MyPunchbowl, an event planning assistance site, officially launched today (January 15, 2006) to offer a simple way to pull together an at-home party or event. MyPunchbowl offers online assistance throughout the entire event planning life-cycle. MyPunchbowl breaks the event down into four milestones which are shown in the left rail of the site. They can be explained as follows:
- Save The Date - allows users to create and send a customized “save the date” message.
- Invitation - enables a user to create a customized invitation. The invitation allows users to search Flickr for Creative Common photos which can be used within the invitation. The invitation also generates a map to the location based on the address entered. Users can change the color of the layout and text by clicking the 'page color' button.
- Get Supplies - makes it easy to find local supplies stores by listing and mapping them for you.
- After Party – enables the host to start a message board for all the guests to comment on the event. In addition, the guests can add photos to a shared photo gallery by adding photos directly from Flickr. As a Flickr user this a great feature but I would like to see MyPunchbowl offer the ability to port photos from other services as well.
MyPunchbowl is easy to use and will definitely give Evite some competition as it offers an extremely simple interface with customized layouts. Unfortunately, MyPunchbowl is still working through some Ajax related layout issues that arise when using the site on the Safari web browser - Mac users should user Firefox instead for the full MyPunchbowl experience. As a PC users, this did not stop me from creating a simple invitation example as shown above.
MyPunchbowl was founded by Matt Douglas and Sean Conta who both have music backgrounds and years of product management experience in their past. It’s no surprise that Matt and Sean also like parties. Matt's favorite reason to party is Groundhog Day, while Sean’s is New Years Eve.
Bottom-line: MyPunchbowl offers users all the components necessary to plan a simple event. It offers party planning assistance through the entire planning life-cycle which is compelling to anyone that has ever hosted a party.