One of the first steps when planning an event is deciding when it will actually take place. A step that is pretty often wrongly underestimated, however, quite important for the success of your event. Choose the perfect date for your event and your event marketing and PR work will be given a boost.
Choose an inappropriate date and don't wonder why all your efforts to full the event hall were fruitless. The best way to choose the perfect date is by starting with excluding the worst options. So when deciding the date of your next event, try to avoid the following 'event-ruiners' dates:
1. The Event Dates Of Your Main Competitors
One of the worst choices you could make is to schedule your event on the same date as your main competitors. Simply because you have the same target audience and you will undoubtedly lose a share of it. Moreover, you will have to split the media attention as well. Even if you are positive that you will outshine your competitors just remember one thing: you will definitely achieve better results if the dates of your events do not clash.
2. National Days/Public Holidays
National days or public holidays such as 14th of July in France or 4th of July in the USA are again event date blunders. People are usually not inclined to go to an event on such dates unless it is a concert or entertaining outdoor event on the occasion of the public holiday itself. If, however, that's not your case, choosing the national day of the country you organize your event in would be quite catastrophic for your event.
3. Important Political/Public Events
Scheduling your event on the day of national elections, referendums or other important political/public events is a total madness. Not only will you lose a great part of your audience and the media attention but you might also forget about any political figure coming to your event as a speaker, patron or special guest.
4. Religious Holidays
Religion still plays and will probably always play an important role in people’s lives. So always check the calendar for important religious holidays in the country you organize your event in. Scheduling your event for Hajj in a muslim country or Easter in a christian country is a no-win situation for your event. For religious people these are holy days and they will definitely prefer to celebrate them than to celebrate your event.
5. Holiday Times
Summer and winter holiday times are among the definite don’s when choosing a date for your event. For most of Europe, those periods would be the whole of August and the end of December. The reason is quite obvious: people will simply be away on their deserved holidays. Be sure that your event will not be more tempting than lying on the beach with friends and loved ones or spending a quality time with family.
Monday is like 'Friday the 13th' for your event - a fatal choice. If you are not superstitious person, start being one when it comes to the date of your event. Let’s admit it: everyone just hates Mondays. People are simply not in the state of mind of going anywhere at the very beginning of the working week. So simply cross out all Mondays in your calendar before deciding the date of your next event.
These are just some factors you should take into consideration when scheduling your next event. There are of course many others reasons that might make a certain date inappropriate for your particular even. And you are the one that should find out which ones and why. My advice is: research, research and research again before choosing the date of your event.
Valeria Paskaleva is an events & marketing professional with vast experience in organising various type of events: from international B2B conferences to B2C exhibitions and fairs. She has her own blog and a column at eventplanner.tv