needs to be careful not to alienate his audience. I will certainly consider the suggestions in your post when I will market any of my own events.

  8. Great article, have turned of many notifications… In other news, I’m going as Anastasia Fussbottom for Halloween this year!

  9. There is a lot to think about here and I am inspired. Sue, I totally agree with this: Pretend your Facebook invite is ‘going to print’ – have everything ready to go when you hit go.

    It is embarrassing and unprofessional to hand out a poster or post card with a typo or with an incorrect date, so that is why proof reading/editing is essential to avoid this. A Facebook invite should not go live unless you have made every effort to double check dates, names and link.

    Thanks for this blog post Sue!


  10. YES. Those 4 times (and only those 4 times) to hear from a marketer/promoter about a show are perfect! I don’t really see any reason to be notified more than that. It’s an ample amount of time to learn about the show and know when to act to see it before it closes!

    The excessive amount of notifications for these events do annoy me a bit, but I always think that if I change the notification settings, I might miss out on important information, and I think I’d rather be bombarded with useless information than miss out! Is that crazy?!

    • two acronyms these days to perfectly describe what you say – FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out). I think it’s definitely a symptom of our crazy busy society. See you Monday!

  11. I have been tending not to respond to facebook invites for this exact reason… to much junk! And when I finally get a chance to sift through everything there are about 20 or 30 notifications, so most get ignored. I’m sure its the same with many people… Its is definitely in our interests to be thinking about how to get around this.

    • I do have a way I work around it – totally in agreement. When sending a FB invite means something else for people to be annoyed by or to delete – there’s a problem.

  12. An amazing Facebook-related story came to mind while I was reading this post.

    Apparently my friend (in real life … and Facebook) attended a performance art/integrated media event. To begin her presentation on social media, the artist pulled up her Facebook event wall on a large screen and began a roll call for everyone who had RSVP-ed “YES” to attending the event. I believe that there were over 200 names. How amazingly awkward?!?!

  13. SO TRUE! Great definition of the difference between “Wha…?” and “Gah!..”

  14. ok. but i hate receiving all these invites to like pages, and then I end up with 246 pages liked, and most of them are completely inactive by now. What about turning notifications off on an event I created, then only when i have something i want to let the invited people know about, I turn the notifications back on, write my update, then turn notifications off again??

    • problem is – you can’t turn off other people’s notifications. Only your own. So if I turn off notifications to an event you invited me to – that’s mine, not yours.
      food for thought for Monday, glad you found the post!


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