That would be just as nice if we could provide you with a list of perfect event dates. You probably understand that it doesn’t work like that. Holding a network meeting for retailers on a Thursday or Friday evening (shopping night) is asking for a low turnout, while for a staff party for an accountancy firm it’s an excellent time. How do you determine the most suitable date?
How important is a good date?
If the purpose of your business meeting is sufficient turnout, the date and time matter. You want enough participants to spread your message among your target group, to get the costs out of it, to get more publicity or just to have a pleasant activity together. In addition to the date, attendance has to do with communicating a date on time, an attractive program and personalized invitations that help avoid no-shows.
Consider on 5 determining factors
Before you pick a date it is good to consider a number of issues. You can use them to weigh up each situation in order to arrive at the most ideal date. A weather change or flu epidemic is of course out of your control. Organizing is about daring to take risks. In our opinion, these 5 factors are decisive in choosing the date:
- The participants or guests
- Vacations and public holidays
- Days and times that may be inconvenient
- Influence of seasons
- Other events
Read along to see what specifically you need to think about then.
Who are your participants or guests?
Your participants or guests are the most important factor in choosing the best date for your event. For business contacts, you usually think of a weekday. For a family day with your employees, a Saturday is an obvious choice. In addition to your participants, the availability of speakers, artists or VIPs who will be opening or attending your event is also decisive. Check their calendars as soon as you have a date in mind.
Vacations and public holidays
Vacations are always dangerous. The Christmas vacation is the perfect time for a family or club day. For business meetings, I advise against all holidays and also the days just before or after. Think of the Friday after Ascension and the Monday or Tuesday after a summer holiday. Then there is a good chance that people will take extra time off or will have to put their affairs in order again and certainly do not want to leave the house.
Other difficult days or times
Some days or times are not at all convenient for certain target groups. Generally speaking, Mondays are not popular for business events. After the weekend, you often like to start the workweek at the company.
Friday is for many a day to work away or have a day off. Tuesdays and Thursdays are always good for you. In principle, Wednesday is also fine, but consider whether there are many part-timers among your target group who could have their day off then. Festivals and relationship days where families are welcome are best planned on a Saturday.
Influence of seasons
The ideal time of year is only relative. Not only in winter you run the risk of a smaller turnout due to traffic jams or code red warnings. Even in the middle of June, an outdoor activity can be rained out. And a heatwave is just as good a reason to cancel for many people. Unless you choose the location and activity cleverly. In our Meeting Centre, we can easily organize a staff day in autumn because a large part of Burgers’ Zoo is covered. And most event venues, fortunately, have air conditioning.
When planning a business event you don’t want to have to compete with other organizations with the same target group. You can easily check the agendas of professional organizations. But above all, think more broadly. Your potential participants may also be interested in watching the World Cup or may not be keen on a 2-day team-building event during the Nijmegen Marches. In addition, many events on the same days you run into scarcity:
- locations that are occupied
- First aid and security staff who are already being deployed elsewhere
- Shortages in facilities such as equipment that you then have to bring from further away at higher costs.
It’s going to get pretty expensive if it’s even possible to make your event happen.
Extra tip: local and regional event calendars are useful to consult. Local business associations, interest groups, and tourist organizations often know what is on the public agenda for a year or season.
Fixed day? More convenience
With recurring events, you often have it easier. Choose a fixed afternoon in the month for your networking event or a fixed day in the year for your annual symposium. Participants then always know where they stand. And you can also secure the location and important speakers or VIPs in good time. Not perfect, but ideal. People who can’t make it are always there. But you do limit the risk of people dropping out.