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So the good news is you have your field marketing plan including the geographies you will be hosting your event in. The next step is picking a date. Believe it or not, the event date can have as much impact on the success of the event as content and recruitment.

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At BDI we think about many different schedules including national holidays, religious holidays, school calendars, local and national industry conference/trade shows. Obviously, you need to consider your internal calendar as well, especially for the local sales teams and thought leaders who will be participating.

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Here’s how we do it:

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At BDI, we use Google Calendar which is in the cloud, easily shareable and has the basic national and religious holiday calendars built into it. We then create additional calendar categories such as internal, deliverables/shipping calendar, and industry events.

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Knowing when specific cities have spring breaks, winter breaks and when they start their summer holidays is challenging because they all differ from one another. This is very important to know because many of our event attendees will take family vacations based on their children’s calendar. You don’t want to schedule an event while the local school is on spring break. Not only do we research the specific city school calendar, we also look up the 5-10 most popular suburbs where many of our attendees live that have children, and document those calendars as well. So if we are having an event in Chicago, we also consider the school calendars of Kenilworth, Naperville, Oak Park, Clarendon Hills, Long Grove, Buffalo Grove, and Western Springs, all of which are popular suburbs where families live.

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Something else to consider is your target persona. For example, if you are targeting the finance function it is important to stay away from beginning and end of month events as they tend to have mandatory month end meetings.

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Checking in with your local sales team before you schedule a date is also very important. You want to make sure your event date doesn’t conflict with planned vacations or other work related activities. In addition to your sales team, you need to make sure your topic’s thought leader is also available.

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Understanding the major conferences and industry trade shows that your audience participates in is obviously critical. Of course, you most likely already know many of these as you may be participating in some of them. However, the lesson here is to also track the ones you don’t participate in because your audience may attend these events so you should be aware.

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In short, there are a lot of moving parts to consider when choosing the best date for your event. We hope that these tidbits of information will help guide you to determine when to host your event and all the factors to consider.

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