How to Create a Private Facebook Event | Secret Events & Surprise Parties
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Creating a Secret, Private Event on Facebook

Posted in Digital Marketing — January 3, 2013


About two years ago, I wrote a post which posed the question: How can I create a public event that blocks certain users? I wanted to create a public event that everyone could see *except* the person whose surprise party it was.

I still don’t have the answer!

In the meantime, however, that post continues to be of the most-viewed articles on our entire site. It attracts visits from people asking questions like:

- How to block someone from seeing an event on facebook
- How to make a surprise party event on facebook
- How to make a facebook event secret
- Surprise party facebook event
- And more…

Even though the post attracted a ton of traffic, it also had a fairly high bounce rate and low amount of time on the page. This caused myself to ask: What can I do to improve this page?

Well, by looking at the average searches that lead users to this page, it was obvious: my post doesn’t answer questions about creating a basic private event. Most people are looking for a simple way to just create a private Facebook event or surprise party; the issue of blocking only one person is less of a concern.

So without further ado, here are screenshot instructions for how to create a Private Facebook Event, whether it’s a surprise party or otherwise. Um, and sorry it took me two years to do this:

1. Go to your Facebook Homepage. Click “Home” on the upper right-hand corner of the screen:

Facebook Home

2. Click on your “Events” from the left-hand column:

Facebook Events

3. Click “Create Event” from the top right-hand side of the screen:

Facebook Create Event

4. Choose “Invite Only” for the Event Privacy. The next screen is where you can add the event name, time, location, details, and privacy settings. If you want the event to be totally secret and private to only those who you invite, select “Invite Only”:

Facebook Invite Only

5. Decide whether you want guests to invite friends or not. If the party truly needs to be as secure and private as possible, you’ll probably want to leave this unchecked.

Facebook Guests Invite Friends

6. Customize your event with photos, invite friends, message guests and more. See the upper right-hand corner of the screen for full controls over your event. And by the way Facebook – how come we can’t use larger featured images for events?!

Facebook Add Photo Facebook Customize Event

7. That’s it! Hope this additional information helps you create your top-secret, invite-only Facebook event.

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  1. Hey, just to make sure if I create an event on FB and click on “Invite Only” no one except invited people will see it, right? Also, sometimes you can see people RSVP on timeline but since it’s for my husbands surprise bday party will he see their rsvp’s ?


    Posted by Aga, July 4, 2014 | Reply

    • Hi Aga,

      Yes – I promise that if you click “Invite Only’, no one except invited people will see it. Also, only people invited to the event can see RSVPs in their timeline / on the event page. Your husband won’t see RSVPs.

      Hope this helps!

      Posted by Sarah Mackenzie, July 8, 2014 | Reply

      • We are having a surprise party for someone. If we post a picture of them on the private event wall/cover photo, and someone accidentally tags them using Facebook’s facial recognition feature, will the person tagged be able to see it, even if they haven’t been invited? We don’t want the surprise to be blown, so maybe it’s best we just pull down the picture to avoid that accident.

        Posted by Mike, August 27, 2014 | Reply

        • Hi Mike,

          I tested this out for you! I created an invite-only event. I uploaded a photo of a friend and tagged him in the photo. He never got ANY notification at all that I tagged him. Then, I asked him if he got a notification that I tagged him. He never did – he has no idea the photo or event exists, he can’t see this anywhere. So you should be okay. The main idea if you create an invite-only event, and you don’t invite a certain person, they will never be able to see anything that is going on with that event. Even if someone “tags” them.

          Posted by Sarah Mackenzie, August 28, 2014 | Reply

  2. What about having it show up in the news feed as mine seems to have done? Any way to stop that?

    Posted by R, September 16, 2014 | Reply

    • Hello – It’s normal to have your own events show up in your news feed! It’s just that – YOUR personal news feed, full of things tailored specifically to you only. Don’t worry – only invited people will see the event in their news feed. No one else will.

      Posted by Sarah Mackenzie, September 16, 2014 | Reply