The Greek poet Hesiod, from the 8th century BC said, “Observe due measure, for the right timing is in all things the most important factor.” Timing is key to success. Needless to say, when planning an event, you must consider what the best and/or worst times are to plan these.
The phrase “Timing is everything” has been around some time, and is used quite often, but it’s so true! Timing IS everything!
As you consider a date and time for your event, think about what’s happening locally, nationally, or if there’s a holiday to time it with. In addition, when to hold your event can also depend on what type of event it is you want to host.
The DOs of timing your event:
• Plan your event for Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. These are days that tend to have more attendance, plus it gives you a chance to send out last-minute reminders to everyone.
• Friday mornings are also a good choice. People will look forward to your event knowing they can possibly take the rest of the day off after attending, which gives them an early start to their weekend.
• Consider the time of day to have your event. Research other events you had in the past to see how well attended they were and at what times.
• Also, while researching past events take notice of how successful your last event was. Were people interested and excited? Did you receive complaints? Was the speaker entertaining or boring? Unfortunately, if you had a poor event, people aren’t going to be motivated to attend another event that you put on.
• Keep your events short and brief. Think quality, not quantity. No one likes to sit for hours at a time. If your event is going to be longer than an hour, incorporate an intermission so the audience can mingle, grab a cup of coffee, or do something social.
• If you are planning an event that you would like to invite the press to attend or report, consider scheduling it when there won’t be competing events. Your town or city may have better days when reporters will be more likely to attend or write about your event. In many big cities, the best day for media events are said to be Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday between 9 in the morning and 12 noon.
The DON’Ts of timing your event
• Planning your event at the same time a well-publicised performance or major national event is occurring that day or evening may put your intended audience in a situation where they have to choose. You may lose out to the other event. (The opening night of my theatre show was also the night England were playing in the world cut one year – oops!)
• It’s not a good idea to plan events on Monday mornings or Friday afternoons. Think about it, most people are dragging their feet on Monday morning and by Friday afternoon they are ready to pack it in and go home.
• Promoting your event is something you definitely want to do, however not too far in advance, but don’t wait until the last minute either. Also, sending reminders about the event’s time and date to your prospective audience a few days before the event is scheduled is important too.
Any event you plan is a reflection of you and/or of your organisation or company’s image. No matter what kind of event it is, remember that the magic of a truly unforgettable and successful event is not only in the details, but also in the timing.