In light of recent events, more and more pre-planned events have been advised to close down in order to limit large group gatherings. In an official statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): “Officials may ask you to modify, postpone, or cancel large events for the safety and well-being of your event staff, participants, and the community. The details of your emergency operations plan should be based on the size and duration of your events, demographics of the participants, complexity of your event operations, and type of on-site services and activities your event may offer.” To help stop the spread of COVID-19, it’s important to cooperate with national guidelines and avoid social gatherings. Keep reading for Trident Banquet Hall’s guide on how to postpone your events due to the coronavirus.
1. Inform your service providers
If you’re postponing your event, the first people to contact should be the ones who are tasked with making it happen. Asides from your attendees, your vendors will be immediately affected by the change of plans. Be sure to communicate with your service providers quickly so that you can discuss alternatives that are fair for everyone. Remember to check your contract to determine what scenarios are covered, and your vendors’ policies around cancellations and postponements. If you have event insurance, it is also a good idea to check whether you can recover some of the costs.
2. Announce your postponement
After you have stopped the sale of new tickets, you should update your ticket holders ASAP. Include the reason for postponement, a new event date, a link to your brand’s refund policy and contact information for additional customer support. Be sure to communicate the event changes quickly and clearly across your website, online mailing list and social media channels. Consider creating a list of FAQs that your guests may have, such as travel reimbursements, cancellation policies, etcetera.
3. Update your event listing
After informing your guests about the changes, update all of your listings with the new information. Keep an eye on the number of refunded tickets, cancelled service providers and guest speakers who are unable to attend. With this information, you may be able to work out a new number of expected attendees.
4. Engage your attendees online
You may have lost some vendors and attendees due to the postponement, but now you can work on advertising for your new date! Engage your audiences online to retain attendance by providing consistent updates and sneak peeks of what’s to come. Post content on social media that is relevant to the event theme, thank the guests who have stuck by you and continue to monitor the situation outside.
5. Stay positive
Lastly, remember to keep a positive attitude and an open mind. Although the circumstances are not ideal, it’s important to remain calm and respectful towards everyone who is involved. Consider how you can help your vendors, attendees, speakers and other staff. Whether it’s giving them a partial or full refund, or reaching out to see how they’re coping with the crisis, helping one another during these unprecedented times is extremely important.
Stay safe, and we hope to see you soon!