Gather By Mailchimp
If you are having an event, Gather is an amazing way to communicate with attendees. Developed by Mailchimp (the company behind this email), Gather lets you send and receive text messages to and from attendees.
To start using Gather, you’ll need to set up a Mailchimp account. It’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers.
Next, download the Gather app for iPhone or Android. When you launch it, you (as the event organizer) will pick a Gather phone number specific to your area in order to keep your personal mobile number private. You can’t receive calls at this number, but it’s a good idea to keep it on file for reference. This number is yours for the lifetime of your Gather account.
Then, create your event and link it with a Mailchimp list to invite subscribers. I did all this, and it took about five minutes.
Finally, send guests a link to your Gather form, where they can sign up to receive text alerts. You can do this with a bulk message within Mailchimp, or by copying a link and posting it somewhere else.
Using Gather, you can text message your whole group at once. Attendees can also text you back, with no app or setup required. From within the Gather app, you can text back and forth with attendees before or during the events.
All phone numbers of attendees get deleted when the event expires. When you create an event, you choose the expiration date—which can’t be changed later.
Cost: You pre-pay for bundles of text messages. There are bundles for events big or small. The more you purchase up front, the cheaper it gets. You can purchase 175 messages for $8.99, 500 messages for $18.99, or 2,000 messages for $48.99. A Gather phone number comes free with your first message pack. And you keep any unused messages as credits.