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Dealing with a midweek holiday

Oh, the headaches of the Gregorian 365-day calendar. It makes sense to us because we’ve grown up with it, but it can be a pain for party planners when certain holidays fall on inopportune days of the week. On the imminent horizon is Halloween, which this year falls on a Thursday. Then there are other examples like New Year’s Eve this year (Tuesday, December 31). I’m sure you can cite several more.

Because the traditional work cycle is oriented around Monday to Friday with Saturday and Sunday as time for relaxation, hosting events midweek can be particularly arduous for attendance figures. For Halloween this year, moving the party to Friday, November 1, would make it lose some of its luster, so let’s not consider that.

Plus, some would argue that because weekends are designated for recreation and family, midweek events actually garner a better turnout. Regardless, there still are a few special considerations to keep in mind.

1. Empathize.

You have to understand that midweek events come with baggage. Namely, people have jobs! So, for them to make it out for your event, they must first manage a stressful day at work, commute back home, shower and change. Sure, they can head straight from the office, but without any time to recharge the batteries, they will be tired. It’s your duty to understand that life is hectic and people are going out of their way to attend your midweek event. So, make it worth their while!

2. Give notice.

The more time you give people, the more time they’ll have to evaluate their own schedules and plan around your event. Also, be sure to send out reminders when you get closer to the date. Life is fast, and people can get forgetful. By reminding them, they’ll mentally prepare themselves and organize their day around your event.

3. Double down on F&B.

Aside from sleep, one of the best ways to alleviate fatigue is with hearty food. Your guests will want to know what sorts of food will be served. Is it a sit-down, three-course meal sort of event, or is it more of the fancy-appetizers-and-cocktail sort?

4. Entertain!

Add some auxiliary impetuses for people to come out — musicians, entertainers, artists, a short film screening, celebrity appearances or guest speakers. On weeknights, it’s all too easy for people to head straight home for a warm meal and a few hours of television before falling to sleep. You have to offer enough to compel them to jump off the sofa and come out for a fun midweek night out.

5. Start early.

Or, at the very least, start earlier than you would for an event happening on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. The straightforward reason: sleep. If your event starts too late, it will intimidate a lot of people who might have attended otherwise. True, people have to juggle commuting back from work and everything else, so don’t start too early. It really is a balancing act, but I have faith you’ll get it right.

(Article published by Larry Mogelonsky in HOTELSmag on October 30, 2013)

Larry MogelonskyDealing with a midweek holiday