If you’re in the beginning stages of planning a meeting of like minds, then you will want to make sure you choose the perfect date. You want to choose a date that will allow the most people possible to attend, not conflict with holidays and vacation time, and will work for you and your event organizers.
1. Watch Out for Vacations
When choosing an event date, you want to steer clear of times when people typically vacation or their children have school breaks. People are less likely to attend your conference during these times as they likely make plans each year with their families. Some dates to avoid:
- Any major holiday
- June and July when kids are on summer break
- During back-to-school in August
- During another major convention in the industry
- Choose Days that Make Sense
2. Choose The Best Day
Another thing you’ll want to think about as you choose an event date is what actual days of the week you’ll host your event. Most conferences start on Wednesday or Thursday and run through Sunday.
Wednesday events are typically welcoming type events. This makes more sense for those who have to request time off work. It is much easier to request three days off and take the weekend than to request five days off during the week. Also, if you plan welcoming events on Wednesday and closing events Sunday morning, those who can only afford to take a day or two away from their offices can still attend on Friday and Saturday and get something out of the event.
3. Some Months Are Better
In a report gathered by the International Association for Political Science Students about best practices for conferences, the authors suggest that the best dates for conferences tend to be September, April and May.
This is smart because the weather is mild during these months, keeping travel issues at a minimum. You’ll also avoid heavy vacation times and most holidays by planning events during one of these three months.
4. Find Out When the Venue You Want Is Available
Perhaps you know that about 800 people will attend your event and the only hotel in the area you’ve chosen that will hold that many is only available on two dates. That may limit your options on which date you choose.
You have two choices. You can plan your event around the dates the hotel has available, or you can change where you plan to hold your event.
By learning ahead when the location might be available, you can better plan for a date that will work best for you and for your attendees.
5. Consider the Schedule of Planners and the Keynote Speaker
Talk to those who will be the biggest help in planning your event and find out when they are available to attend and help you out. It will be next to impossible to hold a successful event if only half of your volunteers are available to help you set up and keep things running smoothly.
You’ll also want to chat with your potential keynote speaker and find out what dates work best for him. Finding a keynote who will draw registrations can be a tough task, so the last thing you want to do is lose your big name expert because that date isn’t as good for him as it is for you.
Once you’ve considered all of these factors, get out a calendar and circle several dates that will work for all of these elements. Once you have a handful of dates, you can begin to narrow it down further by looking at holidays, other events, weather patterns and even what date is best for you and your team.
Topic you might be interested in: Finding an Event Venue