As an event planner, I am regularly asked questions regarding party etiquette and protocol. When should I send the invitations? Do I have to invite the entire class? Where do I sit Aunt Bertha? And what about thank you notes?
It's interesting to think how my answers (and workload) have changed over the years. I have been doing this long enough to remember hand written invitations and envelopes, relishing my discovery of clear mailing labels, moving on to create high-end thematic invitations, and assisting my clients as they meticulously wrote thank you notes, working from the list they created as their child was opening gifts - hoping it was accurate.
I was very new to the business when my clients starting telling me about the new digital services you could use to send invitations. To this day, they remain customary. I can't remember the last time I went to the Post Office with a handful of invitations or thank you notes.
As I write this, it is the Holiday Season. My (snail)mailbox is filled with cards. As I open each one, from friends and family, far and wide, old(ish) and (surprisingly) young, I began thinking about the time and effort that went into creating these cards: photos, designs, addresses, signatures, and the mailing. I love receiving each one because they are personal. Someone took the time to do all of this. An anathema in our digital age.
This got me thinking, once again, of the de-personalization these digital services have brought about. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that you hear me or someone else talk about how email, cellphones and everything digital has created a world devoid of personalized touches. Handwritten cards, personal messages and receiving anything signed by the person who sent it now seem a thing of the past.
2022 will bring a number of new events for me to plan. Many are already in their early stages. In my search for new options to present to my clients I stumbled upon Handwrytten. At first glance it seemed like another resource for sending large amounts of handwritten greeting cards on line. But then something caught my eye - robots! I work with kids. Kids love robots. I love robots. Handwrytten is setting themselves apart by using robots, and actual pens in their little robotic hands. So, what your guests/friends/business associates receive is not a bulk card that is clearly typewritten. Instead, it is handwritten in styles that resemble actual handwriting. You can also for an additional fee digitize your signature. Or for a (fairly significant) fee you can have them sample your handwriting itself and recreate that. I am not sure that makes sense for sending thank you notes, but it makes a lot sense for businesses.
It seems the majority of Handwrytten's clients are large corporations. The site provides a number of tools to integrate their service into business software platforms such as Salesforce. I don't really understand these integrations but I imagine this gives a CEO the opportunity to send handwritten notes to employees or thank you's to important clients or vendors.
I personally am still focused on the robots. I love this idea. I think it is fun knowing you've received a card with words written by me and inscribed by a robot. Check out the features page, it features samples of handwriting from the various robots. Each has its own distinctive style and personality.
Honestly, I think this is great. The digital world is upon us, for better or for worse. A great deal of these innovations save us time and money. I am all for that - and I make use of the services all of the time. But let's hope there are more ideas like Handwrytten, bringing a few personal touches to a digital service and having some fun while doing so.