The Punchbowl Trends Blog

Marketing insights from the leading celebrations site for moms

Birthday Party Trends: The Continued Shift From Paper to Digital

March 10, 2014 · in Trends

In a world where consumers are quick to turn to the internet, it’s no surprise that party planning has made a shift from paper to digital. Party planning inspiration, gifts, photos and more – they have all made a noticeable move to the digital side. To keep up with this transition, brands in the celebrations industry must have a high online visibility. To get in front of today’s party host (typically mom), brands must understand how they plan celebrations. The answer to that is simple: online.

Party hosts use online tools for so much of their celebration planning. These tools make the process easier for hosts – even hosts that have relied on paper options in the past. Online invitations have become a welcome replacement for paper invites, saving time and money. In a recent survey of party hosts, 73% elected to send online invitations over paper – further proof of the digital appeal.

online party planning

With many resources at their fingertips, party hosts are able to plan events faster and more efficiently. Gone are the days of bookmarking a page of a magazine, only to lose track of it.  No more disorganized, handwritten RSVP lists. Today’s party host simply has to create an online invitation, pin a few ideas to a Pinterest board, shop online for party supplies – and they’re well on their way to a memorable celebration.

The main consensus among party hosts has been that online guest management is very important to them. Here are a few online party planning trends that we’ve discovered recently:

Online RSVPs: In a recent survey of party hosts, 91% listed “easy to manage RSVPs” as the feature they liked most when they send online invitations. Party hosts can easily track RSVPs, which helps with overall headcount and eventually filters down to how much a guest purchases for the party. Will she need one bag of chips or five? How much dessert will she need to make or buy? Aside from the decision of how many (and which) products the host may buy, she will also use the head count information to determine activities. If it is a smaller party, easy crafts or games may be enough entertainment for the guests. If it is a larger crowd, she may choose to hire entertainment or host at a nearby party venue.

Online Address Book: Another important guest management tool that party hosts find useful is an online address book. Instead of a phone call or a search through emails, they can easily store contact information online and use it for the next upcoming event. Whether it’s for an online invitation, digital thank you notes, or other follow-up communication, the online address book is very valuable. In fact, 72% of surveyed party hosts cited it as a key reason they plan multiple events per year online – and 37% don’t even have actual mailing addresses for their guest list.

Aside from useful online RSVPs and an online address book, party hosts also look for party planning tools that save them time. Digital invitations and matching party supplies that can be easily purchased online appeal to today’s busy party planner. To learn more about the transition from paper to digital in the celebrations market, download our free white paper.



Posted by Amie Reardon

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