Just in time for the SuperBowl season, Boston-based MyPunchbowl is inviting everyone to check out their new eVite competitor. For a while eVite has been seen as a ripe target for competition as users continue to complain about constant reminder email turning the service into eSpam.
There’s a list of services already lining up to take on the dot com veteran in all their Ajaxy glory. Renkoo, Skobee, and Socializr are a few we’ve covered already. Renkoo and Skobee have diferentiated themselves by incorporating the pre-evite event planning stage, and MyPunchbowl has done the same.
MyPunchbowl has taken a more rigorous approach to party planning by creating a workflow model, providing a great amount of control at each step. Each party starts out as a save the date or full invite and is carried all the way through to the after-party info. Throughout the whole process you and your guests can chat on a party message board, send out updates to a few or all guests, re-edit any step of the process, and fully manage the RSVP status.
Save-the-Dates get the basic details about the event – what and where – out to your friends by email with a Plaxo-supported contacts importer. Invitations finalize the date/time and guest list including a map. Both of these invitations are customizable by color and event photo (with embedded Flickr photo search). Unlike other services, MyPunchbowl has personalized RSVP messages, allowing for a better-than-boilerplate way to invite your guests. It’s not as pretty as the other services, but that’s sure to change over time.
After you have your event mapped, a party store locator points out several chains of party stores. Like travel planning sites, monetization will most likely come through affiliate deals with stores and other party services.
The after-party stage allows members to share photos on static URLs and chat about the event. In the future, the after-party stage will also consist of ratings and recommendations that will inform other party-goers. The ability to not only plan a party, but learn from the experiences of other party planners will be an attractive feature in party planning and provide a strong reason to choose MyPunchbowl over the others.