In Any Event 

Thursday is the new Friday

It's time to pin events on all days of the week.
It’s time to pin events on all days of the week.

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.

And it wasn’t an anomaly. The months of April and May are filling up, and Thursday is getting crowded again, along with the usual events of Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“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 Carmichael and Natalie Lester at the opening of Sweet P's Downtown Dive. (Photo courtesy of The Blue Streak)
Moxley Carmichael’s Alan Carmichael and Natalie Lester at the Wednesday evening opening of Sweet P’s Downtown Dive.(Photo courtesy of The Blue Streak)

“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.

Historic Westwood can provide a beautiful setup for all types of events. (Photo by Mickey Mallonee)
Historic Westwood can provide a beautiful setup for all types of events. (Photo by Mickey Mallonee)

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.

Mickey Mallonee and attorney Caesar Stair at the always-packed Scruffy City Soiree.
Mickey Mallonee and attorney Caesar Stair at the always-packed Scruffy City Soiree. (Photo courtesy of The Blue Streak)

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.


6 responses to “Thursday is the new Friday

  1. So true! Thursday IS the new Friday.

    I’ve started scheduling some things on Mondays & Tuesdays. Is Monday the new Friday? Probably not. More likely Monday is the old Thursday!

    As long as we’re talking about days of the week–Another issue:

    Event planners, how do you feel about Wednesdays? Conventional wisdom used to suggest we stay away from Wednesdays because that’s “church night.” However, several non-profits with which I’ve been associated in the last few years have tested the Wednesday waters & found no negative impact.* And then there’s the fact that we have populations–smaller but important–who observe on days other than the Protestant Wednesday & Sunday.

    I’d sort of forgotten about it until there was a discussion recently about an event possibly being on a Wednesday evening & someone objected because it was “church night.”

    How do the rest of you feel about this? How are you handling it?

    * Some of these organizations have also scheduled events on football game days, which is an entirely different form of blasphemy.

  2. Gay: We used to shy away from Wednesdays for that reason, but lately, when we’ve had to schedule events on Wednesday for various reasons, we’ve found little, if any, negative impact on attendance. One of our colleagues is very active in his Protestant church and I asked him about this yesterday. He explained that Wednesday church attendance is optional at most churches and, in fact, just 10 to 12 percent of the congregation generally attends on that night. So I guess that explains it.

  3. Agree re: football, Gay!

    I put all of the 2015 Vol football games on there months ago – and the O&W game – so planners will know.

    Note to planners: The season “home” opener is Sept. 5 in Nashville. A lot of Knoxvillians won’t even be in town. Plan accordingly! Oct. 17 is a bye weekend.

  4. Mickey is right. Where else do you go when Friday and Saturday are booked? Thursday makes sense. That said, Oct. 29 (a Thursday) is mine. ETCDC awards gala at KMA!!!

  5. You deserve that date, Steve! ETCDC submitted the event last November, nearly a full year in advance. Thank you!

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