Product review: Guestsnow - RSVP and checkin app

When we’re asked to trial and review a new product for event professionals, we’re all yappy dog jumping at a hose – we love it!
 
So, when the creators of Guestsnow approached us ahead of their rebrand and new website launch we were keen to hear more. 
 
Guestsnow is essentially another check-in & RSVP management app. We say another, because there is an abundance of competitors in this market and we have personally reviewed a lot of them. 
So, our first question to Guestsnow was – how is your system different from all the others? 
 
We then took a trial of the product ourselves (inviting lots of cool people like Adele, Prince Harry and of course, Harry’s plus one, Meghan Markle, to our fantasy party), so we could test how easy and practical the system was to use. 
 
Lastly, we compared our experience to all the other guest check-in and RSVP management systems we know of. And well, here’s what we found…
 

What is Guestsnow?

Guestsnow is an online check-in and RSVP management tool designed to be used by event professionals. It allows you to create guests lists, design and send invitations, manage RSVPs and then track attendance on the event date. It also has Facebook event integration, which is the first check-in app to offer this feature. 
 

What are the key features that differentiate Guestsnow from similar products on the market?

Invitation design
Guestsnow allows you to load a pre-designed invitation (or image) to an invitation template. This is then integrated into an online format, which is easy to use, looks good and is quick to send. 
 
We also really like their White Label service, which means your invitation and RSVP landing page can be customisable (not using a generic domain) – this is a a major difference over other similar products that either don’t offer this or it’s an additional cost. Guestnow include it in their  one flat fee – bonus!
Facebook event integration
Guestsnow is the only check-in app that we know of that can integrate your Facebook events with the RSVP management system. Simply connect your Facebook event via the Guestsnow dashboard and you’ll be able to track RSVPs and check-in guests on arrival at your event. 
Speedy check-in via QR code
We also liked that Guestsnow has thought very hard about the check-in experience – speed is clearly a priority. Guests can be checked-in via their first name, initials or by a unique QR code that is generated when guests RSVP. 
User permission levels
Another key difference we found was that Guestsnow offer quite a few different permission levels for users. As the Administrator of the account, you can give other users permission to add guests to the event – offering a few extra features compared to other systems. 
 
For example, you can give Tom in Sponsorship permission to invite 20 guests only, stopping him from sneaking in an additional 10. You can also allow people to add guests to the main list without seeing other people’s additions. This is great for situations where you don’t want people ‘borrowing’ each other’s contacts. 
 

Some more details on how it held up in during our party road test…

When you’re inviting uber cool people to an event, you want to firstly, make sure they receive the invite and secondly, that you can track their RSVP and attendance seamlessly.
 
Guestsnow held up to the test really well. Here are our key thoughts on the performance we experienced when testing the system. 
Adding guest to the invitation list (prior to invite going out)
Uploading the guests list was pretty easy – CSV document or manual (cut and paste) upload.
Unlike other systems where you load the full list and then add tags for VIP, GA, Sponsor, etc, Guestsnow suggests you filter your list externally in Excel and then load separately into each category (guest categories are existing in the system). This worked well and was easy to manage. We can tell this would also be a great way to keep some guest details private from some users. 
Designing the invitation
The invitation template is fairly simple. You can add one main image and text in designated areas. However, changing the colours and layout is not possible without paying for additional changes to be made. Having said that, the design provided is simple and effective and in most cases we would assume it would not need changing. 
Sending the invitation
When you’re ready, sending the invitation is as easy as pressing a button.

The invitation lands in your guest's inbox and they can then click through to the event page to view more details and RSVP. You are able to pre-set if the guest is allowed to bring any additional guests and you can be rest assured that only the person you invited can reply - i.e. they cannot forward the invite onto others.
 
Another great feature is that rather than the invitation and RSVP landing page being hosting on a Guestsnow generated domain, their White Label service allows you to customise where the invitation is being sent from and customise your email subject. This means if you are planning an event on behalf of Target, the email invitation will look as though it came from someone at Target. The RSVP event landing page will match too.
 
The White Label service is included in all packages, except the free Basic option.
 
Once your invitation is sent, you can send follow up emails and event reminders from the system. 
You can also now move pending RSVP guests to confirm list – that means if a guests RSVPs directly to you (i.e. not theough the RSVP page) you can go into the system and manually more then to the confirmed attendance list. Seriously, have they thought of everything!? 
Tracking RSVPs
Once you’ve sent the invitation the analytics kick into gear. You will be able to track who is opening the invitation, who is visiting the event registration page, along with who is RSVPing and adding additional guests. 
Checking guests in
On the day/night of your event the system really comes into its own. The Guestsnow app allows you to easily tick off guests when they arrive. This can be done on multiple devices, with or without WiFi. 
The addition of the QR code, which is sent to guests via email when they RSVP means you can simply scan guests as they arrive, making it a super-fast and stress-free check-in process. All you need to have to scan is a mobile phone or ipad.
 
Staff can easily update and add guest details on arrival as well.
Reporting and analytics
Once your invitation has been sent, you will be able to view a stack of stats from your Event Dashboard. Here you will be able to track who has opened the invitation, visited the landing page and of course, who has replied. 
 
Your attendance list will be automatically updated with RSVP’s and plus-ones. 
 
Once guests start physically checking-in at your event, the system will record attendance.
 
Post event you’ll be able to view and download reports on all aspects of the RSVP and check-in process, including a timestamp for when they arrived.
Who has Guestsnow specifically been designed for?
The creators of Guestsnow have designed the system specifically with event managers producing music, media, club and product/brand style events in mind. This is evident by the creation of the permission levels for different user roles and the emphasis on speedy check-in. 
 
However, corporate event managers, community event planners and conference organisers could all benefit from this simple to use event registration and check-in system. 
Affordability
If you’re planning small gatherings (under 25 guests), or simply want to test the system out before you buy, you can use Guestsnow for FREE with their Basic Plan. 
 
Their one-off event plans start from US$89 per event and if you’re planning multiple events a month (3 or more), then their monthly plans are a good option, starting from US$233 a month.

Conclusion

We liked Guestsnow – it’s simple and easy to use design is immediately appealing. The cost isn’t prohibitive for one-off events or for when managing weekly events.
 
The added ability to design and send invitations along with tracking RSVPs via the designated event page, makes Guestsnow a great product for your next invite-only event.

To check out Guestsnow for yourself, head on over to their website: guestsnowapp.com.