Recognizing Trends in Event Planning

Many industries experience seasonal trends in business.  In retail sales, the Back-to-School season from August to September is second only to the Holiday Season between late November and the end of December.  Black Friday – the Friday after Thanksgiving in the U.S. – is the first unofficial shopping day of the Holiday season and is so-named because the surge in retail traffic is said to result in stores turning their first profit for the year, moving their accounting figures out of the red and into the black.

Event planning has similar seasonal trends.  Eventective has identified three times of the year when event planning displays distinct upward trends.  These trends occur in the spring (April-May), early fall (September-October) and mid-winter (January-February).   The figure below shows these trends on a two-year timeline.

Spring Has Sprung

As late winter gives way to spring, event planning begins to heat up a bit too.  We regularly see a modest increase in planning traffic beginning in April – ❶.  This bump can be attributed in part to impending high school and college graduations.  Friends and family are looking to book graduation parties large and small, which will correspond with commencement dates ranging from late April through June.

Additionally, this is the time that summer family reunions are being planned.  Outdoor venues and resorts can typically fill any open summer dates during this period.

Back to Work

While summer is the busy season for many event professionals, the inbound business takes a slight dip as folks are off having fun at events or on vacation.  But when the summer is over, event planning sees its next modest rise in September and October – ❷.

At Eventective, we have dubbed this the Holiday Planning Season.  Children are back to school, parents are back to work and many companies begin to look ahead to year-end celebrations.  Holiday party planning requests flood in over these two months, bringing joy to event professionals seeking to fill their calendars for what remains of the year.

No Rest for the Weary

When the Holiday Season gets into full-swing in November and December, planning volume drops off and event professionals focus on creating a memorable holiday event.  But, almost before the cleanup from the last holiday party is completed, the first event requests of the New Year begin to pour in – ❸.

January is the busiest season for event planning.  The New Year brings new company budgets, new resolutions for connecting with family and friends, and newly engaged couples planning their big day –so many reasons to plan an event in the coming year.

In January:

  • Party requests jump by 131%
  • Wedding requests are up 128%
  • Business requests increase 79%

 

Convergence

This boost in event planning in January could not come at a better time for event professionals.  As seen in the figure below, January is the slowest time of the year for events and represents an opportunity for a hungry businessperson to dedicate some of their precious time to building their business for the coming year.

 

The blue line in the figure represents the seasonality of the event planning cycle.  The green line represents the seasonality of the actual event dates.  What we can see from the above figure is that while winter is a slower time for events, it is prime time for planners looking to book their event in the coming months.

Over the Horizon

Why is there such a discrepancy between the event planning cycle and the event cycle?  First and foremost, the more moderate temperatures and predictable weather patterns of summer make it the best time for an event.  And the points we’ve raised earlier in this article regarding the effects of travel and work schedules support the winter event lull.

Furthermore, we have found that the planning horizon (time between the event request and the event date) for different event types determines when the requests are submitted.

Average Planning Horizon:

  • Weddings: 8-9 months
  • Parties: 3-4 months
  • Meetings: 2-3 months

These figures are averages taken from requests received by Eventective over a three year period. But the point to take away is that planners who want to have their event in the peak Spring/Summer period will be submitting their requests in the winter.

Seasonal Trends in Event Planning

Prep for Success

So just as retail stores are preparing for the Holiday gift buying season in advance of Black Friday, it is important for event professionals to prepare their event business for January and beyond.  Position your business for success by updating your online presence – on Eventective, Facebook and other sites – with compelling descriptions, fresh photos, and your latest prices.  Put your best foot forward and greet the planners as they come knocking.

Learn more about what Eventective has to offer by downloading our Best Value in Event Marketing PDF today.

 

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