Time and Date Selection | CEME

Considerations for Event Time and Date Selection
In the process of determining when your event will take place, you need to look at quite
a number of factors you have no control over. These factors which include weather, holidays,
and competing events, can obliterate you attendance numbers if you don’t identify them and work
around them. Conversely, those very same conditions might not be the reason you don’t pick certain
dates, but the reason you do. For example, while you don’t want freezing temperatures
at a beach bash, you definitely do want them for a downhill skiing competition. You certainly
don’t want to hold a business conference during a family holiday vacation, but you
may want to have a holiday-related festival or auction. Events that directly compete with
yours will water down your event’s attendance, but complimentary events might augment it;
if you are planning a sports medicine conference and someone else is having a sporting goods
trade show in the same city, you will likely increase your attendance and give value-added
to participants by scheduling them back-to-back. You also need to recognize that there are
many scheduling considerations that come into play each day of your event. These are determined
by attendee demographic, amount of daylight or dark, service availability and much more.
As with event dates, event scheduling has a big impact on the overall success of each
of your events. The following conditions are most certainly
not the only ones you need to consider, but they should give you a comprehensive overview
of what to look for or look out for every time you begin the process of selecting the
perfect date for your event. International Holiday “Days” that May
Coincide with Your Event Plans: There are between 189 and 195 countries in the world,
and all have their own holidays. Here are just some of the globally recognized designated
“day” dates. Most of these are not likely to dilute attendance to your events, but you
may want to incorporate them into events where applicable. This practice helps grow awareness
of their causes and opens up sponsorship, press and other opportunities to
you events.
* January, World Literary Day * March, International Women of Color Day
and International Women’s Day, World Book Day, International Day for the Elimination
of Racial Discrimination, World Day for Water * April, World Health Day, Earth Day, World
Press Freedom Day * May, World Red Cross Day, International
Day of Families, International Day for Biological Diversity, World No-Tobacco Day
* June, World Ocean Day, World Blood Donor Day, World Refugee Day, International Day
Against Drug Abuse & Trafficking * July, World Population Day
* August, International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, International Biodiesel
Day, International Youth Day * September, International Literacy Day, International
Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, Talk Like a Pirate Day, Peace One Day
* October, International Day for the Elderly, International Music Day, World Farm Animals
Day, World Animal Day, World Teacher’s Day, World Mental Health Day, World Food Day, International
Day for the Eradication of Poverty, United Nations Day
* November, International Day for Tolerance, International Day for the Elimination of Violence
Against Women * December, World AIDS Day, International
Day for the Abolition of Slavery, International Volunteers, Human Rights Day
* Major National and Global Holidays: The following list includes holidays that have
critical masses of celebrants worldwide or in certain nations.
* U.S. Thanksgiving Week (fourth Thursday in November)
* Canada Thanksgiving (second Monday in October) * U.S. Memorial Day weekend (May)
* U.S. Labor Day weekend (September) International Religious Holidays: There are
approximately 4,000 practiced religions in the world today. It’s your responsibility
as an event planner to know what the major religious observances are in each of your
event’s host countries’. In many cases, religious observances last many days or even
weeks. Here’s a list of the top 22 global religions based on number of adherents:
1.Christianity: 2.1 billion 2.Islam: 1.5 billion
3.Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist: 1.1 billion
4.Hinduism: 900 million 5.Chinese traditional religion: 394 million
6.Buddhism: 376 million 7.primal-indigenous: 300 million
8.African Traditional & Diasporic: 100 million 9.Sikhism: 23 million
10.Juche: 19 million 11.Spiritism: 15 million
12.Judaism: 14 million 13.Baha’i: 7 million
14.Jainism: 4.2 million 15.Shinto: 4 million
16.Cao Dai: 4 million 17.Zoroastrianism: 2.6 million
18.Tenrikyo: 2 million 19.Neo-Paganism: 1 million
20.Unitarian-Universalism: 800 thousand 21.Rastafarianism: 600 thousand
22.Scientology: 500 thousand Major Sporting Events: You may think of the
only sporting events that could conflict with yours as those on the scale of the Super Bowl,
Stanley Cup, World Series or Olympics. Think again. Depending on where you are in the world
at any given time, you may find that entire cities virtually shut down because there team
is playing at home or somewhere else. The crowd adrenalin of rabid sports fans is also
contagious; in the right place, at the right time, your imported attendees might even decide
to jump ship in favor of a live experience at the big game. Here are nine sports and
the number of people who watch them religiously. These are guaranteed to shut you down if you
try to compete with their events in the countries where they are popular; and each country has
a few more favorites you need to know about: * Baseball 80 mil
* Basketball 22 mil * American Football 17 mil
* Association Football 13 mil * Australian Football 8 mil
* Cricket 3.5 mil * League Rugby 3.5 mil
* Canadian Football 2 mil * Union Rugby 2 mil
Miscellaneous Dates: When planning events, also watch for non-holiday dates that aren’t
related to anything but their individual significance. For example, in the United States, there are
compelling reasons not to schedule events on:
* U.S week before Tax Day April 15 * Weeks or weekends with a Friday the 13th
in them * U.S. September 11 (Twin Towers destruction)
* Daylights savings days because people forget to change their clocks
Weather: Whether can affect everything from travel to a destination to how you equip your
venue in order to make it comfortable and safe regardless of heat, cold, wind and precipitation.
Seasons, ocean currents, high-altitude air currents, global warming and numerous other
condition changes influence weather, so you will always want to know a lot about the climate
of potential destinations and what patterns are expected during the season you are considering.
As even professional meteorologists have a hard time predicting weather with perfect
accuracy, we won’t even try. We also don’t maintain that the following countries are
perfect or imperfect for events, you just need to know if their weather is an asset
or detriment to your event vision and attendance. * Coldest countries: Antarctica, Norway, northern
Canada, Greenland and northern Russia weigh in as having the longest, coldest number of
days a year. * The hottest countries in the world—with
temperatures over 80 degrees common in their winter months are– include Libya, Tunisia,
Mali, Ethiopia, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, India, Ethiopia, Yemen, Kuwait, UAE, Sudan and Death
Valley, California, USA. * The wettest countries include Guinea, Solomon
Islands, Sierra Leone, Gabon, Burma, Malaysia, Guyana, Seychelles, India, Singapore, Hawaii,
Cameroon, Columbia and Myanmar. * For ongoing cloud cover, the winners are
Scotland, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, Iceland, Greenland and Norway.
* The sunniest countries in the world are Chile, Egypt, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Chad
and Oman. * And finally, although a data criterion is
subjective, the best overall year-round climates in the world are widely considered to be:
Malta, Gran Canaries, Costa Rica and various locations in Mexico.
You also need to consider what times of day certain activities or events should or should
not be held. For example, many religions have times designated for worship and family; in
some religions, it is forbidden to have ceremonies or celebrations at certain times. The young
and elderly are disinclined to stay up as late as 20-somethings. If your event includes
physical activity, don’t schedule those sessions to close to the completion of a meal,
and if there are outdoor elements to it, make sure folks are back inside before dark or
lighting is provided. If your event is a web conference, when will it be scheduled to be
the most convenient for attendees in different time zones.
One of the best ways to pick dates and times of day for sessions and activities is to back
out of the “what could go wrong” scenario. Let’s say you want to schedule a three-day
science symposium in Seattle in November. What could go wrong: it could snow a lot (but
probably won’t), it could be too close to the Thanksgiving holiday, there might be sporting,
social, political events are happening that month. Check local, state, national and global
calendars in every category you can imagine. A bit of research ahead of time will save
you from the disaster of low attendance on opening day.

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