Strategic Event Design executes an annual, exclusive event for a VIP client every year at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. In 2019, the second weekend of the film festival (which is becoming increasingly popular) conflicts with the FIS World Championship skiing event.
There are only so many days on the calendar, so there is bound to be a time when your event falls on the day of another big event. From time to time it is inevitable that event conflicts arise.
What do you do when you have to share the stage with another event?
Plan in Advance
Take a look at an event calendar to see what you are competing with. Is the other event so large that the the airport will be busy, and rental cars taken? Believe us, it happens! If so, then start booking flights ASAP. Same with transportation and lodging. Competing events can mean that hotels fill up fast so book way in advance, even a few months to a year out if you can. Try to block multiple rooms, if possible.
Quickly Spread the Word
If you event does fall on a popular day, make sure to get the word out about your event well in advance. Make sure that invitations are sent, sponsors are approached, and media contacted. It might be worth your time to make a few rounds of phone calls to try to get people to commit to your event, instead of the competing events that are happening at the same time.
The Sundance/FIS World Championship is a good example of how event conflicts can put a damper on the flow of traffic. With so many people in one place, there is an influx of taxi’s, buses and personal vehicles. Traffic can really jam up an event team running errands and set-up, so think about that when planning your event. Keep traffic in mind in terms of attendees as not everyone will be able to arrive on time. Warming huts near Uber lines or bus stops are greatly appreciated and can become high-value sponsor opportunities.
Consider ways that you can make this event conflict work for you. For example, could you offer early access to an event (for a price) so that attendees can attend both competing events? There could be ways to live stream the other event, which could be a nice feature in a VIP lounge. Think outside the box for partnership opportunities. With some creative planning and plenty of lead time, you can make an event conflict work in your favor.
Forecasting attendance can be tricky when there is an event conflict. Similar to what we have mentioned earlier, make sure to hype the event well in advance, sell tickets early and get as many confirmations as you can. Also, be sure to create VIP experiences at your event to attract the right audience to your event over the other.
Event conflicts will happen once in a while, but if you are ahead of the game, the impact on your event should be minimized. From more information on strategically handling event conflicts, contact us at Strategic Event Design.