Guest post: 5 tips for selecting the event date

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Sometimes, picking the date for your event is simple. Let’s say you want to throw a New Year’s Eve party, like one of the many awesome bashes Eventbrite supported last weekend. Not a whole lot of decision-making there… A 4th of July fireworks party? Allow us to suggest July 4th.

But plenty of the time, it’s not so obvious. Should you go with weekend or midweek? Is a hidden holiday going to sabotage your ticket sales? And how far in advance should you save the date?

When we spotted a post on the subject from our friends at Vivanista, we thought it would be great to share with our readers. Below is their post on 5 quick tips for selecting the date of your event. And we’re encouraging you to share your own “do’s and don’ts” in the comments!

Pull out your calendar. Don’t be intimidated by the 365 potential dates for your event. Instead, follow these five simple tips to find that perfect date.

1. Determine whether a weekday/evening or weekend better suits your audience.

2. Allow enough advanced planning time to execute a successful event—at least two months for every hundred attendees.

3. Keep in mind that venues/caterers are usually more booked on weekends and might charge less for a weekday event.

4. Most annual events take place at the same time every year. Decide if you want to continue with this tradition (which may determine theme, food, drinks, activities, location, etc.) or if you want to switch seasons altogether.

5. Check calendars for:

  • Event calendars for possible competing events
  • Public and private school schedules
  • Religious holidays
  • Cultural events like the Super Bowl, major awards shows, etc.

Thanks again to Vivanista for opening up a great discussion topic. What are your strategies for picking an event date?

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Theo

5 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I got tired of having to work around other people’s schedules for the monthly events I was organizing. So I picked the second Saturday of the month and began calling them New Media Cincinnati Second Saturdays. That way, it’s easy for anyone to know when we meet. :)

  • If you’re well connected, you should also “crowd source” it! Ask on for feedback on Facebook and Twitter. They’ll ID problematic dates and suggest pros and cons of suggested dates.

  • I deal the most with weddings which is a bit different, but in general I suggest:

    -be flexible with your date or venue selection (don’t get stuck on one place or date)

    -consider the type of people on your guestlist (college students and teachers will want to avoid finals weeks, they might not be in town during holidays.) If your event is in a busy city, don’t schedule it close to rush hour.

    -Find out your venue or caterer’s deadline for a headcount to help plan how soon you should announce the event.

    -Ask a few guests about the dates you are considering before you set it, they might think of conflicts you wouldn’t.

    -Ask a professional (caterer, florist, venue, etc.) for advice about the event, they probably have good suggestions about off seasons/times for saving money and what most guests are expecting.

  • Good advice. I would add:

    1. Don’t be intimidated by other events that clash. There are always other activities on any day.

    2. For private events expect 25% to 33% of people to be unable to attend for a variety of reasons.

    3. Try and collect mobile numbers and use these to SMS/text a reminder the day before along the lines of, “we look forward to seeing you tomorrow.” In fact this would an ideal extra feature on Eventbrite.