Blanking on how to make your event calendar better than ever? Here are some tips and tricks on things like how to make any event seasonally appropriate, ways to fill in calendar gaps, and the absolute best tools for designing an incredible event calendar.
Your Corporate Event Template: What Events To Throw & When
Here’s how to bring people together all year round by understanding how to make any event type work for the season.
Seasonal Corporate Events
There are some event themes and styles that can only be pulled off during the right time of the year. As quarters ramp up or down, throwing an event to celebrate your employees, help them relax, or get them all on the same page again can be really helpful for long-term success. Here are some inspiring ideas for each major season.
1. Winter Events:
For most of the U.S., cold weather will dominate your choice of event venues and activities. Unless you’re willing to rent plenty of outdoor heaters, you’ll probably need to keep things indoors for the most part. Plus you’ll have to consider travel restraints – 60,000 flights are cancelled each year in the U.S. thanks to freezing temperatures and blizzards. So winter months might be the ideal time to focus on local audiences and employee centric events.
Holiday celebrations, new year goal setting, and charitable events are all perfect for wintertime. If you have a gala or fundraising dinner you’ve been meaning to throw, now’s the time to do it. Also add at least one employee appreciation (like an office party, catered lunch, or winter related outing) to your calendar during this season.
Try one or more of the following:
- Host a holiday lights viewing party at your local botanical gardens or park.
- Organize a volunteer day (things like helping shovel snow for seniors or serving food at homeless shelters are quite popular activities).
- Invite a goal setting and productivity expert to do a seminar with your team for the new year.
- Schedule kick-off meetings at the beginning of Quarter 1 to motivate and inspire every department.
- Here are some inspiring winter event themes to explore.
A note on holidays – there are some really fun and quirky holidays all year round that you can turn into events as well. Check out this list of nontraditional holiday office events for even more ideas.
2. Spring Events:
Rain showers, more daylight, and budding flowers make this season really special and can inspire plenty of entertaining events for your calendar. By this time of year professionals of all industries are remotivated by warmer weather to further pursue the goals they set out at the beginning of the year. Which makes events that educate, train, and allow for lots of creativity especially effective this time of year.
Sprinkle some of these ideas into your event calendar:
- A baseball bash where you gather teams to play or just watch America’s favorite pastime together. Make sure to serve plenty of hotdogs, popcorn, and beer.
- Get your team together to help plant trees in your community.
- Schedule launch events for new product, product features or designs.
- Host a cocktail soiree for your VIP clients and account executives to mix and mingle.
- Here are some great spring event themes for parties and events.
3. Summer Events:
Summer is all about high energy gatherings, getting outdoors, and meeting new people. Which makes networking events and social hours the perfect calendar fillers during these hot months. And make sure to grab that list of outdoor event venues you’ve been dying to try out because now’s the time to use them.
Add some sunshine to your calendar with these suggestions:
- Barbeques and cookouts to celebrate team wins are always a great idea this time of year.
- Scoop up some new talent with recruitment events and ice cream socials aimed at attracting newly graduates.
- Retreats can serve as productive mini vacations for your team, so consider adding a weekend getaway that mixes work and play.
- Here are some summer event themes to try for your next party.
4. Fall Events:
The days are getting shorter again and everyone is making that last push to meet year end quotas and objectives before the holiday season takes over. So if summer wasn’t your first choice to career building and educational events, make sure to schedule them now. Focus again on action oriented activities and takeaways for these events but don’t be afraid to sprinkle in some fun plans too.
Another great thing about the fall portion of your event calendar is that you can host big, high impact events like conferences or trade shows since families are back from summer vacation and traveling for work becomes much more doable again.
Your fall events should probably include one of these:
- Something Halloween and/or Thanksgiving related since these nondenominational holidays are more accessible to large audiences and provide plenty of fun opportunities.
- Gratitude meetings for corporate employees who deserve a little extra recognition are great for the season.
- Take advantage of football being in full swing with Super Bowl or sports-themed parties.
- Take a look at these great fall themes for events.
How to Tailor Your Event to Any Time Time of Year to Fill Your Calendar
When you host an event matters. It doesn’t make sense to host a kickoff meeting right before the holidays when many employees will be taking time off for family activities, vacations, and even some sick days. Here’s how to tailor your event to the time of year:
- Incorporate seasonal colors (like neons for summer and darker hues for winter) into all your event decor elements.
- Choose an appropriate seasonally inspired theme (like in the ideas suggested above).
- Add seasonal produce to your food and beverage menus, like berries during the summer or pumpkins in autumn.
- Keep your guests’ comfort in mind when choosing a venue. For example, during the winter you’ll need an event space that has plenty of storage for coats otherwise guests will have to pile them in corners or carry them around all night.
Which Day of the Week is Best for Your Event?
It’s not surprising that Monday events often have the lowest attendance rates. Hosting an event at the very beginning of the week is almost never a good idea because most people are just starting work again after the weekend and would prefer to go home after. But don’t worry – you can still host events on weeknights if you prefer. Tuesdays are considered best for corporate or educational gatherings while Thursdays are said to be the new Saturdays for event hosting. Low energy events focused on team building, networking, or just plain fun are – you can probably guess – best for Friday nights and weekends.
8 Critical Factors to Consider When Designing Your Event Calendar Template
These key points will set you up for success all year round.
- Wiggle room for event timeline mishaps. Consider using a Gantt chart to better visualize your event calendar as a whole.
- Marketing and sales collaboration for the entirety of each event’s lifecycle. Aligning your whole team is easy when everyone’s on the same page – just make sure to build regular check in meeting or accountability modules to keep everyone on time and on task.
- Accurately assign time for pre- and post-event activities. Wondering how far out you should schedule dedicated event planning time before or after it actually happens? Experts say the magic number for corporate events is usually 6 months.
- Map out event promotions and related communications. You have to have time for content strategy, creation, and distribution. Plan to get started on this about 90-180 days out from each individual event.
- Add in ticket and registration goals. This will help you keep track of numbers as you go and forecast more accurate event ROI numbers.
- Include time to catch up if goals aren’t met. But don’t panic – there are plenty of last minute tactics to increase attendance.
- Consider dates for tiered ticket pricing releases. This is especially important if you are planning so many events that their timelines overlap.
- Make sure each event listed has a name, a summary written in 125 words or less, and searchable tags. Collaborators should always be able to quickly and easily find key event details.
Use A Helpful Event Calendar Creation Tool
Cvent’s Event Calendar Software a terrific all-in-one solution for corporate event marketers who must work with a variety of departments, expectations, and objectives to create an event calendar everyone will love. Sure you can make an event calendar through Google, but software like Cvent’s (or other leading event planning brands’) offers the following benefits:
- Flexible search options for event attendees who may want to see groups event over a certain time period.
- Link sharing for internal events for when registration isn’t necessary.
- Mass emailing potential attendees about all events at the same time rather than each event individually.
- One click calendar syncing.
- Customizable branding that make your event calendars look great and work as an effective marketing tool.
Now You’re Ready to Build an Exciting Event Calendar!
When it comes to designing, filling up, and managing your event calendar, knowing tips like the ones shared above is key to success. You might also be interested in learning more about planning a long-term event timeline, making an effective event marketing calendar, or mobile event planning.
Quick tips about how to design an event calendar:
– Create a large Gantt chart to plot all your event timelines against one another on the calendar to ensure manageable distribution
– Make sure you account for pre- and post- event responsibilities
– Set aside time for ticket promotions, tiered pricing, and key decision points