Hot Stove

Put your Zoko-in-a-box

We’re absolutely thrilled to announce the release of Zoko-in-a-box. You might be saying “HMM…wasn’t that a skit on SNL?” No, that’s something totally different but this is equally as awesome. Zokos-in-a-box are packaged parties ready for you to quickly create and friend-fund. So far we’ve got live lobster from Lobster.com, a sweet summer party from an expert blogger and a one-stop-shop for tailgating greatness thanks to Tailgate Cruiser. These preassembled Zokos include recipes, suggestions, playlists and other really great advice. Check them out on the landing page and dashboard and stay tuned for more amazing offerings in the days to come.

 

Improved Invites & Simple Co-Host Invitations

We’ve been paying close attention to how people spread the word about their party and what we found is that people love using their existing accounts in GMail, Facebook and Twitter. As a result we’ve made it quick and easy to access and share invitation links to your guests and co-hosts. Simply click the big green button on the event page and you’ll have the option to copy the link to invite your friends.

 

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You can now pay with WePay

We’ve got good news for those of you who wished you didn’t have to set up a PayPal account to use Zokos: hosts now have the option to select WePay instead. WePay is a bit less known but it’s safe, secure and incredibly easy. It only takes a few seconds to put in your credit card and chip-in to an event. As with before, there’s still no cost if the event doesn’t happen. The other benefit is that you can let WePay remember your information so it only takes a single click when hosting or rsvp-ing to an event if you’d like.

Doodle your Friends

Have you ever wondered what day would work best for your next get together? The quickest way is to set up a Doodle poll and survey your friends to make sure you pick the best date possible. You can follow the link on our event create page. On top of that, it’s now possible to create an event without picking a date. Just set the basic info and fill in the date and rsvp deadline after you’ve published the event.

“I don’t have the room to host” No longer works as an excuse thanks to AirBNB

Maybe you live in a shoebox in Midtown Manhattan but dream of dinner in a swanky penthouse or beautiful old loft. Fortunately for you, there’s AirBNB.com. AirBNB lets you find a spot to temporarily rent without any hassle. Find a great kitchen on the site and let the host know you want to throw a beautiful dinner there. Who knows, if you do the cooking they might even let you rent it for a few hours for free???

Chat me, maybe

If you’ve ever seen the OnStar commercials, you’ve seen a driver push a little button and someone magically appears and answers any questions or requests they might have. Well guess what …. we’re now around to help you with absolutely anything you may need:  Something on the site doesn’t seem to be working? Have an idea for a great new feature? Want to know what you should cook for dinner? Lonely and want to talk to one of the awesome Zokos team members? – Just contact us using the little tab on the right side of the screen with the words “Live Help” on it. We’ll be there asap to help you out.

I wanna nom. Do you?

Thanks to our friends at Iwannanom.com we now have a beautiful array of inspirational dishes and recipes on the dashboard. From Pretzel Rolls and Quinoa Risotto to Cedar Plank Salmon and Zucchini Chips, there are hundreds of things just waiting to be cooked and eaten at your next zoko.

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Fashionable Photos

If you’ve never heard the term ‘food porn’ it references all those people who immediately bust out their iPhone or camera to take overly seductive pictures of their food.  We figured our photo upload wasn’t cutting it so we made an uber-upgrad by giving you Aviary & Filepicker.io.  That might not mean a lot to you, but basically what that means is that you can grab pictures from your Gmail, Facebook or Computer instantly and then apply sweet filters to make your event images really snap.  The phrase says a picture’s worth a thousand words but we hope that it’s also worth a thousand successful RSVPs.

Are you feeling Pot-lucky?

Maybe you’ve got a friend who’s a knock out chef and you’d love them to bring their great guacamole to your Mexican Dinner.  Fear not, fellow foodie.  Your guests and co-hosts can now easily add menu items of their own once they’ve RSVPed. After RSVPing they can jump to the Menu tab and click add a dish.  From here they can add a dish or a drink to the menu.

It’s simpler than ever to invite your friends

With a variety of ways to interact online with friends, it’s more important than ever to have a simple way of connecting everyone.  We heard your requests and made it even simpler to share parties you’re hosting or going to.  Now you can share the event link with your existing friends by simply clicking one button.

It’s also a snap to import and search through your gmail contacts and add multiple email addresses at once.  Just separate the email addresses with commas and you can add even more friends to your list.

Coming soon – Select your own RSVP Deadline

If you’re read our blog before you realize that we’re set on helping hosts plan their parties by removing the ‘barriers to entertaining.’  To make it as simple as possible we also work hard to remove the number of choices you have to make before publishing your event.

One example of this is the one-size-fits all RSVP-by date of noon the day before the event.  This not only assured the host would have money in their bank account before the event but also gave ample time for the host to pick up food and supplies.  People really appreciate having a little time to prepare but what we’ve realized is that some people need more time to plan big events and other people aren’t as concerned over knowing the exact number of guests in advance.

Therefore, we’re excited to release the new custom RSVP deadline.  This allows you to pick any time from weeks ahead up to 15 minutes prior to the event.  For those of you with last-minute friends who never respond on time, you’ll no longer have to respond to those emails asking if it isn’t too late for them to come.  Take a sneak peek below:

 

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Hey Zokites!  We’ve got a buffet of new features coming your way, so here’s a sneak peak at the latest and great additions and improvements to the site.

Spiffy new landing page

You’ve probably already noticed but if not, take a scroll down the landing page at zokos.com where you can read more about Zokos and see some of our recent press in Technically Phillythe Washington PostForbesMashableFood 52BetaBeatTasting TableThrillistBostinno, & PSFK.  We’ve also featured some really great events that have happened in the past few weeks. 

Improved emails 

Nobody likes having to click that button to allow images in Google so we removed some of the graphics in our emails.  This also makes them more mobile friendly.

Better experience for Internet Explorer users

for people who use Explorer, we’ve made it easier to use the site.  We still recommend Chrome or Safari, but we know that several of you still use IE in the office or on older machines.

Global Zokos & Improved location

We’ve had a lot of people trying to use the site from abroad so we changed the location/address to allow you to put any location.  The added benefit is that it’s also much easier for people in the States.  It works just like Google, so we’ll try and guess your location with each letter you type it. 

Create an event in a snap

It’s easier and more fun than ever to create an event.  Now, you can publish an event with just a few details and you can figure out the guestlist and menu later.  Don’t believe us?  Here’s a screenshot that shows the entire event create process in exactly 25 seconds. (Click to play).

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Sharing is Good

We realized that it’s far easier to share an event if you have a handy event URL and a button to quickly post the event on your wall or friend’s wall.  In a flash you can now broadcast a shindig to your friends to make sure it tips.  Remember, you can only share an invite you’re hosting or attending.

Let’s get personal (with messages)


Everyone knows the best touch to an invite is a little personal flair, so why not spruce up your invite with a joke or quip.  When you add guests, you now have the option to include a personal message that will show up on your guest’s invite.

Plus One (is more fun)


You told us you wanted to be able to easily bring a friend, co-worker or chum to the events and we couldn’t agree more.  We’ve added a “Plus One” feature that easily lets you RSVP for two in one simple click.  When you go to RSVP, you’ll notice that button will drop down with the option to RSVP +1.  Click it – you know you want to! The event will be more likely to tip and your guests will appreciate more interesting people.

Circles – Recall past guestlists

It takes a while to pick and choose all of the interesting people you want to invite, so the last thing you want is to have to do it again for your next party.  Now, you can select “Past invitees” when adding guest to quickly choose from the attendees at your previous party.  Rumor has it around Zokos HQ that you’ll soon be able to add people to different circles so you can have several lists to fit your varying interests.

Re-schedule Events


Did you have to shift the date of your party?  Did you come short of reaching your minimum goal because a big concert happened to be on the same night?  Fear not, with the new re-schedule event feature you can duplicate an event in no time.  Just click the link and your guestlist and party info will be copied right over.  All you have to do is pick a new date and you’ll be set


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