The event industry has two primary peak seasons: summertime and the holiday season. Summer weddings typically keep us busy from May through October, and once November hits we launch head-first into holiday parties. With the Christmas season behind us and the new year upon us, a number of clients have asked me which season tends to be busiest for an event rental company. The answer? We keep pretty busy year-round--just in different ways.
The first major difference that puts these seasons on different playing grounds is the amount of preparation that goes into each. Our wedding season begins months, even years before the rentals go out for the big day. In January, our appointment book quickly fills up with brides eager to decide which colors and table settings work best with their theme and budget. The next few months involve a flurry of adjustments on colors and numbers as RSVP's make their way back to the bride and groom. Although summer starts with a bang as our orders fly off the shelves and into the delivery trucks, this is a season we (and our customers) have prepared for well in advance.
The holiday season is an entirely different story. Take Thanksgiving, for example. This year, a week before Thanksgiving we had about 40 orders scheduled to go out the day before Thanksgiving. When that Wednesday arrived, however, we ended up sending out 113 orders—at least 20 of which were walk-ins* that day!
*Walk-in: noun, an order that a person creates and picks up during the same visit; an order not reserved in advance*
The second major difference is in the size and kind of orders that go out during wedding season and during the holidays. In general, wedding orders tend to have a greater variety in color schemes than holiday orders have. Weddings typically incorporate a variety of colors that may include blush, burgundy, sage, champagne, navy, mauve, and a host of others. Holiday orders tend to use a comparatively limited color scheme. Thanksgiving features orange, burgundy, brown, and ironwood, whereas green and red dominate the Christmas season. Aside from the colors, weddings and holiday parties tend to have drastically different numbers in guest count. Where a wedding order may need to accommodate 200 guests, most holiday parties host less than 30 people. While it sounds drastic to say that 113 orders went out over Thanksgiving, realistically most of those orders were fairly small, some only consisting of a few chairs. Weddings, on the other hand, tend to be more inclusive, requiring full sets of linens, dinnerware, flatware, glassware, and so forth.
Busyness is in the eye of the beholder. And when it comes to considering whether one season is busier than another in the rental world, it's much like comparing apples to oranges....