5 Reasons 9-5 Networking Events Are The Better ChoiceNovember 8, 2022 | By: Kayla Leska
Networking event timing is everything, but today the norms have shifted. Plan at the wrong time and you’ll waste resources and fail to connect with key players. Plan at the right time and you’ll see your investments pay off in dividends.
So when is the right time?
Rafat Ali, CEO and Founder of Skift, called out destinations for planning launches and media events in the evening. His argument is that culture has shifted so much that most of the target audiences – media and influencers – aren’t working exclusively in offices and aren’t looking to spend evenings traveling to networking event.
The message is simple – plan events during the day, during school hours, during moments when freelance and contract workers are more likely to make the trek to join you. The kids are at school. Content creators are in a work mindset. The midday commute into the city won’t be as hectic.
While it’s not always feasible, it’s worth reconsidering more aggressively. Convince your event planning team to skip the evening events and opt for daytime events with these five justifications.
1. Commuting Just for You – Nah.
Journalists, influencers, and other content creators are working remotely and hybridly more than ever, which means weekdays are actually easier to participate in work events. They don’t want to head into the crush of rush-hour traffic to meet you in the evening while everyone is hitting the roads and rails. They are comfortable at home and coming into the city just for your event may seem more daunting than you think.
Networking event timing during the day maximizes the chance that someone will break their daily routine to head out for a meeting when they have fewer social and family commitments.
2. A Juice Worth the Squeeze?
And sure, while Americans want overtime to cover the soaring cost of living, most of the contract and freelancers attracted to your event won’t be earning extra pay by traveling to and spending time at your event. It’s an easier sell to use the daytime work hours to squeeze in an event than to eat into the precious social time that has become more important than ever.
While they may not always be feasible, daytime events feel more like justifiable work and less like they are encroaching on personal time for workers who may not be getting paid for their time in the first place.
3. Jumping Childcare Hurdles
Factor evening childcare costs into that on top of missed family and social time, and it becomes clear quickly that evening events aren’t the post-work event they may have once been. During the 9-5 workday, the kids are at school and parents can more easily head out for an early afternoon or lunchtime event. Ask parents to come in the evening and now there is planning, babysitting, and extra costs to consider.
Stick to the daytime when parents are juggling fewer family commitments and commuting into the city or to wherever your event becomes more realistic.
4. Makes It Harder to Flake
When events happen at night, it’s more likely that individuals will find a reason to avoid attending. They’d rather spend time with their family or a spontaneous dinner date with a friend may pop up, allowing them to all too easily forget your event. An afternoon away from the computer screen, however, provides a welcomed change of pace from the daily grind.
On top of that, it’s always more appealing to ask their boss if they can leave for an event than to have another conversation with their family about why they won’t be home for dinner. Daytime events don’t eat into a journalist or influencer’s personal time, making them much more likely to keep the appointment than if they feel infringed upon.
5. Flexibility is Not an Option Anymore
Destinations who want to work with content creators need to bend to these new realities, which means meeting future partners and collaborators on their turf. Keeping hybrid options as a lifeline for these creators – many of whom simply live and work too far away to meet you at your event, is key to maintaining good relationships.
You can’t alway nail your network event timing, but you can make sure you always find other ways to connect with the content creators you seek.
Want to learn more about connecting better with content creators and media players? DCI has more than 60 years of experience bringing together destinations with top journalists and other influencers. Get in touch with Kayla Leska at [email protected] to learn more about how our destination marketing agency can optimize your networking event timing to increase attendance.