Cancelling an event without damaging your Reputation.

Having to cancel or postpone an event for reasons beyond control is any organisers worst nightmare. Whether it’s due to a natural disaster, delayed travel, venue cancellation or your entertainment pulling out at the last minute, you’ll likely face backlash if your event cannot go ahead.

If you’ve done everything you possibly can to enable your event to go ahead but it simply cannot happen, make sure you’ve covered all the avenues. The following is a summary of some essential steps that your business should take.

Communicate Quickly

The moment you know you have to cancel your event,communicate with either the venue/event hosts, any sponsors, performers, suppliers and of course the registered attendees. Whilst you can’t account for the notice you give them: ensure they know immediately after you do and take steps to ensure you don’t accept any more ticket sales or registrations for the event.

Ideally, you will need to give your attendees 24 hours notice so that they can cancel their own travel plans. Otherwise, you may be obliged yo compensate for the cost of these as well.

Dependent on the size of your event, sending an email may suffice, you might want to include a yes/no survey inviting a response to confirm they’ve received and read   email, calling people directly where possible may serve to put you in better standing.

Be honest about your reason

Whilst it may be tempting to preface your communication with Due to unforeseen circumstances this vague approach may serve to confuse and anger people. Try to be as honest as you can. However be mindful of oversharing : don’t  share embarrassing/private details or anything that could put you in the midst of a legal battle.

Offer a Refund 

If your attendees have paid for a ticket in advance to your event and you are unable to reschedule the event, make sure to inform them in your initial contact that they will be fully refunded for their ticket. This direct approach should appease the majority of your customers. Make sure that you deliver their refund as quickly as possible. If you fail to refund them or there’s a long delay in the refund, this will have a major bearing on your reputation and any of your future events.

Make sure that even if you are able to reschedule, you still give your initial buyers the choice to get a refund as they paid for the ticket for the date advertised, not the rescheduled date.

Treat your suppliers with respect 

Make sure to keep an open channel of communication with your suppliers following the cancellation of your event and don’t cut all ties without paying them anything. It’s likely that they would have needed to buy in extra supplies for the event or hire in additional staff, so you may need to negotiate a final payout to ensure their extra expenditure is accounted for.

Be prepared in advance

Creating and marketing an event can be costly but cancelling one can be financially devastating. However,with Event cancellation Insurance in place, you are protected from irrecoverable costs and incurred expenses. To find out more about how this policy could help you, call one of our team at Daulby Read on 01244 311033