The principle is as simple as a traditional hat draw. There are 3 main steps:
Create your draw and define the following:
- Date of the event,
- Game rules (e.g. gift format, theme, price, DIY manufacture, etc.)
- Number of gifts per participant (from 1 to 5 - most of you will stay on 1)
- Visibility of results (Mode 1: revealed on D-Day, Mode 2: secret forever, Mode 3: revealed as soon as the draw opens)
- The list of participants or simply Share a registration link on social networks to allow everyone to register independently (see below)
- Exclusion rules between participants (Note: the definitions are made after the creation of the draw via the "Manage exclusions between participants" section)
Is everything set? Are the participants registered? Confirm the launch of the draw! Then everyone receives an invitation via e-mail giving them access to their personal space and allowing them to launch the draw, exchange anonymous messages, write their letter to Santa Claus or even find gift ideas.
As an organizer, you can check at any time that everyone has been able to launch their draw and if necessary correct the emails and send back the invitation emails (without having access to the results)
So, the D-day has arrived, you will be able to physically exchange gifts!
If you have opted for Mode 1: Secret until D-Day, you will be able to reveal the results of the draws.
In Step 1 - Organizing the event, you can define exclusion rules between participants. It is very useful to define rules such as "No draw possible in a couple", "No draw possible between brothers and sisters", "No draw possible between people of the same department", etc. You are free to define the rules you want (while remaining reasonable if you want a that the draw can be done... !) Note that a person can never fall on themselves (not very nice for them otherwise!) and if a person A falls on B, B could also fall on A (they will only discover it on D-Day if the secret is kept).
A minimum of 3 participants is required and the limit is 500 participants. If this limit restricts you, contact us.
Your draw will gather a lot of people, say from 10-20 people (what is the most common!), there are 2 possible approaches to choose from:
Add the list of names / surnames and emails and make a CSV entry or easily import a CSV file you already have
Involve participants and let them register by themselves by sharing the event registration link (via email, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Each one then enters his participant name and creates a My-secret-Santa.org account in one click via Facebook or Google.
Note 1: It is important to note that the addition of participants is only possible in Step 1 - Event organization (once validated, it is no longer possible to add or delete participants) Note 2: The organizer can modify registrations if necessary and check that everyone is registered.
When you launch a new event, you can associate a graphic theme to it, the drawing space will then be personalized with the colors of the theme and each participant will be associated with an icon related to the chosen theme (a Christmas object for the theme "Christmas", a Flower for the theme "Flower", etc.). This icon / participant association is random and cannot be modified.
When launching your event, you will be able to choose between 3 draw modes to manage how the disclosure of draw results will be:
Each participant knows only his own draw on the participant area.
Then, on the day D, the results can be revealed with authorization of the organizer in 2 ways:
to the organizer only (visible on my draws)
to all participants (visible on the participant area)
Each participant knows only his own draw on the participant area but the results will never be revealed to the participants.
With this last mode, all participants know the draws of all participants as soon as they are launched (no insider trading possible!)
There is no age limit. It is up to you to see how you want to involve people who do not have email addresses, for example, it is possible to launch a draw dedicated to children with parents' addresses, etc. If necessary, unconnected seniors can borrow the email of an participant (it is possible to use an email address several times for the same draw when the registration is managed by the organizer).
One of the participants did not receive the invitation email? Several possible causes: the e-mail address may be incorrect or blocked by anti-spam (especially if it is a company e-mail). Go to the Track My Draws page and:
Change the participant's email address using the icon: "change the participant's email"
Send back an email to start the draw using the icon: "send back an invitation email to the participant"
The invitation email is still not received? This is very rare but some anti-spam systems are particularly restrictive and require validation by Captcha (ex: Mailinblack.com, SpamEnMoins.com, etc.):
Request the addition of the confirmation @my-secret-santa.org address to the white list
Go through a less restrictive email address and then forward the email to the desired address (without trying to consult the draw, of course :)
As in a materialized draw, it is complicated to add or remove participants once the draw is complete. Once your draw has been validated and the invitation emails sent, you have 2 main options:
if time permits, cancel the actual event and restart as a new event with the new list of participants. Attention: this 2nd event will most probably designate new draw for the participants of the 1st draw, make sure that they have not already prepared their gifts....,
if you have 3 new participants (or more), launch a new side event with these new participants.
Here is a short video presenting My-secret-Santa.org: