The Coronavirus pandemic is impacting the live events industry in a significant way, causing many event creators to postpone their events. At Encore Event Design, we understand how difficult it can be to face delaying your event. As we face these uncertain times, our team has put together a list of tips to help make rescheduling your event easier.
A postponement will not only affect your attendee community but will also affect the relationships and contract you have with your vendors. Likely, your vendors are already preparing for a change of plans. Still, it is essential to communicate with them as soon as possible to ensure that you have the opportunity to discuss alternatives and arrive at ones that are fair for all parties. To get started:
* Look at your contract to determine what scenarios are covered and what your vendors’ policies are regarding the postponement.
* In some cases, vendors only allow you to reschedule within a certain amount of time before your event date, so be sure to contact them as far in advance as possible.
* Utilize your event insurance to see what it covers. You may be able to recover some o your additional costs that you have incurred due to the postponement.
It is essential to let your speakers, partners, and sponsors know about the postponement quickly as well. This will give them time to make adjustments to their accommodations. Be sure to:
* Provide immediate personal notice to your sponsors, partners, and speakers who are traveling to the event.
* Discuss possible dates to determine the best date to reschedule.
* If you find that a speaker or partner can’t attend the rescheduled event, be sure to enlist their help in finding a new speaker or partner.
Once you’ve stopped the sale of new tickets, the next step is to update all ticketholders of the postponement. Swift and clear communication about rescheduling will show your attendees your commitment to them. When announcing the postponement, be sure to include the reason for the postponement, the new date for the event, and a link to your brand’s refund policy.
In addition to providing credits and refunds from your current event, you should also consider delaying any early-bird or discount deadlines for the new event for as long as you can to give more people time to make arrangements to attend on the new date.
To support your sponsors and exhibitors, you can move some of their funds to an online platform where they can get exposure now instead of waiting for the rescheduled event.
Be sure that all participants are aware of the new policies. You should also make sure they understand their options to cancel or carry their funds over to the new event date.
Announce the postponement on all promotional channels possible
* Email – Send out a detailed email to all ticket holders to inform them of the postponement.
* Ticketing Platforms – Utilize any messaging the ticketing platform may offer to get the message out.
* Social media posts- Pay close attention to your event hashtag and be sure to reply to mentions of the event. For more public complaints, consider contacting the poster directly.
* Media partners – They can be used as an outlet to communicate your changes and updates.
It is also important to communicate through the proper channels based on the urgency of your situation. If you have three days or less to update everyone, use a mass text in addition to emails and social media posts. An email works great for events that are farther out.
After you’ve finished working with your vendors, guests, etc., it is time to update your event listing with the changes that you have decided on. It’s possible the postponing the vent could have cost you’re a few guests, but now you can use this time to sell more tickets for the new event date.
Keep an eye on the number of tickets refunded and the new attendee to help you maintain an accurate number of expected attendees.
Another way to maintain support from attendees and soften the blowback from upset attendees is to provide a list of FAQs. This will help clear up any confusion they may have and shows them that you are on top of their concerns and questions. A few examples of questions you can expect include:
* Why is the event being postponed?
* What is the refund policy?
* Where is the information on the rescheduled event — including any changes to location, speaker lineup, number of tickets available, etc.?
* How are you helping vendors, booth purchasers, exhibitors, etc.?
* Whom can they contact for more information?
To help boost the turnout of the rescheduled event, it is important to remain engaged with your attendees. Keep your communication consistent, so they do not miss any updates about your event.
You may consider inviting your attendee to a group chat where they can engage in online discussions. You could also offer online events or webinars on topics related to your event. It is also important to make sure you continue to promote the new event dates.
At Encore Event Design, we understand that this is a difficult time for event creators, and we hope these tips for rescheduling can help make the situation a bit easier to handle. If you are in need of (add event planning), décor, balloons, event space, or other event services for your rescheduled event, contact us today to learn how our expert team can help!