Be clear about how much time you need from people for your project. For example, if you’re asking them to be on a steering group, communicate dates ahead of each meeting as early as possible, including start and finish times. You could even set these up to a year in advance. For a discussion type group let people know how long the group will run for and be clear this is a one off event.
If participants are required to read anything in advance, make sure you tell them in plenty of time so they can prepare. Mind recommends giving people at least a week to read materials – longer if there is a lot to read in advance.
Bear in mind that participants will need to factor in travel time, especially if meetings or groups are far away. Many of the people who participate will have work, family or caring responsibilities so giving as much notice as possible will show that you respect those other commitments.Think about start and end times that take this into account.
Think about the best time of day for the types of participants you want to reach. For example, early mornings might be difficult for people who take medication and/or have family commitments. Early evenings are often better for people who work. But also think about your participants’ commute, and how your timing will affect the duration and cost of getting to and from the activity.