March 5, 2020 Business Basics

How to Handle Rescheduling a Large-Scale Event

We talked a little about coronavirus (COVID-19) when the news about it first broke. Since then, the flu-like virus has become a worldwide pandemic. To help contain the outbreak, many organizations are canceling or rescheduling large-scale events. At one point, there was even discussion of postponing the 2020 Olympics. 

Canceling or rescheduling events can be a tricky process requiring some serious logistical changes. No matter the reason you’re rescheduling, there are a few things you can do to make the process a little smoother.

Be Transparent with Your Guests

First and foremost, you want to let any potential attendees know that you’re canceling or rescheduling and you want to do so in a timely manner. As soon as you make the decision to change the event, craft a thoughtful and timely message to get out to attendees.

For large-scale events, this is most likely going to be an email. You’ll also want to update your website or social media event pages if you have those. Being as clear as possible about the fact that you’re canceling or rescheduling is critical to avoiding too many snags with people who are disappointed.

You may also want to offer your guests something in exchange for changing the date of your event – whether that’s discounted tickets for the next event, a refund, or some kind of voucher (think dinner at a local restaurant or discounted travel). 

Alert Your Vendors

This is where things can start to get a little complicated. You may need to reschedule the venue, catering, and shipping of products, along with a number of other things. While some vendors have contingencies in place for these occurrences, others will keep your deposit or refuse to issue a refund.

Make sure that you know your vendors’ policies ahead of time, that way you avoid surprises. You may also consider purchasing insurance or paying an additional small fee to cover your organization if the vendors that you’re working with offer it.

Along with telling your guests quickly, you’re going to want to let your vendors know ASAP. Keeping all of your vendor documentation in one place can help you do this. It’s also important to share this information with at least one other person so they can help if you have a medical emergency or can’t cover the whole list yourself.

Your list should include the following for each vendor:

  • Name of the vendor
  • Point of contact
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Amount of deposit
  • Details on cancellation/rescheduling

When everything is consolidated, it can make the process go much faster.

Start the Process of Rescheduling

If you aren’t going for a full cancellation, this is the time to start figuring out when and how you can reschedule the event. Stay in contact with your attendees throughout the process to let them know that you’re working on it and are looking forward to hosting the event soon.

When issues like these arise, working with an even logistics company can help. At AFP Global Logistics, we’re committed to helping organizations handle events from beginning to end – and we know sometimes this can mean bumps in the road. We’ll work with you to figure out your best plan for moving forward.

To learn more about AFP Global Logistics’ event logistics services, give us a call today at 1 (800) 274-1237 or contact us here.