When it is time to pick the date for your upcoming meeting or event, there are many items to consider. Choosing the right day and time can be a daunting task if you don't know where to start. There are countless trends to look at online, but overall, the best option will be the one that gets you towards your goals and works for your attendees’ lives.
The LaClare Group, headquartered in Minneapolis MN, is a corporate event planning company specializing in meeting strategy and event management. We’ve put together a list of 4 major items that will impact scheduling your meeting or event. Considering these 4 items will help guide you into choosing the right fit for you.
When beginning to plan the best time to schedule your next meeting or event, the first step is to determine who it is for. Take the time and dive deep into creating an audience persona. According to cardsetter, an audience persona is the visualization and profile of a "person" representing your ideal audience member. When creating your audience persona, consider demographics, lifestyle, interests, goals, and so on to help guide you in the right direction in scheduling your meeting.
For example, say your audience persona works in the medical field. They typically work long hours on the weekends. Don't schedule your meeting for the weekend because they are more unlikely to attend. Therefore, a weekday would be a better option to get the most attendance.
Type of Meeting or Event
What type of meeting will you be producing? Will it be in-person, virtual, or hybrid? Is it a one-day conference or multiple days filled with different activities? These are all questions to answer when scheduling your event because each type of meeting has different scheduling opportunities or restrictions.
Virtual Meetings – There is more flexibility with scheduling. Attendees can easily hop on and off throughout the day as needed or watch on-demand recordings at their leisure.
In-Person Meetings – There is less flexibility with scheduling. You need to consider participants’ working hours and how much time they would need to be away from their jobs.
Hybrid Meetings – This is a combination of both a Virtual and In-Person Meeting. There are many opportunities to benefit from offering both, and it will take more planning to execute successfully.
Learn more about In-Person, Virtual, or Hybrid: Which is Best? here.
Desired Venue’s Availability
Do you have a specific venue in mind for your meeting? Since late 2022, there has been an increased demand for in-person events and your preferred location may now be booked further in advance. It’s best to ask your preferred venue about their availability and costs as soon as possible.
Some places are booked years in advance and are busier during certain times of the year.
If you really want a specific venue, being flexible with your dates will help. This includes the arrive / depart dates (e.g. arrive Sunday, depart Wednesday) and avoiding their peak season.
When committing to a desired location, be sure to consider the ease and costs of travel to get there. Will travel be quick and easy, or longer and more complicated? Traveling to smaller cities may require connecting flights or higher airfare. Where does most of your audience live? Choosing a destination that requires longer travel time for the majority of your attendees may prevent them from coming.
Learn more about How to Find the Best Venue for Your Meeting (Site Search) here.
Holidays, Seasons, and Other Events
Holidays and other events can either help or harm attendance. This consideration goes back to knowing your audience. Do some research to know what other events are already scheduled within your industry. If you plan your event at the same time as another industry meeting, then your audience will have to choose one over the other, which dilutes attendance at both.
When scheduling your meeting or event, which season you plan it in can also impact attendance. Summer and Winter seasons tend to be more challenging to get a large audience due to families having vacation time and wanting to travel or spend time together. We tend to see most corporate meetings occurring in the Spring and Fall seasons. However, agriculture organizations in the northern hemisphere like having winter meetings when the growing season is dormant. Again, knowing YOUR audience is so important.
In conclusion, the most important factor is knowing your audience and what works for them. If you are not sure what they want, you can always send out a pre-event survey to get their preferences for when and where to schedule your next meeting.
What additional information or guidance can we provide you? Contact The LaClare Group (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a free initial consultation or for more information on planning meetings and events.