Will you invite Google to your next party?

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Admit it: Google+ is a ghost town. After the initial hoopla, how often did you log in? If you were like most of us, the answer is hardly ever. Clearly, the giant’s attempt to be part of our daily lives like Facebook hasn’t quite yet clicked as hoped.

But, a month ago at the company’s annual Google I/O developer event, the eager empire introduced a ton of new features, programs and hardware—not the least of which is the new Google+ Events, which promises to reinvent how we plan events online.

The Promise

According to the Official Google Blog, the new service is “for all of the moments that matter – before, during and after the event.” Setting this apart from other party planning services, like Evite, is the ability to personalize invitations with video or customer themes and animations along with instant calendar integration.

How It Works

Creating an event is incredibly easy: just click Events in the left menu and then complete the options that you have available.

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Simply add title, locations, details, time and who you want to invite. You can choose from a collection of animated themes or create a custom invite from one of your own photos. Once the event is created, it’s automatically added to the Google calendar of every person invited.

The invite includes Google+ Events greatest strength: it’s an online, invite-only party with instant-upload photos and chat, running on the desktop of anyone who’s invited, as well as any mobile users running the Google+ app in Party mode.

Public Events

Similar to Facebook’s event curator, Google+ allows users to search for public events. The main difference between the two is that while Facebook only allows you to see events your friends created or were invited to, Google+ shows all public events in real time as they’re created or updated.

Party Mode

A critical component to this new event planning approach is the Party Mode feature of the mobile app—not only do your guests’ updates instantly appear in the stream for the event, but so do their photos and videos. As more guests participate, your event “gets a pulse.” What’s more: there’s a live slideshow option, meaning everyone can be part of the action.

As someone who uses online event planning tools, you can see the power of this tool: it’s not only fun, but truly enhances engagement leading up to and during an event. I’m eager to see how this new tool plays out for experiential marketers. Have you tried it out yet?

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