With the rising number of COVID-19 confirmed cases, this has been a blow-off to event industry. Event organizers or event creators have been making a hard decision to determine whether the event should go on or not. Today, we want to share the best practice from around the world.
Next Step to Do
Instead of cancelling an event, more and more event organizers would seize this opportunity to take a time buffer for better and more comprehensive preparation of the event. Delaying the event is one of the ways to minimize your lost as you can gain more time to review and optimize your performance. Other than that, you may organize a virtual event and make good use of this chance to equip your company with a tech-savvy look.
If you have made up your mind and decided to postpone your event, here are a few tips and things-to-do to well manage and keep your guests engaged and informed:
1. Contact your service provider and make back-up plans
Not only your participants should be informed, you should also communicate with your vendors once you have made the decision. Your event management company should have prepared a plan B for you; so earlier notification will allow better arrangements between two parties. Details like alternative event date and time, contract means, money leverage ought to be discussed thoroughly to protect the interests of both sides.
You may start by:
– Draw up a proposed event date and time: Check carefully to see if your contract allows you to re-schedule or cancel the service.
– Decide and get notice as soon as possible: Due to some contract restraints, service providers may only allow rescheduling within a certain period of time before the original event date. Hence, an advance notice is expected.
– Look up for your insurance: In case your event is covered by an insurance, probably it can cover some of your additional costs incurred as a result of rescheduling or even cancelling the event.
2. Inform your speakers and event partners
Your honorable guests or partners might be squeezing their time to come to your event. Tell them at the earliest so that they can rearrange their schedules. You may need to:
– Leave a personal note to the event partners, sponsors and speakers who will attend the event.
– Discuss alternative dates and times for the best-fit among all.
– Give it a try to ask for their help to find another people for substitution if they cannot attend the new event date unfortunately.
3. Make the rescheduling announcement both in private and public
If you currently stop the ticket sales period, you should inform the current ticket holders about the delay of the event. This is crucial to inform them it will affect the company’s reputation and commitment to your participants.
When you make a public announcement, you should include:
– The reason why you have to put off an event
– The replaced event date, time and venue
– A URL link to handle refund if your attendees cannot make it to the new time
Tips for participants to acquire customer support
In EventXtra: Event organizers can view the ticket revenue instantly on our EMS platform. This system allows handling refund to any paid attendees with simple drag and click. All the money can be credited to the original form of payment within a few minutes. It can thus equip more time for the organizer to set up the event.
After that, you may formulate an Email. Here’s a template for you:
Dear ATTENDEE’S NAME,
We are unfortunate to tell you that because of [LOCAL, or NATIONAL GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENT/ADVISORY] related to the recent coronavirus outbreak, we have made a hard decision to reschedule our event. The [EVENT NAME] will be postponed to [NEW EVENT DATE AND TIME] at [NEW LOCATION].
While it is disappointed to reschedule, we encourage all of you to follow the guidance from World Health Organization and local public health officials. We hope you are safe and sound and we are looking forward to seeing your event success.
Once you’ve finalized your notice, you can spread it out and send it through your promotional channels including:
– Email: This is the mass channel that you can reach everyone by just a few clicks by Automated Email feature in our system.
– Ticketing Platforms: All confirmed guests are consolidated into our EventXtra system so you can easily access the data.
– Social Media Posts: You can make good use of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram page to notify any event updates and changes. Direct messaging can also allow you to reply their comments privately to avoid any public complaints.
– SMS: Instantly sending them text messages to your guests’ devices can alert them in case of any immediate update.
4. Update the corresponding information in Online Registration Form
Now, you have settled your speakers and participants, you ought to update information in your online registration form to prevent confusion. Future registrants can be enrolled to your event if you have determined a new date and time for the event as well.
In EventXtra platform, you can easily manage and track the attendees under segments so that you will never mix them up. You may also set “Waitlist Function” or “Approval Mechanism” to put any new guests into your event and thus send confirmations to the new participants via the platform.
5. Briefly mark down the most frequently-asked questions (FAQs)
Putting off an event might raise dissatisfaction. To perfectly handle any upset fan, you should clear their confusion and pacify them through committing them. We have come up with some questions you might come across:
– How can I get a full refund?
– Why is the event postponed?
– How do you accommodate the participants under new mechanism?
– Who can I contact in order to get more information?
– Where can I see the most updated event information or notice?
– How will I be notified about the latest arrangements?
– Will you move your event online?
6. Take Care of Every Single Attendee
Other than notifying the event change, you might also want to keep a substantial communication with them so that you won’t lose any participant. It is awkward if you just keep saying hi to them. Why not try using our strategies below to engage them cordially:
– Invite them to a chat group or social media group to allow online discussions. – You might also solve those frequently-asked questions(FAQs) here.
– Offer online alternative! Why not move your event online.
– Go on with your event promotion with the new event dates to remind them.
– Post social content with is related to your event theme.
7. Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining
Delaying your event actually provides you a buffer zone for better preparation and improvement. You can keep on thinking ideas or ways to engage your attendees. It could be giving-outs, including providing discounts to the next event for those who signed up before the event was postpone; or it could be providing VIP gift packs to people impacted by the change. After all, some warm regards could also thank your guests for sticking with you.
8. Contact Us to Assist You With Any Change
Bear in Mind…
We understand your desperate desire to hold a live event, we do. Yet, under the current circumstances, it is pivotal to keep social distancing and stay home to avoid any spreading of the virus. Not only live events can bring people together, online events do share the same function! Our hand-in-hand effort will make our community better. Book a demo to know more about how we can assist your event success.