When is a good day to hold a conference?

I am involved with the not-for-profit, IT Professionals networking organisation, IT@Cork.

We have our annual conference around the end of November – last year’s was spectacularly successful with speakers like Robert Scoble and Charles Handy.

I thas come time to organise this year’s conference and I’m wondering what is the perceived wisdom on good days to hold conferences?

Obviously weekends are out, as are Mondays (if something happens at work over the weekend, people can’t make the conference on the Monday morning).

What about the other days of the week? Tuesday to Friday – any obvious reasons not to go for any of those days?

9 thoughts on “When is a good day to hold a conference?”

  1. When we do seminars and roadshows, they are almost always on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
    There’s one exception though: if we do something for attendants from public authorities (cities, counties, public sector etc.) we usually do it Thursday and Friday. We end Friday at about lunchtime (we serve lunch), and then the participants take the advantage for an early start into the weekend. People from the private sector don’t like to lose a working day though…
    We also did seminars on Monday Tuesday, but we included a “Decision Maker” event on Sunday night. We gave it the impression of something exclusive – invite only – and made the people feel important. That worked out pretty well too.

  2. Just wondering why people always say that weekends are out?? I would much prefer to attend a conference at the weekend as it allow me to actually still get a full weeks work done while still gleaming the info from the conference at the weekend.

  3. Thanks for the feedback Michael.

    Brian – I think the main reason is that many people (especially those with families) plan events for the weekend which they can’t do during the working week. Going to sorting events, shopping, diy, etc.

    People are more likely to attend on a day that they have already mentally scheduled to be away from their families, I imagine.

    Then again, I could be completely wrong!

  4. I’m liking Wed/Thurs myself – and definitely not weekends – for the family reasons mentioned by Tom!

    And Friday’s with traffic – no thanks!


  5. Thursdays work because,

    Its at the end of the week, but its not Friday (people take Friday’s off). Also I’ll travel late on a Thursday, but travelling late on a Friday can be a bit hellish.
    Its not a Monday
    It doesn’t split the week down the middle the way wednesday does, taking a wednesday off invariably screws the whole week up
    The best weekends start on a Thursday, and what better way to start the weekend than with a conference piss up šŸ™‚

  6. Thanks for all the feedback guys – it really confirms what I suspected in my gut all along, Thursday seems to be the best day to hold a conference.

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