How to Choose a Date for your Party

Posted on December 26, 2013

Its Boxing day.
Today is the day i’ma choose the dates for the EEEmpire and JAM Carnival productions. This process is very heartening  for the most part as our brand improves and becomes more recognised a good date simply accentuates the following that we already have. No matter how large our events get, I still consider and try my best to avoid other promoter’s dates. While this is impossible to do with everyone, I avoid those whose target audience is similar to mine. Here is what I have learnt about my good and bad choice of dates over the years.

Before I begin however I must draw reference to the most important ratio for event\party planners:

Stefan and I often discuss and debate our Effort : Result Ratio before events.

Stefan and I often discuss/debate our Effort : Result Ratio before events.

Effort : Result

In short this means that ANYTHING is possible. Most of what people believe such as partying hours are 10pm till 4am or no one goes to a club during the day and so on are all based on norms created by another human.However while you can have your Jouvert party in the middle of the week, middle of the month and probably still break even the question is can you apply the same amount of effort for a better result? The first question you must ask is:

What is your ‘break even’ effort to result ratio each event?

For me the date depends on several factors:

The Target Audience:
  • Working People? Is it month end?
  • Is it the middle of exams?
  • Is it a festive season? Summer Time or Christmas Time?
  • What is more convenient for my audience?

At The EEEmpire we have a variety of events and each have developed its unique audience which slightly differs from each other. A perfect example of this is Vintage(Sunday before Christmas) vs. Reverie (Mid June). Both of them are similar and are preferably indoor events. However Reverie usually attracts a large foreign and southern student contingent as most would be in Trinidad enjoying the summer as their exams are over. Vintage is very near Christmas day.  Most people want to be with their family for Christmas so this is a coming back home party. Many students who study away will begin looking forward to as their first “Trini” party when they get back to spend time with their family and friends  at home.
Consider ‘spending in a recession’.  Even if it is a free event such as NAEBL(A free beach cooler party), attending a party or event is still an expensive proposition as fellas have to stock their coolers or buy drinks and ladies have to find a different outfit.

Girls Dance at JM 2012

For Jamborii Mas 2012 Access Hollywood University Carnival Presentation our choice of date was far enough from Carnival so it didn’t clash with Mas or Jouvert, but deep enough in the season to allow us to benefit from the Carnival “fever” that sends people in a feting frenzy when they are immersed in Soca Music for a few weeks. There was no other university oriented event on that weekend.

The Concept
  • Is it a Carnival Party? Is it a Cooler Party?
  • Would the props and other additions to my event be available at this time of year?
  • It it a Tropical Theme?
  • Would the Event be affected if Rain Falls?
  • Is this event similar to other events around this time?
    eg. Will people say i’ve already been to a cocktail party for the month, I don’t want to attend another one.

Another important factor in choosing dates is the concept of the event. Granted I may adhere to concepts more than others, I still believe that the concept of an event can add value to any event planner’s proposition. For example a beach party feels more natural on a Sunday. Or a dress up party feels more natural from 10pm till 5am on a Saturday night and so on.

Read Concept vs. Theme here

For our more recent Vintage at Zen, we started at 4pm to allow for that Sunset, Twighlight Hookah smoking experience. As the Hookahs were a main attraction if done outside in the darkness of Zen's downstairs smoking area most of the party would have not recognised that these hookah's existed.

For our more recent Vintage at Zen, we started at 4pm to allow for that Sunset, Twighlight Hookah smoking experience. As the Hookahs were a main attraction if done outside in the darkness of Zen’s downstairs smoking area most of the party would have not recognised that these hookah’s existed.

The Competition
  • What else is happening Nationally? eg. Cricket Games, Concerts, Religious Holidays, Elections
  • Will people be too broke from other events before yours?
  • Will people be able to attend your event and the other events on that weekend or will they be forced to choose?
Once we partnered with Mikey Singh of Dutty Santa and MASE and advertised both events as part of a two event series called Maynia. Sometimes competition can be embraced.

Once we partnered with Mikey Singh of Dutty Santa and MASE and advertised both events as part of a two event series called Maynia. Sometimes competition can be embraced.

As said in my Pre-Vintage post, I don’t believe in ‘competition’ per say. There exist enough people who occasionally party in Trinidad for everyone’s event to have 5000 people.  That said, even if you refuse to admit it there is going to be that one person who will say I can’t attend Ken’s event because I am already going to this other one. The question is, how many of these people are going to say this? and How can I adjust my date and or my marketing plan to minimise of eliminate this. I believe one reason behind the success of our NAEBL series is that its usually on a Sunday after lunch when there is nothing else for our audience to do.

The Actual Supporters
  • Is this day convenient for me, personally?
  • What about my closest friends who I may have to ask for help?
  • Will my Dj, photographers and videographers be available?

Although listed last this may be the most important deciding factor. This is different from the target audience as while who you target is who you aspire to get once your marketing goes well, your actual supporters support more “because it is you” “because they know you” or “because they have attended one of your events before”. Take for example in the case of a Sunday being a better day for an event, but your committee,the people who have to sell your tickets may prefer the Saturday. In this case you may have a harder working team and better event by choosing the Saturday.

krista elena naebl DSC_0627
It is always better to consider first your  ‘core audience’, those people who will attend your event even if it was held on a the 13th day of the month of a Wednesday.  I’ve found it better to plan your date at whichever time or date is the most convenient to the most die hard supporters and committee members.


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