The summer slump. You know the feeling. The slower season that hits the events industry in the Middle East during the hot summer months. As an event planner or venue operator, your calendar seems a little emptier and the phones ring less frequently. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many in the industry experience a summer slump. But why exactly does it happen and what can you do to power through until busier months return?
The summer slump impacts the event industry for a few key reasons. The sweltering summer heat means many opt to stay indoors in air conditioning rather than attend outdoor events. People also take more vacations over the summer, traveling out of the region for cooler weather elsewhere. And of course, the holy month of Ramadan moves into the summer this year, impacting event schedules and attendance for many.
While the summer slump may be inevitable, all is not lost. There are still opportunities to host successful summer events and ways to keep business going during this slower season. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind the summer slump and share some tips to help you thrive through the dog days of summer. The cooler months will be here before you know it!
The Challenges of Hosting Summer Events in Extreme Weather
Hosting events in the blazing summer heat of the Middle East is no easy feat. The challenges are real.
Extreme temperatures make it difficult for attendees to comfortably spend long periods of time outside. Overheating and dehydration are serious risks, so extra precautions need to be taken. Providing shade, fans, misters and plenty of water are must-haves.
The summer months also mean some venues like outdoor spaces are unusable for parts of the day. Event management planners have to get creative with indoor venues or alternative set-ups to beat the heat. Some events start earlier in the morning or later in the evening when temperatures drop slightly.
Staffing events in hot weather can also be an issue. Additional breaks need to be scheduled to prevent exhaustion and extra staff may be required to properly hydrate and care for attendees. This adds to overall event costs.
Transportation and parking also become more complicated in high temperatures. Air-conditioned drop-off and pick-up areas, as well as shaded parking lots, help make the journey to and from events safer and more comfortable.
While summer events in the Middle East certainly come with challenges, with the right planning and precautions, they can still be extremely successful. Catering to attendee comfort, starting events during cooler hours, providing proper hydration, and using indoor or shaded venues are all keys to navigating the summer slump. With some extra effort, the event industry in the Middle East can thrive year-round.
How Cultural Factors Contribute to the Summer Slump
The summer slump in the Middle East event industry has a lot to do with cultural factors. During the hottest months, many locals escape the extreme heat by traveling abroad or avoiding crowded places when possible.
Large events and gatherings lose their appeal in the sweltering summer temperatures. Who wants to network or attend a conference when it’s 115 F outside? The summer heat deters both event organizers and attendees alike.
Ramadan also contributes to the summer slump. For the month of fasting, many Muslims avoid music, dancing, and lavish celebrations in favor of religious devotion and quality time with family after sundown. Event planners know attendance and revenue will drop during Ramadan, so they often avoid scheduling major events.
There’s also the fact that schools are out of session in the summer, so families are focused on vacationing together. Summer is prime time for traveling to cooler destinations, visiting relatives in home countries, or unwinding at beach resorts. Workplace productivity and motivation tend to decrease in the summer doldrums as well, so professional event attendance dips.
All told the hot weather, religious observances, family commitments, and decreased work schedules are a perfect storm for the summer slump in Middle Eastern event planning. But come September, the crowds will return, event invitations will fill up calendars once more, and the industry will pick back up speed heading into the high season for conferences, festivals, and other gatherings. The summer lull is temporary, even if it’s an annual challenge. Event pro’s in the region have learned how to ride the ups and downs by planning their biggest events for the spring and fall.
Ways Event Planners Can Combat the Summer Slump
To combat the summer slump, event planners in the Middle East can take some proactive steps.
Focus on indoor events. Since the summer heat can be unbearable, consider organizing more indoor events where attendees will be in air conditioning. Conferences, networking events, and business meetings are good options.
Offer discounts and promotions. Run special discounts and deals to incentivize people to attend events during the slow season. You can also bundle tickets with nearby hotels and restaurants to make attending an attractive package deal.
Plan evening or night events. Once the sun goes down, temperatures become more pleasant. Hosting events in the evening or at night, like cocktail parties, dinners, or evening tours and activities, will appeal to attendees looking to avoid the daytime heat.
Partner with complementary businesses. Team up with non-competing businesses, like hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues, or tour companies, to cross-promote your events to new audiences. Offer bundle deals and discounted tickets to each other’s customers. These partnerships can help fill event spaces during the summer.
Diversify your events portfolio. Don’t focus all your events on one industry or topic. A diverse mix of events, from conferences to festivals to fundraisers, will help ensure you have events running year-round that appeal to different audiences. What’s slow for some sectors may be busy for others.
With some creative planning and persistence, event planners in the Middle East can turn the summer slump into just another successful season. Trying new strategies, forging new partnerships, and thinking outside the box will help keep the event industry going strong all year long.
So there you have it, the summer slump in the Middle East event industry explained. The hot weather, Ramadan season, and summer holidays all contribute to the slowdown. But don’t despair, the fall season will be here before you know it. The summer may be slow, but it gives you a chance to recharge, plan an epic comeback, and gear up for the busy fall and winter event season. Take some time off if you can, reconnect with loved ones, and refill your creative well. The summer slump won’t last forever. Before the heat has a chance to fully settle in, the event industry will be back in full swing once again.