Meetup, Facebook, Eventbrite: What’s the best digital platform for hosting events?

March 26, 2012

On Small Business has a new feature in which young entrepreneurs will answer common questions about small business owners’ social media needs. The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of young entrepreneurs.

What’s the best digital platform for hosting events?

John Hall, CEO of Digital Talent Agents in Columbia, Mo.:

“Facebook is the tool — now and in the future — so you might as well get used to using it for a lot of different things, especially business. Anything below Generation Y has grown up with Facebook and is completely comfortable using it.

“As the new pages roll out, such as the Timeline feature for businesses, more are seeing how easy it can be to connect and organize community events. People are responsive with events, and there aren’t many people that don’t check their Facebook at least every couple days. Also, Facebook lets you know exactly who will be there: what type of people they are, what profession they’re in, their average age. This just helps you better prepare yourself for networking at the event. With some of the other platforms, you don’t have as much information.”

Derek Shanahan, founder and chief community officer of Foodtree in Vancouver, B.C.:

“I use a combination of EventBrite and Meetup. I’ve found EventBrite to be top-notch when it comes to one-time, ticketed events. For events that cost money to attend or otherwise have a strict guest-list, EventBrite is an organizer’s best friend. Their tiered and timed ticket sales make ticketing a breeze, and their mobile app is amazing for keeping track of payment and attendance during the event itself.

“I also help organize a number of groups that gather frequently and often for no cost, like Vancouver’s Startup Drinks. Meetup does a great job of keeping the group organized and in the know on upcoming events, and also feature automatic e-mail reminders, RSVP functionality and post-event follow ups. In addition, the lightweight Meetup user profiles do a great job of letting members get to know one another before and after events.”

Ilya Pozin, founder of Ciplex in Los Angeles:

“Facebook is perfect for a get together with your friends. Let’s face it: Everyone is on Facebook, and if you’re holding an event like a birthday party, a 4th of July gathering or even your band’s first concert, Facebook is a great way to invite your friends to come. Best of all, if you’re more flexible about who comes, you can even allow your friends to invite their friends and really pack the room!

“If you’re doing something a bit more formal, EventBrite is a great solution. Unlike Facebook, Eventbrite is solely focused on planning and organizing your event, so expect a better, more robust experience. You can even sell tickets and utilize various marketing tools [to] really get your event out there.”

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