Marketers know that event marketing is a full contact sport from the moment you concept your idea until the dust settles after the event is over. Which is to say: it’s a lot of work. A lot of rewarding work, but work nonetheless. If there’s one place where any marketer (yes, even us) can stand…
How far in advance should you book your event?
Kapow makes booking an event quick and easy. You can go online, browse through hundreds of events, and once you choose one, book it in minutes. But the speedy process doesn’t mean you should wait until the last minute to book your event. While our online corporate events marketplace makes it easy for busy professionals to book a last-minute event, your options will likely be more limited the closer you get to your event date. We pride ourselves in partnering with the best restaurants, bars and venues in town, which means they fill up fast.
So to make things even easier, we’ve created some guidelines around how far out you should book your event. While there are certainly exceptions to the rule, these guidelines will provide the widest range of venues and highest potential attendance, making for a great event.
Interactive events: 4 weeks
No matter your event type, it’s smart to book an event four weeks in advance in order to get it on people’s calendars. This will also give you enough time to make invitations, thoughtfully craft a guest list, send event reminders, prep event presentations, and buy and ship any tchotchkes you may need. Interactive events are not only great for breaking the ice and keeping people engaged, but they don’t require a long booking window because you’re only competing with other corporate groups for the space, not necessarily the general public.
Small dinners and cocktail hours: 4-5 weeks
Similar to interactive events, small dinners and cocktail events should be booked four to five weeks out. Again, this will give you time to prep for your event and find space on attendees’ calendars. If the restaurant is incredibly popular, or if there’s a large event or conference in town, you may need to reserve space farther in advance.
National multi-event programs: 5-6 weeks
If you’re planning to host multiple themed events across the country, it’s smart to book five to six weeks in advance. The farther out you book, the more likely you can secure venues in the same chain. Lucky for you, Kapow has national partnerships with a number of retailers, so the process of finding and reserving space—and ensuring event consistency—is much easier.
Buyouts: 5-6 weeks
If you’re looking to take over the entire venue, you should be booking at least five to six weeks in advance—possibly more depending on the size of the space. If you get too much closer, you’re competing with other groups, parties and individual dinner reservations. The extended heads-up also helps the restaurant prep and schedule sufficient staff for your event, allowing for a better experience for your guests.
Holiday parties: 3-6 months
As soon as the holidays roll around, restaurants and bars are packed every night of the week. Many start taking bookings a year in advance. For groups of 200 or more, you should secure space for your holiday party at least six months in advance. Small groups looking for private space should reserve their event three to four months out. Believe us when we say that come October and November, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an opening at a venue in a major city around the holidays. If you’re reading this the week before Thanksgiving, biting your nails, you may have another option: January. Here are a number of great reasons to host your holiday party in January.
Staycations and incentive trips: 6-9 months
If you’re planning a staycation or incentive trip for your team, it’s best to book that six to nine months out—or more depending on group size and destination—to ensure you get the best hotel options and rates. It will also give your team enough time to make arrangements and get certified for that scuba diving adventure.
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