Chicago Native RSVPify Is Bringing Flexibility to Digital Event Planning

The rapidly growing company is incorporating AI-enhanced features into its event management solution.

Written by Ashley Bowden
Published on Aug. 02, 2023
Chicago Native RSVPify Is Bringing Flexibility to Digital Event Planning
The RSVPify team sits together for a group photo.
The RSVPify team. | Photo: RSVPify

We are in a digital era, where many of our day-to-day processes have moved to virtual channels. Whether someone orders their groceries from a mobile app or attends a live concert via virtual reality headset, accessible digital experiences have become a widespread expectation.

RSVPify, a Chicago-based company in the events management space, aims to make digital channels the default option for organizing weddings, non-profit functions, webinars and more.

While events management platforms have been around for decades to help people sell tickets or host meetings, RSVPify is doing things a little differently — placing the overall privacy of hosts and attendees at the center of its design. The platform was built to ensure every event attendee can have a private and personalized experience during the registration process. And after a customer designs the website and registration process using RSVPify’s tools and templates, attendees can access the platform via email invitation or personal password login to view all of the events they’re slated to attend.

Ari Driessen and Adam Hausman founded RSVPify together back in 2013 as a way to help Driessen, now the company’s CEO, manage his wedding guest list. RSVPify provided a way to track which guests would attend certain events, like the bachelor party or rehearsal dinner, while keeping that information private to only those it pertained to. The platform also helped with tasks like curating guest invites and managing individuals’ meal preferences.

“You don’t want every guest to see that there’s a rehearsal dinner when they’re not going to get invited. Or [in the] corporate world, maybe there’s a VIP dinner that only certain people can reply to,” Driessen told Built In. “We entered on that private element, which really nobody in the industry [was doing] at that time.”

In its early days, RSVPify’s founding team manually built each RSVP that customers requested, Driessen said. Since then, the platform has evolved substantially while remaining entirely bootstrapped. It now includes individual and enterprise tools for digitally managing events, from baby showers and reunions to corporate gatherings and private parties.

“We’ve been able to fill a spot where people want a robust set of features. They want to have some control and some personalization and to be able to tailor something to the event that they have, as opposed to tailoring their event to the software platform,” Hausman told Built In.

These tailored events have taken on many forms throughout RSVPify’s existence, particularly as it had to adapt amid the pandemic. The company launched a vaccine registration system less than three months after the Covid-19 vaccine was released.

Following this initiative, RSVPify saw significant post-pandemic growth. The company has doubled its headcount each year since the pandemic, having grown to a team of 15 people spread across Chicago, Austin and Sarajevo, Bosnia. It also doubled its revenue, Driessen said. RSVPify currently has 10,000 active companies using its platform.

Going forward, RSVPify is working to integrate artificial intelligence capabilities into its solution. The platform recently launched an AI onboarding experience that automatically fills out form information based on previously entered data from the person hosting the event. It can also determine what kind of event that person is hosting and offer relevant questions and templates to help jumpstart their planning process.

RSVPify is continuing its growth trajectory and is actively hiring new talent to its team.

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