Evening activities and events may work out great for your event planning team…but they don’t always work out well for attendees or employees. Here are several things to consider when planning evening events.
Be Aware of Scheduling Conflicts vs. Demographics
The evening can be a difficult time to hold important events, especially considering your attendee demographics. We’re not just talking about the difficulties of holding a weekend travel event, either. Even single-night, local events can face problems: How many attendees attend church events? How many have kids and associated activities to take care of? How many prefer to spend their Fridays with friends? Demographics dictate a lot when it comes to plans, so before you start planning an evening event, take a look at the age and habits of your target attendees, and plan around them. People are busy in the evenings, but in different ways. Know the details!
Understand the Needs of an Evening Event
If you are holding a business event that lasts through the evening, then consider what this means for your attendees. A substantial meal is probably required, for example. Arrangements for late-evening transportation should be considered as well. You should also take a look at venue requirements and limits for evening events, to make sure you are following all the rules.
Schedule Plenty of Free Time in the Evening
If you are planning an out-of-town or multi-day event, it’s a really good idea to block out several hours in the evening for attendees to do as they wish. Not only do they need a break, but attendees require this time for networking, creating informal activities of their own, and generally getting their own goals met. This type of organic “work” is vital for these big events, and evenings are a great time for them, so always remember to make space for them.
Suggest Evening Activities (Non-Business)
Are you worried about losing attention or attendance by letting people off the leash? Include in your event planning several suggestions for evening activities that people can do during their free periods. Suggest attractions, restaurants, and local events that are the right distance away, occupy the right amount of time, and won’t get anyone into trouble. This is an excellent way to exert a more casual type of control over evening activities without requiring anything. Remember, attendees will gravitate toward the easiest activities, so suggestions tend to work well.
Create a More Casual Event
Do you want to hold an evening event, but are afraid about locking attendees in too strictly? Plan a more casual schedule instead. These are often called “networking events” and are, by common agreement, more casual affairs designed to help employees talk, pitch projects, seek advancement, and so on. It doesn’t have to be very structured – a dinner often works well, perhaps in combination with a simple announcement/report – but you’ll be surprised how much gets done.
For more information on how to organize the right kind of evening activities, contact Fourth Wall Events and let us know how we can help!