Pros & Cons of Facebook Events
By Michael Cox
There are numerous services that can help you to organize and send invitations to an event, from Evite to Eventbrite. Facebook offers an alternative that helps you connect with your fans and customers. Using the Events app installed on every Facebook page, you can post updates to your page and attendees' timelines, offer a map and directions, and allow conversations about your upcoming event. Unfortunately, Events also has its limitations, which may make other services more attractive.
Easy Event Creation
If you've already got your Facebook page set up, creating an event takes just a few minutes. Click the Events app, click "Create Event" and set the event's name, date and time. The event posts to your page's timeline and is visible to anyone who clicks the Events app or any post about that event. Other services may require registration to begin creating an event. Also, your event's hosts can invite their existing Facebook friends, while on other services you must import a mailing list to send invitations.
When you post a new event it will appear on the timelines of your page's fans. In addition, you can designate hosts, who can in turn invite their friends to the event or share it on their own timelines. This can result in high visibility for your events if your fans and hosts are highly active. This visibility may be a double-edged sword, however: the distribution of one Dutch teen's Facebook event became so out of control that more than 3,000 people showed up at her house.
Unlike personal events, which offer privacy options, all events created by a page are public and visible to anyone on Facebook. In addition, you can't invite people to your event from your page itself, meaning you can't leverage your fans by sending them a direct invitation. Facebook no longer guarantees that all of your page's posts will appear on its fans' timelines, so you may have to periodically share updates in order to reach most of your fans.
The only way you can add hosts to an event is to use your page as yourself, not as your page, after which you can add hosts from your Friends list. You must also add yourself as a host if you want to invite your own friends. Facebook's Help pages don't offer assistance with using Events from a business page, so if you run into a snag you must either sort it out yourself or ask for help elsewhere.
Michael Cox writes about lifestyle issues, popular culture, sports and technology. In a career spanning more than 10 years, he has contributed to dozens of magazines, books and websites, including MSN.com and "Adobe Magazine." Cox holds a professional certificate in technical communications from the University of Washington.