Timing is Everything!
Everything you do for your event will revolve around the date you have chosen to hold it. As highlighted in the Event Planning section, you will need a date that you can work backwards from that will give you enough time to realistically plan, publicise and finance.
Setting the Date
In order to ensure that as many people as possible are going to be able to attend, there are a number of key questions that you and your steering group will need to consider when you set the date for your event:
• Will your occasion clash with another event that your attendees may already want to go to?
• Is a weekday or a weekend more suitable?
• Will the event land on a public holiday or if it’s in the summer, the school holidays when many people go on holiday?
• Does your date give you ample time to coordinate the event and to produce and issue your publicity?
• Will your event clash with any other big local events that might impact on people traveling to your event, such as a major festival, religious holiday or sporting occasion?
• Depending on the time of year and particularly if you are planning an outdoor event – what impact will the weather have? Will you need a contingency plan for wet weather?
• What time of day is most appropriate for the activity and your audience?
There are a number of things you can do to avoid another event clashing with yours. The first thing is to look at local websites which have a ‘what’s on’ calendar, or for events of more national importance, research these using the internet. You should also look at other organisations, local papers, groups, networks and your local tourist board. Remember that if you don’t want all your hard work to go to waste with a low turnout, research your date! A few other considerations could include:
• The proximity of other events – audiences are less likely to go to an event if they have recently attended one which was very similar. Try to leave as a big a gap as possible or modify the focus of your event so it offers a new twist.
• If you are planning an event which could compliment an existing event, you may consider contacting that event organiser to see if you could work together.
• If you cannot avoid being close to another similar event, consider making your event unique or different in a way that might broaden the audience appeal.
Useful places to find what’s on calendars
Idea: Upload your event here on startnow and it will also appear on most of the websites above too and help publicise your event for free!