There are seven days in a week. It’s time for event planners to use all of them. Our latest blog explores how Thursday is the new Friday and why the end of the week has become too clogged for events.
March is always a busy time for event planners, as are the rest of the spring months. Winter’s chill has finally relented to warm afternoons and milder temperatures. But one day in particular stands out on the EventCheck Knox calendar – Thursday, March 12.
Seven events were scheduled that day covering a span of 12 hours with two luncheons, a reception, three dinners and a major special event fundraiser. Even the most dedicated supporter of nonprofits would have been too taxed to handle that day.
“The reason is we run out of space on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and we tend to go to Thursday,” said Mickey Mallonee, director of events for Historic Westwood.
“If you can get people to come out earlier in the week, that would be good for everyone,” she said.
That is precisely the point of Cynthia Moxley, CEO of Moxley Carmichael. Moxley and her husband, Alan Carmichael, the president and COO of the firm, attend scores of events every year in support of multiple organizations. Moxley Carmichael also handles planning for dozens of events. If events were staggered throughout the week, attendance is likely to increase and that means a better bottom line for a nonprofit’s fundraiser.
“Alan and I sometimes take a divide-and-conquer approach so that we can get to as many events as possible,” Moxley said. “But not everyone can do that. Planners and nonprofits are missing out on attendees by loading up on the last four days of the week.”
Mallonee, who helps books events at Historic Westwood – and relies on EventCheck Knox to avoid potential conflicts – said she is very willing to try to make greater use of Monday and Tuesday. While some clients often have predetermined dates, others would be amenable to suggestions.
“I will definitely have it in the back of my mind,” Mallonee said. “We can use that approach to appeal to those holding fundraisers. We will sell it as an opportunity. I think it’s well worth a try.”
A quick glance of the months on EventCheck Knox indicate that Monday and Tuesday have plenty of availability.
Moxley pointed out that people are more apt to attend, for example, a Monday event and then another event or two later in the week, rather than three or four consecutive days, which creates event fatigue.
“More attendees mean more ticket sales, increased donations and more visibility since people are likely to post what they are doing on social media,” Moxley said.
Black-tie and elegant galas typically always will land on the weekend, because of the dress required – people don’t dash to those after work; they go home to change clothes – and the length of time the events tend to last.
Several events on the EventCheck Knox calendar, including the Knoxville Museum of Art’s “Celebrating Silver, Going for Gold” gala and the Knoxville Opera’s Annual Ball, have an ending time close to midnight. Both occur on a Saturday.
However, other types of events could fit perfectly earlier in the week, especially corporate gatherings and some types of fundraisers. Luncheons are landing mostly on Thursday and would be ideal events to be held earlier in the week.
Luncheon guests also would be more likely to attend an evening event later in the week, rather than a luncheon and dinner scheduled for the same day. Once again, that raises the chances for increased ticket sales and donations.
Mallonee recommended a start time of 5:30 p.m. for an evening event on Monday or Tuesday, so that people could come straight from work.
“Make it a stopping point on the way home,” Mallonee said.
“If you go home during the week, you are not likely to go back out. You will do so on the weekends.”
Mallonee is on board with using every day of the week, especially if it means better attendance and busy venues.
“We would love to see events move to Monday or Tuesday,” Mallonee said. “It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Maria Cornelius, a writer/editor for Moxley Carmichael, populates the EventCheck Knox calendar. Now that it’s spring, look for her at a baseball game with a glove on one hand and a Miller Lite in the other.