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One day vs. Multi-day events: Which is the best?

Posted on 12/07/2021

With so many activities at your disposal, choosing between one-day vs multi-day events can sometimes be a hard choice to make. In this article, we will discuss the best options for your event as well as the different types of events.

Events are great for businesses. They increase brand awareness, promote important causes and widen professional networks. It’s no secret that events can fuel your business’s growth. However, to make the most out of events, you need to not only promote the event but also understand which style of event will be most effective. 

What are the different types of events?

Common types of events are one-day and multi-day events.

One-day events, as their name suggests, are held in a single day. They can be conferences, job fairs, seminars, or any gathering that happens all in one day.

Meanwhile, if those events last for a series of days, they’re called multi-day events. They can also be any gathering, or in most cases, a combination of events that take place over several days. For example, your event can have a trade show on Day 1, a job fair on Day 2, then a conference on Day 3.

Additionally, we can break down events into categories based on how event organizers host them and how attendees view and interact with them. 

In-person events 

They happen at a physical location. Hosting in-person events is an effective marketing strategy because it can provide genuine human connection.

Virtual events 

Virtual events happen online, with attendees joining via video conferencing platforms. These events grew in popularity during the pandemic and can prove highly interactive. 

Hybrid events 

Hybrid events provide a combination of in-person and virtual elements. They can increase the participation of those who only want to show up for either in-person events or virtual events.

Unsure about what event type to host? Check out our latest infographic – Making the Right Choice: Virtual, In-Person, or Hybrid?

One-day vs. multi-day events

Although one-day and multi-day events differ in their approach, their common goal is to provide attendees with an engaging and exciting experience.

Pros of one-day events

One-day events may not sound as flashy as multi-day events. However, they do possess some unique benefits:

  1. Opportunity to present laser-focused content: single-day events are great for diving deep into a specific topic. Having less time means you have to focus on one aspect and provide valuable insights on a particular subject. 

2. Cost-effective– One-day events are handy for event planners on a budget as you will only need to hire a space, provide speakers and plan catering for one day. 

Cons of one-day events

Single-day events aren’t without their drawbacks. Some cons include: 

  1. Less time to network and see speakers – One of the primary purposes of events is to network and see renowned industry speakers and thought leaders. Single-day events are sometimes so tight on time that attendees don’t get to see all the speakers they wanted or network with fellow attendees. 

2. Excludes people who live far away – Location-independence can be a drawback. Namely, one-day events are sometimes not worth traveling for hours to get to. As a result, hosting them can end up excluding people who live far away.

Pros of multi-day events

Multi-day events have a variety of benefits, including:

  1. More time to network – Over days, attendees have more time to meet fellow attendees comfortably and do some professional networking. 

2. Grants attendees a break – Attendees can detach themselves temporarily from their daily lives. They can mingle, form life-long friendships, and have fun. As a result, they can feel re-energized, refreshed, and embrace a renewed interest in your business’ industry.

3. Key people have more time to prepare – This gives your people — speakers and thought leaders — added time to prepare their presentations to an audience. Attendees are also better prepared to raise concerns, ask questions, and participate as they see fit.

Cons of multi-day events

Time, however, is not always an advantage. Some of the disadvantages of multi-day events are:

  1. Harder to organize – Without good organizational skills, attention to detail, and patience, it’s challenging — if not impossible — to pull off a decent multi-day event. 

2. More expensive – A multi-day event may require lots of elements like multiple speakers, lots of snacks and food, a large venue, and more. To host a successful event of this style, you need a sizeable budget.

How to organize an event

A factor to consider when deciding whether a one-day event or a multi-day event is most suitable for you is the purpose of your event. You need to work towards that purpose, as well as your primary goals and objectives.

Understanding your event’s purpose is vital. Not only will it lead to better planning. But it also allows you to allocate resources for your event correctly.

Other factors you need to consider are:

Audience – Have a good grasp of your target audience. Visualize their response to your event. And tweak elements as necessary to ensure a positive experience. It is also essential to provide attendee registration forms so you understand how many people to plan for.

Time – This is critical to an event’s success. Choose the perfect timing — or a time when your target audience is free to attend your event.

Budget – Determine how much you’re willing to shell out. Make sure you have adequate funds for all the elements in your event. That way, you won’t run out of funds and end up going for low-quality alternatives.

Tips for organizing a one-day event

Additionally, organizers need to consider specific factors that can make or break one-day events. 

Below, you’ll read about tips to ensure their success.

Assemble a robust organizational committee – You need to establish clear roles and responsibilities of the people in charge of planning to avoid confusion. Where planning is concerned, leave them to do the heavy-lifting and make pivotal decisions.

Decide early regarding logistics – It’s best to handle logistics right after an organizational committee is in place. Take note of critical details regarding the event’s timeframe, venue, necessary snacks, and more.

Be mindful of event programming – The programming may be incorporated into the venue choice. You also need to review important information like the number of speakers, the time allotted to each speaker, and the structure of every session.

3 Tips for organizing a multi-day event

In addition to the ones mentioned above, here are more tips to ensure their success.

  1. Confirm the availability of key people – Contact speakers, thought leaders, and other integral people. Ask them (again) to commit a set time to your event.

2. Secure permits – Be sure your event is in line with local guidelines to avoid any trouble with authorities. So get an event permit and other necessary permits. It’s best to do this ahead of time (because many government departments’ operations move slowly).

3. Make your plan adaptable – Even with a well-laid plan, there are elements you can’t control — and they can ruin everything. For example, a key speaker had a medical emergency and had to back out at the last minute. Rather than panic in these unfortunate situations, always create a “plan B”.

Conclusion

There are advantages and disadvantages to one-day events and multi-day events. And there’s no one size fits all approach in choosing which one is the “right” style for you.

Be mindful of the decision you make to ensure your event’s success. Your choice should ultimately be based on your business, the vibe you want to give off, and the message you want to deliver.

Additionally, what you can do is refer to the discussions above. When you decide the best option for you, make sure to factor in the pros and cons and how each style fits your cause and event’s purpose.

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