October 23, 2013
If you’re an event planner, then you know how much work goes into actually planning any kind of event – whether it be a wedding, fundraising concert, or 50th anniversary gala. You have some things going for you, though: you have the professional tools, connections, and resources at hand to help make the process easier for you.
But what if you’re just the everyday man? The kind of person who decides one day that a “dress like your favorite literary a-hole” day party for you and your friends would be really fun, except, like, ugh everyone is terrible and no one is RSVPing – do they know how difficult it was to train those carrier pigeons? Well, in these cases, you don’t really have any comprehensive tools available to you. This is where SquadUP comes into play.
SquadUP is an online platform that allows for simple and social event planning. It aims to solve the issues that event hosts have when planning these kinds of social events. SquadUp allows users to send invitations, track RSVPs, secure event funding, and even communicate with guests in real-time.
Founded by four friends from Duke, SquadUP is a solution to the kinds of problems the founders encountered when planning events for friends or acquaintances. “The second you start planning an event for your friends or friends of friends, you inherit all of the logistical problems that come with that. Mainly, these problems can be split in two categories: communication and funding,” says Willie Litvack, the co-CEO and cofounder of SquadUP.
When it comes to communication, there’s a huge gap between hosts and guests. Starting with invitations and RSVPs, it’s difficult to track who precisely will be attending any particular event. Additionally, it’s difficult to quickly and effectively share important details (such as venue changes or venue rules) about an event to every prospective guest. By connecting to a user’s email and Facebook accounts, contacts are easily aggregated on the SquadUP platform, from which an event host can efficiently invite, track, and message guests. A message board on the platform allows for additional communication between host and guest, and a social sharing function also allows messages to be shared on Facebook or Twitter.
Funding is the other big issue when organizing these social events – how are you going to secure funds from everyone? Whether you’re collecting funds to support a sorority social or selling tickets to fundraising event, SquadUP allows guests to make these transactions online, through the platform, instead of having to deal with the mess of collecting dues in real life. The startup uses Braintree to handle all of the transactions, so payments are safe and secure. Then, the money goes into a host’s PayPal, Venmo, or Dwolla account.
SquadUP aims to solve event planning on a more casual level. “[Friends] aren’t going to use things like Eventbrite to plan BBQs and [things of that nature. We really see [SquadUP] as a solution for peer-to-peer events,” ends Litvack.
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