May 28 2010
Apparently there was a problem with Sign-Up-Sheet’s paperwork. The internet police pulled them off the internet detaining those responsible for questioning.
There’s nothing quite like throwing a work party. You single-handedly bring all the elements together, post a sign-up sheet, iron-out scheduling conflicts, book the entertainment, reserve the meeting room, stay up all night preparing food and drinks, and spend the morning decorating, only to find that when the moment comes where people should be flooding in, they aren’t. Curious to find out how many people had committed to coming to your little shindig and are flaking out, you check the sign-up sheet you tacked up on the company bulletin board a week ago. Your worst fears are realized: it’s completely obscured by a flyer haphazardly stapled up there by Jim in Accounting, advertising his new kitten grooming service. Thanks Jim.
I would venture to say that there is an online equivalent to virtually every pencil-pushing task we have these days. Mail has become email, calendars have become auto-synched online day planners that beam to your PDA, taxes are filed online, bills are paid right out of your online checking account; you name it, there’s an app’ for it. Even better than moving the task online is that the online version of said task generally removes the tedious and frustrating aspects and streamlines the whole thing. Certainly, that’s the case with replacing your old paper and push-pin sign-up sheet with a virtual one from Sign-Up-Sheet.com.
Whether you’re planning a concert, annual picnic, race event, family reunion, training seminar, convention, toga party, or tea party, Sign-Up-Sheet is a website that will help you wrangle the most important aspect of any event: the guests. It’s a proactive approach to getting people to show up for any event.
The process for creating your first event sign-up sheet through Sign-Up-Sheet is pretty simple. First, sign up on the website for the Sign-Up-Sheet services. There are several plans from which to choose, based on how many events, attendees, and account users you anticipate needing. For users who just want to try out the service, I recommend the free account that allows up to 3 events and 200 attendees. Enter your basic information, select an account address (http://your_event_name_here.sign-up-sheet.com, which is where you’ll direct potential attendees), create a password and that’s about it. After activating your account by clicking the link sent to your email address, you’ll be taken to your account dashboard where you can create and edit events and manage attendees.
Essentially, Sign-Up-Sheet creates a webpage for your event that people can use to find out details, discuss the event, see who’s attending, and then commit themselves to attending. When you set up the event, you list the details of the party, specify if you want a waiting list, choose a sign-up start and end date, and select whether potential guests can see who else will be attending. (Now you can even search for attendees.) Users can leave comments on the event, which, depending on how well last years party went, could be a good thing. It might sound complex, but helpful video tutorials are available for all users and walk you through how to accomplish the tasks you’ll need to effectively manage your event.
Social networking links on each event page really help boost attendance. Anyone can post your shindig on Facebook, Twitter, etc., with just a few clicks, or just email the event notice to a few friends. There’s even a new RSS feed feature now, so the latest info on an event can go straight to a user’s RSS reader.
Sign-Up-Sheet integrates with your own website by matching colors and allowing you to upload your own logo to your event page. The sign-up form can be tailored to suit the needs of the event and You can also export your data for use with email marketing programs like Campaign Monitor to help you keep track of attendees and follow up for the next party. This is great, but hopefully we’ll see more integration with other client database programs in the future.
One of the things that I really like about this site is that the service scales incredibly well. You can use Sign-Up-Sheet to organize anything from a small tea party to a nationwide comic convention. The Sign-Up-Sheet service is based on a monthly fee rather than on ticket sales, meaning that you don’t have to share ticket proceeds. You simply pay the monthly fee and they let you run the events how you want. If your small event ends up attracting a huge number of visitors, you can choose to keep it small or upgrade to a more accommodating monthly plan. Managing the event (from the sign-up side of things at least) is the same whether you’re putting on a banquet for 40 people or 4,000.
The premise behind Sign-Up-Sheet is simple and works well. Integrating social media and the flexibility of having a traditional sign-up sheet online allows you to reach and accommodate a wider audience. Their not the only game in town for helping you plan events online, but they are one of the easiest to use, offer great tech support, and only charge a low monthly fee. These things make Sign-Up-Sheet rise above the competition.
With Sign-Up-Sheet, the problem will no longer be wondering how many people will show up, but rather how many people end up on the waiting list and how much bigger of a venue you’ll need next year. From an event planner’s perspective, that’s what is called a “happy problem”.