Sunday, December 26, 2010
Rating The New Year's Eve Guides . . .
If you're like me, you're so overwhelmed with all the New Year's Eve offerings that you're tempted to curl up with a good bottle of bubbly and do the countdown with Dick Clark (and Ryan Seacrest . . .boooo).
But before we throw in the towel, let's rifle through what everyone is recommending. It's such a night with so much pressure and expectations and $$$ that you want to make sure you get it right.
Therefore we decided to break down some of the best—and worst—guides, rating them so that you can make the best decision:
Loved: The categories. Whether you're looking for a theatrical production, concert, dinner or hotel party, you can easily hone in on what you want.
Hated: A few categories are misleading or incomplete. The theatrical category includes live music performances that are in no way "artsy." Also, "Cheap Choices" offers only a paltry three selections when there are clearly more in other areas.
User Friendly: Easy to use, but too bad it's a bit shoddy.
Rating: 3 (on a scale of 1-5)
Loved: Well . . .
Hated: For a site with this much functionality, they can do better. It's random as hell, and the intro doesn't explain why they chose these particular spots. One listing also doesn't include a price—which certainly has one if there's a premium open bar for six hours!
User Friendly: You can get information about the venues, including reader reviews.
Loved: A pretty good representation of some of Chicago's most buzzed about restaurants.
Hated: There's really no rhyme or reason to it. Categories would have helped you find a romantic, cheap or group-friendly fete.
User Friendly: Each listing is linked to its website for more information.
Loved: The photo slideshow for each event entices readers to get in a partying mood.
Hated: Most events targeted the under 30 crowd. No restaurant deals and not very diverse.
User Friendly: Each event linked to the exact location where you can purchase tickets.
The Local Tourist:
Loved: Good categories. You can choose from a gala and cruise to a nightclub and restaurant. You can also select your event by neighborhood.
Hated: Events are sparse and only a few neighborhoods are represented. Why do it if you're not going to spread the love?!
User Friendly: Good navigation and you can buy tickets straight from vendor.
Loved: Guide offers every category possible, plus some you never considered (BYOBs to Blue Line bars). They've obviously got the resources to cover ALL bases.
Hated: It's overwhelming for someone looking for something quick and easy.
User Friendly: Extremely.
Loved: Some good live music picks.
Hated: This totally sucks. Not only does it not offer any prices or times of the events, but listing the venue without the address/phone number does not help either.
User Friendly: Not good. How do you buy the tickets to the shows?!
Loved: The variety of options from all over town.
Hated: They've got the resources, so why not create a searchable guide so folks can find the perfect party easier? Everything's pretty much thrown in here together, whether you're looking for a budget deal or high-end event.
User Friendly: It's a very basic list, but some of the events include a link to websites for more info.