2012 Dates to Know in the Party Plan Business!

As a former Event Planner and currently a Consultant and Team Leader in the Direct Sales Party Plan business, I always find it helpful to have a list of holidays and special days of interest (especially to party plan consultants) available at the start of a new year to plan your year of parties with the fewest possible cancellations. Accidentally planning a party on a day like Super Bowl Sunday or Father’s Day, or forgetting about Daylight Savings day can seriously hinder attendance and hurt your business. It’s good to know in advance when certain holidays or events (sports, elections, etc.) take place so you don’t plan parties on low attendance dates. For example, the Friday and Saturday nights before Halloween when most people are throwing or attending Halloween parties might earn your hostess a lot of regrets and cancellations from people who would otherwise be very interested in attending and learning more about the products offered. Offering to only book daytime parties that weekend may be a better option. On the other hand, knowing in advance when Boss’s Day is or when and what Sweetest Day is can help you plan ahead for gift-giving ideas and incentives for your customers and team members.

In a nutshell: Don’t plan a party on a day like the day before income taxes are due as many people procrastinate and will be too busy with paperwork to attend your hostess’s party. Do take advantage of knowing celebration days like Earth Day early enough in the year to research vendor events that may need a consultant like you (and a product like yours) to be showcased at the events.

When you are aware of these dates, themes, and recognized celebrations, you can plan a better year of bookings. As a rule of thumb, I tend to overbook a month that has a lot of holiday weekends. People, especially families, tend to travel or plan weekend getaways on 3-day holiday weekends. I’m not saying you should never book on a holiday weekend, but make the other non-holiday weekends of the month your priority booking dates, and then book the holiday ones when the rest of your calendar is full. Additionally, I have found that Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons or early evenings are when people are most available for a product party. There’s always something “else” going on a Saturday. Weekday evenings in the summer are also high attendance booking dates!

Below is a list of many (not all) U.S. Federal Holidays, traditional holiday observances, popular U.S. events, and other times of the year that could be helpful to a consultant in the party plan business, or anyone planning any kind of event. The date listed is followed by the day of the week it falls on this year, 2012. I’ve also added a few fun and off-the-wall dates, like International Day of Awesomeness, and some helpful party plan business tips for each month. Feel free to add your thoughts or additional suggestions in the comments.

 

JANUARY 2012
Stone: Garnet
Flower: Carnation
Astrological Signs: Capricorn (12/22-1/20) and Aquarius (1/21-2/19)

1/1 Sunday: New Year’s Day
1/2 Monday: New Year’s Day extra day off for federal employees and most schools
1/9 Monday: College Football BCS Championship Game in New Orleans
1/16 Monday: Martin Luther King Day (3 day weekend)
1/23 Monday: Chinese New Year

Funny days:
1/14 Saturday: Dress Up Your Pet Day
1/17 Tuesday: Rid the World of Fad Diets and Gimmicks Day
1/24 Tuesday: Belly Laugh Day

See more unusual and unknown “days” in January, click here.

Among many other titles, January is known as:
National Mentoring Month
Thyroid Awareness Month
Mental Wellness Month
National Birth Defects Prevention Month
National Glaucoma Awareness Month

Business Tip: Start promoting your Valentine’s Day specials and gift ideas in January!

 

FEBRUARY 2012
Stone: Amethyst
Flower: Iris or Violet
Astrological Signs: Aquarius (1/21-2/19) and Pisces (2/20-3/20)

2/5 Sunday: Super Bowl XLVI (46) in Indianapolis. Usually the first Sunday in Feb.
2/12: Lincoln’s Birthday. Some government offices and schools may observe on Monday, 2/13/12 (possible 3 day weekend).
2/14 Tuesday: Valentines Day
2/20 Monday: Presidents Day and Washington’s Birthday (observed), 3 day weekend
2/21 Tuesday: Mardi Gras (a.k.a. Fat Tuesday). Day before Lent starts.
2/22 Wednesday: Ash Wednesday, beginning of Lent
2/26 Sunday: Daytona 500, Nascar car race.
2/29 Wednesday: Leap Day

Click HERE for a short, but interesting read on Leap Year

Funny days:
2/1 Wednesday: Working Naked Day
2/4 Saturday: Bubble Gum Day

See more unusual and unknown “days” in February, click HERE.

Among many other titles, February is known as:
African American Heritage Month
National American Heart Month

Business Tip: Now’s a good time to think about hosting a Spring Cleaning clearance event or Open House!

 

MARCH 2012
Stone: Aquamarine
Flower: Daffodil
Astrological Signs: Pisces (2/20-3/20) and Aries (3/21-4/20)

3/11 Sunday: Daylight Savings begins at 2:00 am (remind your hostesses!)
3/17 Saturday: St. Patrick’s Day
3/20 Tuesday: First Day of Spring
3/31 Saturday: Cesar Chavez Day, a state-recognized holiday in California
3/31 Saturday: Earth Hour from 8pm to 9pm (local time). Millions of people, businesses, governments, and organizations around the world participate in Earth Hour by turning off their lights for one hour. Click HERE for more information about Earth Hour.

Also in March:
Spring Break: It varies from the 2nd week of March to early-mid April. Each school has its own specific week(s). Christian schools and universities tend to not have Spring Break until after Holy Week (Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday).

March Madness – Mens College Basketball Title Tournament in March, every year.

Funny days:
3/10 Saturday: International Day of Awesomeness
3/19 Monday: National Chocolate Caramel Day

See more unusual and unknown “days” in March, click HERE.

Among many other titles, March is known as:
National Women’s History Month
National Kidney Month
Mental Retardation Awareness Month

Business Tip: Consider donating a portion of your sales profits to your favorite charity. I usually donate at least 10% of my monthly sales in March to the March of Dimes. It feels good to give and shoppers may be more inclined to spend extra if they know you are donating a portion to a good cause. You might consider a local charity or non-profit organization (they may even advertise for you!).

 

APRIL 2012
Stone: Diamond
Flower: Daisy
Astrological Signs: Aries (3/21-4/20) and Taurus (4/21-5/20)

4/1 Sunday: April Fool’s Day
4/1 Sunday: Palm Sunday (always the Sunday before Easter)
4/6 Friday: Good Friday (always the Friday before Easter) U.S. stock market is always closed on Good Friday.
4/7 Saturday: Passover
4/8 Sunday: Easter Sunday
4/16 Monday: Emancipation Day
4/17 Tuesday: Tax Day, last day to file federal taxes without penalty. The deadline is extended two days because April 15, 2012 falls on a Sunday, and Monday, April 16th is Emancipation Day, a federal holiday, so post offices are closed.
4/22 Sunday: Earth Day
4/25 Wednesday: Administrative Professionals Day (National Secretary’s Day)

Also in April:
Spring Break: It varies from the 2nd week of March to early-mid April. Each school has its own specific week(s). Christian schools and universities tend to not have Spring Break until after Holy Week (Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday).

Funny days:
4/3 Tuesday: World Party Day  What better day to host a party on than World Party Day, right?
4/7 Saturday: Tangible Karma Day (first Saturday in April)  This would make a great theme party idea. Check out some ideas HERE.

See more unusual and unknown “days” in April, click HERE.

Among many other titles, April is known as:
Cancer Control Month
Counseling Awareness Month
National Autism Awareness Month

Business Tip: Start promoting your Mother’s Day specials and gift ideas in April!

 

MAY 2012
Stone: Emerald
Flower: Lilly-of-the-Valley
Astrological Signs: Taurus (4/21-5/20) and Gemini (5/21-6/20)

5/5 Saturday: Cinco de Mayo
5/5 Saturday: Kentucky Derby horse race
5/8 Tuesday: National Teacher’s Day (Teacher Appreciation Week)
5/11 Friday: Child Care Provider’s Day  Remind your customers who have kids in day care about this day and offer gift suggestions they can purchase from you.
5/12 Saturday: Nurses Day
5/13 Sunday: Mother’s Day (always the 2nd Sunday in May)
5/15 Tuesday: Peace Officers Memorial Day (in honor of Federal, State, local officers killed or disabled in the line of duty)
5/19 Saturday: Armed Forces Day (3rd Saturday in May)
5/22 Tuesday: National Maritime Day
5/28 Monday: Memorial Day (observed), 3 day weekend

Funny days:
5/3 Thursday: National Two Different Colored Shoes Day
5/6 Sunday: World Laughter Day (first Sunday in May)

See more unusual and unknown “days” in May, click HERE.

Among many other titles, May is known as:
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
National Arthritis Month
National Mental Health Month
National Stroke Awareness Month

Business Tip: May is a great month to promote graduation, Father’s Day, bridal shower, and wedding gift ideas to your customers.

 

JUNE 2012
Stone: Pearl
Flower: Rose
Astrological Signs: Gemini (5/21-6/20) and Cancer (6/21-7/22)

6/11 Monday – 6/17 Sunday: U.S. Open Golf Championship (held in San Francisco this year)
6/14 Thursday: Flag Day
6/17 Sunday: Father’s Day (always 3rd Sunday in June)
6/20 Wednesday: First Day of Summer

Funny days:
6/15 Friday: National Flip Flop Day  Host a Flip Flop themed party!
6/22 Friday: Take Your Dog to Work Day (first Friday after Father’s Day)

See more unusual and unknown “days” in June, click HERE.

Among many other titles, June is known as:
National Safety Month
National Scoliosis Month

Business Tip: The kids are out of school and the weather is nice. Take this opportunity to offer your hostesses outdoor themed parties geared around the kids and hold them in parks, by the pool, or just out back on the patio. Margarita themes are always a hit!

 

JULY 2012
Stone: Ruby
Flower: Sunflower
Astrological Signs: Cancer (6/21-7/22) and Leo (7/23-8/22)

7/4 Wednesday: Independence Day (4th of July)
7/19 Thursday: Get to Know Your Customers Day  Make good use of this day!
7/22 Sunday: Parents’ Day (4th Sunday in July)

Funny days:
7/6 Friday: International Kissing Day
7/27 Friday: National Talk in an Elevator Day (last Friday in July)  Have your business cards or catalogs ready!

See more unusual and unknown “days” in July, click HERE.

Among many other titles, July is known as:
Hemochromatosis Screening Awareness Month

Business Tip: Summer is a great time to book evening parties during the week. Moms are less busy during the week since the kids aren’t doing homework. Weekends have been known to be slow in the summer for party plan consultants, but you can make up for it by having lots of week night parties. Now is the best time!

 

AUGUST 2012
Stone: Peridot
Flower: Gladiolus
Astrological Signs: Leo (7/23-8/22) and Virgo (8/23-9/22)

8/18 Saturday: Woodward Dream Cruise (car cruise in Metro Detroit)
8/19 Sunday: National Aviation Day

Funny days:
8/5 Sunday: International Beer Day
8/13 Monday: International Left-Hander’s Day

See more unusual and unknown “days” in August, click HERE.

Among many other titles, August is known as:
Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month
Psoriasis Awareness Month

Business Tip: Kids go back to school soon. August is a good month to promote a last chance Girls’ Night Out or Moms’ Night Out party.

 

SEPTEMBER 2012
Stone: Sapphire
Flower: Aster
Astrological Signs: Virgo (8/23-9/22) and Libra (9/23-10/22)

9/3 Monday: Labor Day (3 day weekend)
9/9 Sunday: Grandparents’ Day (first Sunday after Labor Day)
9/11 Tuesday: Patriot Day (a.k.a. 9/11 Remembrance Day)
9/16 Sunday: Mexican Independence Day (lots of themed activities held especially throughout California)
9/22 Saturday: First Day of Autumn
9/28 Friday: Native American Day (4th Friday in September).

Funny days:
9/19 Wednesday: International Talk Like a Pirate Day
9/28 Friday: Ask a Stupid Question Day

See more unusual and unknown “days” in September, click HERE.

Among many other titles, September is known as:
Leukemia Society Month
National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 through October 15)
Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Business Tip: Kids are back in school and stay-at-home moms have a little more time on their hands. Perhaps the cost of school supplies was more than they budgeted for? It’s a great time to recruit moms looking for part-time work now that the kids are out of the house all day. Grow your team!

 

OCTOBER 2012
Stone: Opal
Flower: Snapdragon
Astrological Signs: Libra (9/23-10/22) and Scorpio (10/23-11/21)

10/8 Monday: Columbus Day (observed), 3 day weekend
10/16 Tuesday: Boss’s Day (National Bosses Day). If it falls on a weekend, it is observed on the work day closest to the 16th.
10/20 Saturday: Sweetest Day, a day to take the time to show love to people in need or those who are special to us who we wouldn’t normally give special attention to (3rd Saturday in Oct).
10/31 Wednesday: Halloween

Funny days:
10/6 Saturday: Mad Hatter Day
10/20 Saturday: Information Overload Day

See more unusual and unknown “days” in October, click HERE.

Among many other titles, October is known as:
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
National Disability Employment Awareness Month
National Spinal Health Month

Business Tip: October 26-28, 2012 (Fri-Sun) is the weekend before Halloween. This is when people tend to host or attend Halloween parties. If you are looking to book up that weekend this year, book day time parties. Chances are people will have plans in the evening.

 

NOVEMBER 2012
Stone: Yellow Topaz
Flower: Chrysanthemum
Astrological Signs: Scorpio (10/23-11/21) and Sagittarius (11/22-12/21)

11/1 Thursday: All Saints’ Day
11/2 Friday: All Souls’ Day (All Hallows Day, Day of the Dead)
11/4 Sunday: Daylight Savings time ends
11/6 Tuesday: Election Day voting (Tuesday after first Monday in Nov.)
11/11 Sunday: Veterans Day
11/12 Monday: Veterans Day observed (3 day weekend)
11/13 Tuesday – 11/14 Wednesday: Total Solar Eclipse, unless you are planning a late night party, this should not pose an attendance issue.
11/22 Thursday: Thanksgiving Day
11/23 Friday: Black Friday – Friday after Thanksgiving, traditional start of Christmas shopping deals.
11/26 Monday: Cyber Monday – Monday after Thanksgiving, the online internet version of Black Friday deals.

Funny days:
11/17 Saturday: National UnFriend Day regarding Facebook friends 
11/23 Friday: National Flossing Day (always the day after Thanksgiving)

See more unusual and unknown “days” in November, click HERE.

Among many other titles, November is known as:
National American Indian Heritage Month
National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month
National Diabetes Month

Business Tip: Click HERE for holiday season sales and booking tips.

 

DECEMBER 2012
Stone: Turquoise
Flower: Orchid
Astrological Signs: Sagittarius (11/22-12/21) and Capricorn (12/22-1/20)

12/7 Friday: Pearl Harbor Remembrance
12/8 Saturday – 12/16 Sunday: Hanukkah (Chanukah, Chanukkah)
12/14 Friday or 12/17 Monday: Free Shipping Day (the 2012 date has not been announced, but I’m guessing it will be either 12/14 or 12/17 – I will update this post when the date is determined)
12/21 Friday: The Maya calendar comes to an end (Winter Solstice). This has been referred to by many as the end of the world, as depicted in the popular movie 2012. In that sense, it may not be a good idea to hold a party on this day, but if you’re like me and don’t believe the hype, it could be a fun theme idea. Throw an End of the World themed party. You could say something like, “The world is ending, so why not blow all your money on [insert your product here].”
12/22 Saturday: First Day of Winter
12/25 Tuesday: Christmas
12/26 Wednesday – 1/1/13 Tuesday: Kwanzaa
12/31 Monday: New Year’s Eve

Funny days:
12/4 Tuesday: National Cookie Day
12/20 Thursday: National Regifting Day 
12/23 Sunday: Festivus

See more unusual and unknown “days” in December, click HERE.

Among many other titles, December is known as:
AIDS Awareness Month
Safe Toys and Gifts Month

Business Tip: Keep in mind many offices and organizations usually have their holiday parties the two weekends before Christmas.

Additional Resources and Things to Consider:

Federal Holidays
Most government offices, banks, businesses, and schools are closed on U.S. Federal Holidays. If a Federal holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, many people are awarded or request to take an extra day off work (usually the Friday before or Monday after). Visit this site to see dates of Federal Employees Holiday days off: Office of Personnel Management

In 2013, there is an extra Federal Holiday (every 4th year): Inauguration Day. It occurs on January 20th after the U.S. Presidential Election held every 4 years. Since January 20th in 2013 falls on a Sunday, it will be observed on Monday, January 21st.

Sporting Events
Maybe some women don’t care about sports, but if their husbands do, they will not be happy with a bunch of people coming over during the game to smell candles or try on jewelry. Perhaps utilize 2 rooms and invite wives AND the husbands. This has worked well for me in the past during regular season or even early playoff season games, although I personally would never book on a day like Super Bowl Sunday or during the NBA Finals or World Series games—I will most likely want to be watching the TV too. A great web site to check out for dates and info on major sporting events is http://www.johnnyroadtrip.com/.

Spring Break
Spring Break varies from school to school. It is usually somewhere between the 2nd week of March and early to mid April. Some schools take two weeks, while other only one week. Christian schools and universities tend to not have Spring Break until after Holy Week (Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday).

Pop Culture and Entertainment
Is there a big event going on in your area? A state Fair or a largely anticipated concert that your target market may be attending? If your target audience is moms of pre-teen girls, don’t book a party the night of the Justin Beiber concert!

What about award show nights? Movie buffs won’t want to miss the Oscars on Sunday, February 26, 2012.

Daylight Savings Times in 2012
Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 2am (set clocks AHEAD one hour)
Sunday, November 4, 2012 at 2am (set clocks BACK one hour)
An easy way to remember these is to think of springing forward in the spring (always the second Sunday in March), and falling backward in the fall (always the first Sunday in November).

Seasons
Plan party themes around the changing of the seasons.
March 20, 2012: Vernal Equinox – Beginning of Spring.
June 20, 2012: Summer Solstice – Beginning of Summer.
September 22, 2012: Autumnal Equinox – Beginning of Fall (Autumn).
December 21, 2012: Winter Solstice – Beginning of Winter.

Check Out These Sites
Here are some good web sites with information about holidays, religious observations, and popular dates:

Holiday Smart

When Is

Holiday Insights

Time and Date

Brownielocks 

Feel free to leave a comment!

~Monica Ramos

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