6 Summer Planning Pitfalls to Avoid


Summertime, and the living is – busy! Once summer kicks in, finding the perfect event date gets complicated because your guests are likely to be heavily booked with many more social events, family obligations and vacation time than usual, all sandwiched in between three of the biggest holidays of the year.

To help you get the best date – and turnout – possible, here’s our list of days to plan around, plus all the sweet spots to look for from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2016.

1.) Get ready for May’s Memorial Day–weekend exodus
The big summer-starting holiday day, Memorial Day, is Monday, May 30. Everyone will be chillin’ at the beach or lake, leaving most cities virtual ghost towns.

What that means for planners: Avoid booking dates from Wednesday, May 25 – Monday, May 30, as many people will head out of town early to make the most of those precious long weekend days.

2.) Beware the short summer workweek.
More businesses than ever are offering the beloved ‘Summer Fridays’ perk, when offices either run on a skeleton staff or close completely on Friday afternoons, and frankly, not a lot of business gets done. Because of the slowed pace, many people go a step further and take Fridays off altogether, heading out of town on Thursday evenings.

What that means for planners: To maximize your turn-out, skip Thursday and Friday bookings and push event dates to Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from June 1 through Labor Day.

3.) June is one of the most overstuffed months this side of Christmas.
June is celebration prime time and the competition for venues is fierce. Here in the U.S., it’s high wedding season, high school and college graduation time, and Father’s Day. It’s also Gay Pride Month, which means celebrations around the globe all month long.

What that means for planners: Know who your clients are – will they be too busy to attend your event? And don’t forget that event venues and hotel rooms will be in high demand.

4.) 4th of July Weekend – is a lot longer than a weekend.
This year the July 4th falls on a Monday, and as ever, many Americans will be taking a good chunk of their summer vacations during the first 10 days of the month. Got Canadians? Then keep in mind that they’ll also be skipping town early to celebrate Canada Day on Friday, July 1.

What that means for planners:  For events in the US and Canada, play it safe, take dates from Wednesday, June 29 – Sunday, July 10 off the table, and sit tight till everyone is back in town on the 11th.

5.) August sizzles, but not with events.
You’ll only have a few days to work with in early August, so if you’re picking dates, you’ll need to lock ‘em in before everyone heads out of town one last time. Though you might have your pick of venues later in the month, you may not have enough guests to fill ‘em – so don’t take this end-of-summer dead zone lightly.

What that means for planners: Book dates early in the month, with Monday, August 1 – Thursday, August 11 being the sweet spot. Any later in the month is risky business.

6.) September means back-to-school and back-to-work post Labor Day.
As August slides into September, the two final roadblocks in the summer schedule are back-to-school season and Labor Day. Get past these and it’s smooth date-picking, from here to Thanksgiving.

What that means for planners: People with kids are ramping up back-to-school prep, and those without are staying at the beach till the last minute, so book those early fall events for post-Labor Day, after everyone’s back in town.  A day or so after Labor Day, which is on Monday, September 5 is a good place to start.

Booking dates beyond the U.S.? Then check out Sorry We’re Closed: Major Holidays Around the World

Photo credits: Shutterstock.com

Kate Doyle Hooper

Kate Doyle Hooper

Since establishing her own company over a decade ago, Kate has produced just about every kind of event imaginable, from executive meetings and conferences to live music performances, mobile tours, fashion shows, celebrity gifting suites, and retail events for companies such as American Media, Bloomingdale’s, Conde Nast, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s BAZAAR, Hearst, Macy’s, Perry Ellis, Time Inc., Wilhelmina Models and Rodale, to name a few. Kate's editorial and advertising work has been published in Budget Living, ELLE, Fit, Civilization, Conde Nast Traveler, Esquire, Essence, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, Men's Fitness, Men's Health and Shape, as well as on blog.cvent.com and weekendwalk.com.

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