Smart party planners know to plan ahead. The more time you have to think about all of the details that need to be considered, the better. That is why for typical holiday parties, for example, many professionals will start a couple months in advance before the stress and pressure of the event starts to loom. This makes sense for major company parties during the holidays, but does it always apply to smaller events several months away?

Take the typical spring party or get together. As the weather starts to turn and the air gets warmer, many companies like to get their employees outside to have a good time. For companies that don’t outsource the party planning, there is usually one or two employees handling all of the details before the big day. If you find yourself in this position, knowing well in advance what your mission is, you may wonder when to start planning the details.

In short, the best answer is now. The truth is it is never too early to begin planning if you have the time/ability.

Why? Beyond having more time, there are a few advantages to starting well before the holidays to plan a spring party or picnic.

Information Gathering

The real key to successful company picnic party planning is having as much information possible ahead of time. Most of this information involves the particulars of the party itself: the purpose, expected numbers, specific activities to plan, etc. Many party planners who experience stress and agony in the month or weeks leading up to the party typically do so because they lack this important information.

Planning a party is like going to war: the more intel you have ahead of time, the more likely you are to win.

By starting the planning process before the holidays, you will increase the amount of time you have to gather this information if its not provided. This is particularly true for dynamic information that is likely to change like the date or expected number of guests. Even though some of this information may change, you will have a baseline to start making preparations. This will help you determine what kinds of supplies, food, and other materials you will need. If a location has not been set yet, this will also give you an idea of the size of the space you will need to accommodate everyone. Ideally, this will give you enough time to make arrangements like reservations with a venue.

Taking Advantage of Less Competition

One of the worst times to plan a party or picnic is a few weeks in advance. Beyond the lack of time to prepare, people who work with little time face increased competition with other special events and parties. This happens during certain times of the year like holidays and warmer seasons. For spring special occasions, you will get the “double whammy” of competition: popular holidays mixed with warmer temperatures means people want to celebrate.

Starting ahead of time means you can largely avoid this competition. A good majority of people and companies planning for this time start too late with the planning efforts. With you starting before the rest, however, you will be able to secure difficult reservations, gather more supplies, and make other arrangements before everyone is playing catch up.

Challenging venues are one example where early action is a must. Some venues require reservations made months in advance. Taking the time to research possible venues while spots are still open will increase the number of possibilities available from the start.

Getting Better Deals

Similar to the decrease in competition, there are also better deals to be had ahead of time. Party decorations can be a challenge and expensive to get in the weeks leading up to the big event. For people looking to purchase themed decorations, this is especially difficult.

The price of decorations can also increase closer to the party or a specific holiday. If you are working with a budget, you can potentially save some money by getting supplies and decorations when demand for them is low.

Taking advantage of the “off season” for party items, you are likely to get lower prices or special deals if you shop when these items are hard to move for shops. While common party decorations and supplies that can be used throughout the year remain consistent in price, themed items like holiday, birthday party, and other special event decorations experience moments of high or low prices.

Many businesses will also run special deals and promotions during slow periods to increase interest and sales. If you shop during these times, you will be more likely to take advantage of these promotions, saving even more money on top of the low pricing.

Planning for Spring Occasions the Right Way

The spring season has something unique to offer when it comes to get togethers, picnics, and parties, particularly outdoors. Not only is the weather more user-friendly, the changing leaves, the greater sunshine, and the general sense of new life give special events new meaning.

For companies and small businesses, having a picnic or party can be a great time to get family members, friends, and coworkers together. This helps to increase the sense of community around the company and build the team up more effectively than simple workshops.

All of this means that you should take your time to plan the party or picnic well so everyone can enjoy the event. Take advantage of the extra time by starting before the holiday season so you can cover the important details, make necessary arrangements, get the supplies you really want or need, and let people know what to expect. Starting in advance will offer more benefits you can use with just a little bit of extra planning. When done right, you can expect to have a great party everyone will enjoy.