Of the nearly 7 billion people in the world, about 11 percent of them used Facebook in 2011. That's around 750 million individuals sharing and getting friendly in the same place online. Facebook is huge and it's everywhere, with 70 percent of its users outside the United States. Google+ -- Google's new social networking site -- may be making some inroads, but Facebook has been the social networking go-to site since 2004 and it continues to grow daily. And while Google+ began making headlines in 2011, Facebook has been managing personal and corporate events for years. What can you do with Facebook events?
Scheduling a party or event with e-mail or online invitations is one way to plan without paper, stamps or phone calls, but Facebook has more features to enhance the process. Want to get a group together for dinner? Create your event on Facebook and upload pictures of the restaurant's menu items to entice your invitees. As they RSVP, they can add more pictures or links to reviews, making the event multimedia and social before any of you even meet and eat in person.
If you're in a band and want to build up a fan base and get people to your shows, you can embed video or stream music as part of the invite. And if you're not a rock star but still want to generate fans for a product launch or new business venture, you can do what millions of companies and self-employed people do: include demos, press releases and white papers.
So exactly how do you make an event in Facebook? We invite you to find out, next.
Schedule Your Event
To create an event in Facebook, first log in to your Facebook account. On the upper right hand side of your home page is the section for upcoming events. Just below that is a search box titled "what's the event?" Simply type in the name of your new event in that text box, and as you enter the text, additional boxes will show up below including date, time, where and who's invited. (You could also start by clicking the "events" link on the left hand side of your page and following that to the "create an event" option.)
After you select your date, place and time, next, start filling the "who's invited" space with the first or last names of your guests. Facebook makes this easy because as you type, your Facebook friends list will appear in a dropdown menu; simply hit enter on the names of people you want to invite. If you want to include people who aren't on your friends list, add them by copying in their e-mail addresses.
Another way to invite guests is to click on the "add details" button just after you've created your event and "select guests" once Facebook takes you to create an event screen. This option pulls up your entire friends list and allows you to check each person you want to include, as well as include others via e-mail address.
Finally, you get the option to list your event publicly for everyone to see or to keep it private for only those invited. The two boxes are located just beneath the select guests button, and you'll also be able to decide whether or not your guests can invite guests of their own.
From the "add details" page, you can provide more information about the event's date and time, plus click the "more info?" button to offer details on the address, what guests should bring, entry fee (if there is one) and include links to the venue.
Keep reading for the details on how to finish setting up your event in Facebook.
Finish and Follow Up
Finally, after adding all of your guests, it's time to click the "save event" or "create event" button, depending on which page you're on, and invitations will start going out through Facebook and e-mail. Afterward, a new page will come up showing your event with both an "edit event" and "message guests" button in the upper right, which makes it easy to send updates to everyone -- or even just selected attendees. This can come in especially handy for surprise parties, for example.
As invitees start responding, their RSVP information will show up on the event page, which looks similar to a Facebook wall. Each new responder has the option to add a link, photo or video, too, so the event page itself can be a guestbook of sorts for those attending or sending regrets, and a place for all invited to interact.
You can even return to an event page after it occurs by selecting "events" from the menu on the left of your Facebook home page and clicking on the link to "past events" at the bottom. From there you have the option to message guests, send thank you notes or start a thread for others to upload photos or video for posterity.
More Great Links
- Facebook. "Fact Sheet." Facebook.com. 2011. (July 19, 2011) https://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics#!/press/info.php?factsheet
- Facebook Help Center. "How to Create and Manage Events." July 2011. (July 19, 2011) https://www.facebook.com/help/?page=829
- Facebook. "Statistics." Facebook.com. 2011. (July 19, 2011) https://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics
- Kunzig, Robert. "Population 7 Billion." National Geographic. Jan. 2011. (July 19, 2011) http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/01/seven-billion/kunzig-text
- Naquin, Devin. "Facebook Events: Now Making Casual Get-Togethers Easier." Facebook.com Blog. May 1, 2010. (July 19, 2011) https://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=385671812130