What is a Facebook event page?
- For anyone who’s been living under a rock for the last 10 years. Facebook is undoubtedly the most used social media platform in the world. It makes sense then, that the Facebook events function is used by 490M people every month. Which, in my humble opinion, makes it the most efficient tool you can use in helping put your Hen weekend together.
Why use it?
- Primarily, it’s the best way to share and gather information quickly and easily from your guests. Big email chains and WhatsApp groups are messy, and limiting in what you can actually share. So even if not all of your attendees are on Facebook (we will get to that), most of them will be. So, it’s still the best course of action.
How – to step by step
- In case you haven’t set up an event before and you’re a bit of a FB newbie, here’s a lil’ step by step for you. If you are familiar with the process, then skip ahead to building a hype countdown.
- Step one:
Open up Facebook and click on the Events tab on the left-hand side.
- Step 2: That will open this page, showing any events you have coming up. On the top right bar, beside your notifications, click on the tab that says ‘Create’ and select ‘Event” or click the ‘Create Event’ button on the left
The Create button should drop down to this menu, where you select “Event”
- Step 3: This box will open up and allow you to fill in some of the details of your weekend.
Make sure it is set to a PRIVATE event. Don’t want the B2B snooping around.
You can edit all of this later. So, don’t stress if you don’t have all the info yet.
Keep this part unchecked to make sure the event stays private.
- Step 4: Once you have created the event, you can start to invite people. Get a list from the B2B in advance and make sure you get everyone.
You can use your existing friends list or search for profiles of folk who aren’t currently your friend.
Creating a hype countdown
- A Facebook event will work best if you really put some effort into it. I really like to use the event page as a hub and a place to build some excitement in the run up to weekend. Trying to get people engaged is a challenge, but the more you use the page, the more people will be willing to interact with you.
- Try to post something every month that both gets you the information you need and excites the guests. I have used the Hen weekend that started it all for me, as an example below. It was festival themed, with lots of rooms in our accommodation. So, myself and the other organiser posted every month with an updated “Stage” as an addition to the “Line-up”. Some key features that you could easily adapt include:
- Room names and a sleeping arrangement poll. This is really helpful for both you and the guests. They get an understanding of the sleeping arrangements and can decide in advance who they want to share a room with. While you get a sleeping plan that will help you add any personalised touches. Such as a personalised glass on each person’s bed before they arrive.
- If you are doing BYOB, you could just trust everyone to bring a decent selection… OR, if you want to build a proper cocktail bar and not just end up with 12 bottles of gin and nothing else, create a poll. Make a list in advance of all the different types of drinks you want to have, mixers and syrups etc included. Match up some alcohols and mixers and make each set an option on the poll. Everyone can see what is going to be there and that everyone is bringing something of roughly equal value. WARNING: you will have to remind people to check what they committed to bringing, as they will forget. You may also get the odd complaint that someone just wants to bring prosecco instead of all this nonsense. But try to stick to your guns if you want that DIY cocktail bar to really come to life. Even better, once you know what you’re going to have, take out my Full Package and I can design some custom cocktail cards built around your ingredients!
- The same goes for food. If you just want to pass on some info, then a post is fine. But, if you have things you would like folk to bring with them or want to ask about dietary requirements, a poll like this works well.
- Yet again, do the same thing when asking about things like beauty equipment. There’s no point in every single person packing their straighteners, hairdryers and curling tongs. This way, you get to save on a possible fight over plug sockets, and the guests get to save packing space if they know all the essentials are covered. Win, Win!
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I am a big fan of using polls. The reason for this is that you can essentially force an interaction out of people. If you make sure there’s an option for everything (including “I don’t’ have any of this stuff”) then you can see really clearly if anyone hasn’t seen the post or chosen to ignore it. Then you can tag them in the comments and just ask them to vote. It’s much easier than asking a question in a post, then getting minimal response and having to chase up people for answers. However, regular posts certainly have their place when it comes to building excitement. For example:
- If you are having any sort of DIY activity, or a theme that would inspire a certain look, then you can create threads of tutorials that link to this. Not only does it let people get a taste of what they will be up to, it’s really helpful to look back on during the weekend if people want some inspiration:
- Even if it’s not a tutorial, if you just want something to announce (Like a room named ‘Glamazonia’) then you can post anything fun that goes along with it and gets people excited about what’s to come (like some Voguing videos because Yasss Queen).
- Of course, it can’t all be fun stuff, you will have to post some FAQ’s and essential info like times and addresses, payment info and whether or not there is an iron… The trick with these kids of posts is to always ask people to like it once they have read it. If some people still haven’t liked it after a day or two, give them a tag in the comments to remind them. That way no one can be accused of missing anything vital.
- When the weekend is all said and done, there’s no better place to reminisce than in the event page. While it won’t remain active for very long*, in the days and weeks after the event you can still post photos and videos, link to stuff that relates to private jokes and chase up / publicly shame anyone who STILL owes you money…
*It doesn’t delete, it just becomes difficult to find and eventually stops notifying people when anyone comments
If someone doesn’t have Facebook.
- Now, in this day and age I always find it highly suspicious if someone doesn’t have a Facebook account. However, it is a personal choice after all and if you have one of these rare species then don’t panic. You can still provide them the bulk of the information, but it does require a bit more effort on your part. As if you don’t have enough to do right? Each time you post something on Facebook, copy and paste the text into a message or an email to the person in question and edit it so that it makes sense. If they complain about being left out… then tell them to get a Facebook account! Just make sure you share as much info as you can and pass on all essential information. For the polls, just allocate this person a drink/ room based on the results you get from others and tell them directly what they should bring and where they are sleeping.
– There are a few more tips and tricks I can give to make the whole process a little smoother:
- Draft all of your posts in a word document or in notes first. Try and write a full plan out of roughly what you will be posting each month, with dates. This helps you stay on schedule, see the structure and fix any mistakes or unnecessary repetition of info. It also makes it easier to copy and paste into the messages of that person not on Facebook, as well as preventing the inevitable nervous breakdown that happens after you spend 15 minutes crafting the perfect post on Facebook, only to accidentally refresh the page.
- Use emojis and be fun! I can pretty much guarantee that no one else is as excited about this as you, they aren’t really thinking about it much. So, try to show them how excited you are (and they should be) through your posts. Particularly if there are people coming that you’ve never met. You want to give them the impression that you are good fun and therefore you will have put together a really fun weekend. Also, emojis are just more eye catching, as are photos and videos, so try to include these wherever you can.
- Be patient and clear in your replies. Like I said, not everyone is going to be as excited as you. It’s important to remember that you are caught up in the planning process while everyone else is just going about their lives. So, if you post something really clever and theme related but people don’t quite get it, or they are just not showing your level of enthusiasm, try not to get defensive. I have been guilty of this in the past and it’s not a good look. If there are more than one of you organising then feel free to vent to each other, but keep your replies on the event friendly and upbeat. Nothing will create an awkward atmosphere and alienate guests quicker than snippy, snarky and defensive responses or posts.
- Ask people to like the posts once read. I know I mentioned this earlier but it’s a key step. If you are sharing a post that contains important information that people need to see, you need to have some way of confirming that everyone has read it. So, if you aren’t using a poll where people vote, then always end the post with “Please give this post a like so we know you have read it”. Put it at the end and not the beginning, for obvious reasons. That way, if it’s been a few days and there are some guests who still haven’t liked it, you can tag them in the comments as a gentle reminder. You don’t want anyone complaining that they weren’t told something when they just didn’t see it.
- Plan out your posts in advance
- Use polls
- Link to tutorials and helpful/fun stuff
- Be fun and engaging
- Ask people to “Like when read”
- Use emoji’s and photos
- Stand your ground
- Panic about anyone not on FB
- Make the event public or allow guests to invite friends
- Neglect to update regularly
- Wing it when it comes to posts
- Only post non-interactive, info-based posts
- Be defensive or snarky when people don’t get it or are unresponsive