You can boost turn out and enjoyment at your next bash by avoiding these three big mistakes people make when choosing a date for their event.
A friend of mine planned her San Antonio wedding for a weekend in June. The venue she had chosen featured a huge outdoor garden with an indoor space that was not so spacious. But she figured that with some shade and cold drinks, the guests wouldn’t mind mingling and mixing outside. She was wrong. Not a single guest was interested in venturing out into the muggy, hot day. The poor attendants stationed outside were red faced and sweaty, but completely alone. The guests inside were packed to the rafters but determined to stay inside where the air conditioning was the hardest partying thing in the place. The lesson we learn from this experience is that the date you choose for your party can have a huge impact on the success of your event. Make sure to watch out for these three mistakes people make in choosing a date for their event.
Not Giving the Weather Its Due
One mistake that people often make is to treat the weather as a happy passenger in the back seat of our car—casually content to just go along on the ride. But the weather is more like a fractious toddler—pleasant and cooperative one minute only to morph into a monster determined to destroy everything in its path. Just like a careful mother who knows to pack the diaper bag for every eventuality, you need to think hard about what might happen with the weather and choose your date accordingly. Check the temperature averages for any date you’re considering and make sure that you’ve looked at severe weather seasons, even if you’re planning an indoor event. Things like hurricanes and blizzards can impact your guests’ ability to actually get to your event. We’re not saying that by looking at weather patterns you’ll be able to control Mother Nature, but it’s always a good idea to factor the possibilities into your planning.
Scheduling on a Holiday
Often times when we’re considering a date, we look at holidays as the perfect spot to place the pin on the calendar. We figure that because potential guests will have a day off it’s a great day for a party. But parties planned on holidays usually don’t get a great turn out. Why? Because people are using their time off for family events or traveling, making it less likely that they’ll be around to come to your party. Family centered events (like weddings) can be successfully planned around holidays, but conferences or business events planned around holidays may get more bust than bang for their buck.
Ignoring the Culture
Just this past weekend my step-daughter graduated from college and my nephew got married, both ceremonies were at 10:00 am on Saturday. Unfortunately, I didn’t have Hermione Granger’s time turner so that I could be in both places at once.
Unfortunately, this situation is not uncommon. Scheduling conflicts are a major reason that people won’t turn out for your event. You can’t eliminate conflicts, but with careful consideration you can minimize those conflicts by doing your best to schedule around prime event seasons. For example, holiday parties are a tradition, but there’s no actual rule that says that your big corporate party has to be held in December, and frankly a February or March shindig might be right when your corporate culture needs a pick-me-up.
The holiday season, graduation season, and wedding season are all scheduling land mines. But you should also be careful to avoid less obvious conflicts that center around significant cultural events in your community. Things like religious observances, big sporting events, or cultural celebrations may not be on your radar, but they’re important to your guests. Do a little research and find out about the events important to your community and try and avoid those dates.