Events deliver on so many levels, people enjoy meeting face-to-face, they like and want experiences but as an organiser, how can you ensure that your event is going to deliver for everyone involved?
In our latest blog series, Tips for Successful Events, we look at the stages of an event, from your reasons for hosting to marketing your event, the day itself and evaluating the success.
Up next, dates and diary clashes…
10 things to think about when setting a date for your event
- Where are you delegates travelling from and would a date during school vacation be a barrier to attending? School holidays differ across the world and even between countries here in the UK…
- Does your preferred date clash with any Public, Cultural or Religious holidays for your target audience? A clash could mean that travel might be difficult or more expensive. Exam periods and financial year end may be difficult for delegates working in some sectors.
- In our experience Fridays should be avoided if you want the best turnout; events held on Wednesdays and Thursdays seem more popular.
- Show consideration for your audience, can you start at a time that’s helpful for those that have to do a school run or so that delegates can benefit from off-peak travel costs?
- If you must have a Monday meeting, start later in the day. If delegates must travel, they’ll appreciate not having to use their weekend to do so.
- Likewise, if your audience is local or regional, could a breakfast session or evening meet-up work better for those who can’t be out of the office during peak working hours.
- Check to see what other events are happening in the destination on your preferred date. If the destination is busy, accommodation might be limited, or rates may be more expensive. Similarly, during quieter periods you might be able to negotiate better rates.
- Is your target audience likely to have to choose between your event and other events happening within their peer group? Can you avoid competing with other industry, association or society events by choosing alternative dates?
- Conversely, you could choose a date before or after an established event, if delegates are travelling, they might appreciate being able to move from one event to the other without additional travel time or costs. Consider working with other organisers to offer discounts to those attending both events.
- If you are planning to have a speaker, a celebrity or if you want to host a civic reception, you’ll have to prepare well in advance to ensure you can get their availability. Offer a choice of dates if you can and if your event hinges on these people attending, make sure they are booked, and a contract is in place before announcing your date!
For more Tips for Successful Events, check out other blogs in this series
10 tips to help you choose a venue for your event
Thinking about the finer details: Capacity, Comfort and Catering
Image: Newmarket Clock Tower Credit: Discover Newmarket