The early bird catches the worm

So the saying goes, and we have an early bird deadline in honour of it. But what does that actually mean?

© S Holloway - Early birds get more press opportunities and first dibs on the bunting!

Where does the saying come from?

It’s an old English proverb, nobody knows for sure where it came from – it’s that old! It was first recorded though in a 17th century collection of proverbs by the English naturalist, John Ray.

What is the early bird deadline for Heritage Open Days (HODs)?

Short answer is 1st May!  It's a left-over from when a national booklet was produced. There are now too many events, and the details often come in too late to produce one, so all the details are published online. The deadline has remained though as many local areas print leaflets and in terms of press and promotional opportunities it is still really useful to register early.

So what do early HODs birds get?

  • More and often better press opportunities to advertise your event. The long lead press release to catch those glossy September magazines has just been sent!
  • Early appearance on the public event directory, meaning more time (and chances) for people to find out about your event.
  • First dibs on the free promotional materials. Stocks are limited and you can’t apply for them until you have submitted an event. So early submission means much more chance of getting what you ask for.

Do you need to include all the details – what if something changes?

Ideally, yes! You won’t be able to submit an entry without some sense of opening times and description of what will be happening. You can make amendments later if you need to though, and there’s no deadline for that. BUT remember that the information may already have been published so you will need to be prepared for visitors who haven’t checked back for updates.

What if you miss the deadline?

Firstly, do NOT panic! Secondly, do get your event to us as soon as you can. The sooner we have them, the sooner we can start promoting your event.

The team process entries in monthly batches, so get your entry in before the end of May and you are in batch 2, end of June you are in batch 3. Either of these is fine, the one you want to avoid is July, batch 4 – this is when the bulk of entries are registered, it’s the busiest time in the office for enquiries and hence the entries take the longest to process. The last lot won’t go up on the event directory until just a couple of weeks before the event itself, so not a lot of press time for you!
The final deadline is 1st August, after that the system shuts down and no more entries can be created.

So go on, be an early bird, catch that worm and register today!