MyPunchbowl: The Algorithm Schedules Your Event

eVite has been a target of several startups over the past year. Sites like Skobee or Renkoo have differentiated themselves by helping plan the casual outings for drinks or dinner. Socializr is taking a social networking approach.

MyPunchbowl is a later entrant that focuses on the details of planning your soirée. They’ve been building out tools for each step of planning a party: finding supplies, inviting friends, setting a date, and the after party. Today, MyPunchbowl has made setting a date that much easier through the help of an algorithm that recommends the best date for your party.

Previously, MyPunchbowl members picked a date by building consensus by talking on the invite’s bulletin board. The process is similar for the other event planning sites, except for Renkoo, which uses IM and a majority rules vote instead of bulletin boards. Now, with MyPunchbowl, you can avoid the bulletin board mess and find a date using the new “Pick-A-Date” feature, which recommends the best date from a set of dates supplied by the host. “Pick-A-Date” does this all in real time, giving greater importance to the schedules for the host and important guests. It’s best illustrated by checking out the video embedded below.

Now when you make an event, you can select multiple dates and times that work, specifying whether they are either “better” dates, or just “ok”. Since some events need key guests, MyPunchbowl also lets you pick VIPs, who have a greater effect on which date the algorithm recommends.

mypunchbowlpicksmall.pngAs RSVPs roll in, guests choose which dates don’t work, are ok, or are the best for themselves. After each RSVP the algorithm recalculates which date is best for the majority of the group, giving the greatest weight to VIPs. Real time feedback encourages the remaining guests to reschedule their calendars around the date that works the best for the majority of the group or the guest of honor. At any time, the host can choose a date for the event, using the recommended date as a guide without the hassle of long email or bulletin board threads.