Punchbowl is dedicated to all things party related. Users can log on to the site and begin planning their next big get together, holiday, or event. The site incorporates all elements of party planning, from online invitations to searching for the right vendor and venue for the event. Vendors can also get listed on Punchbowl to expand the site’s ability to provide users with the exact services and products they are searching for. Punchbowl features are designed to assist with party planning every step of the way, even when dealing with larger gatherings like a wedding.Show more screenshots »
Punchbowl was founded by CEO Matt Douglas and CXO Sean Conta. Douglas has over twelve years of experience in marketing and product management with a focus on software development. During his career, Douglas spent some time working as a part of Adobe Systems and Bose Corporation. Sean Conta is committed to improving the user experience with knowledge of web design and interface development. Together, Douglas and Conta have created the Punchbowl many party planners use today.
Punchbowl offers users a better way to plan all elements of the party. Other sites focus on one area or the other, or a combination. Primarily, these are selling points and usually intended to push product. Punchbowl lists vendors, who obviously also want to sell a product or service, but also gives the user a full spectrum of tools to manage all aspects of party planning. The site even provides users with printable personalized invitations based on different seasonal themes as well as a tool to come up with their own printable invitation.
From the ladle icon to the colorful images on the homepage, Punchbowl gives off an air of professional design and style. The color scheme is relatively soft, with each image depicting a different season or occasion that features colors and elements of that type of event to inspire users. The site is very neat and easy to navigate. There is no clutter and the user can immediately get started planning their next party.
A new user can begin the registration process by clicking the white “Sign Up” link at the top right hand corner of the homepage or by clicking he prominent green button at the center. Users are given two options, one is to sign up using Facebook. The second option is to sign in the old fashioned way, by filling out a short form. The form asks for a first and last name, email address and password. If the user reads the fine print, they will discover that opting out of the Punchbowl newsletter is not an option. Users are required to opt in when registering. This is a bit of a turn off for many users.
Punchbowl is free to use. You have the option to upgrade your Punchbowl membership to enhance your ability to personalize your events and customize your eCards. Users that create a new account are given a 14 day free trial period for a membership account. The site offers three tiers of membership. The lowest is the Plus account. This gives the user access to Plus designs, fonts, and ribbons. The plus account costs under $40 per year or just under $5 per month. Next is the Premium membership which upgrades to include no advertising on e-cards and invitations. This runs just under $50 per year or under $8 per month. The top level account, or Platinum membership, includes priority tech support, the ability to add co-hosts for events, additional address book features, and the ability to show e-cards in recipient’s email. This account runs just under $80 a year or around $13 per month. It should be noted that for some reason, Punchbowl does not list the pricing when the user first views the membership chart. The user must actually select each tier to see the pricing. This seems a little unnecessary. Also, while the prices aren’t high, some of the features seem a little lackluster.
Anyone that is planning an event and has a few extra bucks to throw around may enjoy Punchbowl. The site doesn’t really offer anything new, but it does help keep the preparations organized.