Last week we talked about the importance of “defining an event” at the very start of your planning process. We talked about the important questions to ask, and the need to identify your target market. Lastly we prepared the mission statement for the Parent Expo which is summarized as follows:
“Let’s Get Together! Parent Expo 2017 will provide a platform for Connecting Parents, Parent Councils, Schools and Communities with Local Learning Resources and Networking Opportunities”
Now it is important to keep this in mind, as we proceed to the next step, because it will shape the decisions we make, especially – when should we hold the Expo?
Sometimes when choosing a day/date for your event, your options may be limited and the answer may be fairly obvious. For example, your company’s holiday party is most likely going to happen over the last 4-5 weeks leading up to Christmas, and you need to have it on a Saturday or on a non working day. You already know that your manager isn’t available on one of those weekends. thus This brings your options down to 3 dates. That was easy! But it may not always be the case.
In some cases, you may have the calendar wide open, so here are a few parameters you would use to select the perfect date.
- Day of the week
- Time of the year (tax season, back to school, Valentine’s day)
- Major holidays (is it a long weekend? or a day or religious or cultural significance?)
- Lead time (do you have enough time to plan?)
- Competition (what other events are happening that week)
- Availability (is everyone who is needed at the event available to attend?)
In our Jr. Events Pro Workshop*, students work in small groups to identify what may compete with a weekday game night. We’ve heard some really good answers like “homework” , “soccer practice” and “extra curricular activities”, and some unconventional ones like “Nana will be home and there’s no way I can use the TV for my PS3!”
When picking the date for the Parent Expo, we wanted at least 7 months of planning time, and that took us into the summer. School is out for the summer and a lot of parents (and council members) may be travelling at that time. So we could have moved it to the fall, however back to school is a busy time, so we looked at Spring! We also took into consideration that it may be worthwhile for schools and parent councils to connect with resources in the spring so that they have enough time to make decisions, and adjust budgets for activities that interest them in the following year. We knew we didn’t want to be on a school/work day, and for most families, sundays is “family time” so we didn’t want to interfere with pancake breakfasts and family movies.
With all of the above in mind, we shortlisted 4 Saturdays between April and May and went shopping for the perfect venue! We’ll tell you all about that in our next article, which will be in the new year! Until then, Happy Holidays and Happy Planning!
* The Jr. Event Pro Workshop teaches students grade 5-8 how to plan their own event. Students work in groups and create an event plan for of their own. In a fun and interactive environment students learn essential skills like goal setting, scheduling and time management, budgeting, critical thinking and creativity. To find our more or to book a Jr. Events Pro Workshop for your school contact us today!