Help my audience avoid having to choose me over the Giants.
May 12, 2012 1:02 PM   Subscribe

How do really good and thorough event planners find dates with the fewest conflicts? I am in San Francisco, planning music events, and would love to find a comprehensive calendar including major festivals, concerts, bridge closures, naked marathons, sporting events, etc. Failing a comprehensive calendar, what main Bay Area calendar resources would you use?
posted by purplefiber to Society & Culture (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
besides sfgate and sfweekley, i used to use sfstation when i lived in the bay area. also, the list; although that only covers music, it is hella comprehensive!
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 2:03 PM on May 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

I can't help you with SF, but part of the reason event planners make money for their services is their ability to manage a calendar, and they usually don't share everything they know. Where I work, we plan events out 1-3 years, and it just involves getting on the phone and asking the people who organize major potentially conflicting events what their future dates are. We also maintain an institutional calendar on which we list major recurring events - commencements, fashion week, regular festivals, etc. It's someone's job to manage this. So there's not really a universal quick fix; part of being a great event manager is just doing this better than others.
posted by Miko at 8:33 PM on May 12, 2012

Seconding Miko, plus a certain level of triage/target marketing - which is to say, you're in a big metropolitan area; you're guaranteed to be in conflict with something. So, not that football fans can't also be fans of the music you're presenting, but I think you'll be a lot less frustrated if you narrow your focus a little bit. This is definitely something I've seen event planners do - it's not just "fewest conflicts", but "fewest conflicts with events that would be in direct competition with my event."

Try not to conflict with the Radiohead concert or the major fundraising gala at the art museum, but accept that the Giants fans and the naked marathoners are going to have to make a choice. Possibly you can finesse the timing of your events so audience members can do more than one thing, and see if there's some way you can kind of ride the coattails of large non-musical events. Like set up a show in a place near the finish line of the marathon, starting when most runners are finishing, and promote it as a way for runners & their friends to celebrate finishing the marathon.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:57 AM on May 13, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks folks, good answers so far. Keep them coming. I agree, and know that there will never be a time we can avoid conflicting with ANYTHING, but wish it were simpler to at least make sure people won't get stuck on the bridge getting to our show. You know, months in advance...
posted by purplefiber at 4:28 PM on May 13, 2012

Well, mostly I've seen event planners/promoters approach this problem from kind of the opposite direction - using the front page of the website/Facebook/Twitter/mass emails/maybe even snail mail to clue the attendees into possible traffic problems in the weeks/days/hours just before the show. Suggest alternate routes, or maybe just a reminder that they should plan for some extra time to get to your event.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:21 AM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

For traffic conflicts, you could consider running a shuttle or asking your supporters to host pre-parties nearby.
posted by Miko at 9:46 AM on May 17, 2012

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