Strategic Planning: What Is The BEST Date For Your Event?
Hello my Fabulous Fundraisers!
I am sharing the five questions you MUST answer before you choose a date for your next event.
#1. When will your attendees be available?
Look closely at your demographic of attendees.
If you have a lot of families, you may need to avoid school breaks and summer... If you have a lot of people who don't really know each other very well, perhaps a weekend event is best.
For business events, a mid-week luncheon might be perfect to get down to business, raise money, and then send everyone back to work.
#2. How does your fundraising auction align with your fiscal year?
Sometimes it comes down to, when do you NEED the money in the budget?
If you generally have a great need at the beginning of the year, there’s no reason to pretend you don’t!
Plan accordingly for a date that gets you the money you need, when you need it the most.
#3. How will any surrounding holidays help or hinder you?
Okay, I'll just tell you now, there is a holiday or good excuse for every month of the year.
So find a time that won't pull your guests away, or better yet, find a way to fold the celebration into your event.
For example, a women's shelter may avoid May as there is a potential conflict with Mothers Day or they can embrace Mothers Day and host a great event celebrating the wonderful mothers they know.
#4 Do your guests live and breathe (insert your favorite sports team here)?
If your attendees have to choose between the game and your fundraising auction, which are they most likely to choose?
#5 Are your benefit auctioneer and venue available for the same date?
It’s crucial to lock in the date for your favorite auctioneer and favorite venue simultaneously.
Many professional benefit auctioneers book a year in advance, at a minimum. Be sure to check with them as early as possible for the most flexibility in choosing dates.
And now for the exception: Destination Events.
I once had a client who was featured in Home and Garden magazine, and their summer event drew a sizable number of guests simply because they were dying to see that yard!
Or if you live in a destination city, folks might use your event as a great excuse to visit. By offering the event that is irresistible, you can engage bidders from all over the country. Think Napa Wine tasting at your summer Wine and Dine for Kids, or Pups, or Mother Earth. You get the idea!
By giving the date some serious thought, you can choose a date that will help you raise the most money possible, exactly when you need it.