One of the most important aspects of your event is timing. It might seem like a simple detail to have nailed down, but the truth is it goes unnoticed more than you would think. Timing has a lot to do with the size of your event. For example, you probably wouldn't want to run a gift program for 6 hours if your guest list only consists of 50 people. A shorter time period, given it makes sense with your event size, is more effective and can actually help to maximize your guests' experience.
Here's an example. Your attendee list maxes out at about 100 guests. You've planned a Sunday morning brunch buffet for your guests at the resort. It's located in one of the ballrooms where guests will be treated to an open bar and a small brunch buffet while they pick their gifts. Guests are free to come when they'd like within the given times. Ideal timing for this particular event is going be three, four hours tops. Your goal should be to have all or most of your guests arrive around the same time. Here's why.
When guests are filtering in they're seeing all of their friends and co-workers who are at this incentive trip with them. There's cocktails and food and gifts, all of which are more fun with a great group of people around! It ends up turning into a mid morning cocktail hour where your guests are socializing, having a great time, and choosing their amazing gifts. Talk about an event to remember! It's also important to remember that not enough time can be also be an issue. Remember your ideal timeframe is going to rely heavily on how many guests you're expecting to attend.
So let's say you're planning a much larger event with 600 guests on the list. For an event of this size, you're not going to want everyone to come receive their gifts at once due to the high volume of people. A timeframe of three to four hours probably isn't going to work. You're guests are likely to feel rushed through their gifting experience and ultimately unsatisfied. In this instance, you'll want to extend the gifting time to about 6-8 hours to ensure your guests are trickling in through smaller waves over that extended timeframe.