If you had an event, conference, or other large gathering scheduled for the next several weeks or months, we truly feel for you! 

You’ve undoubtedly already spent considerable time and money preparing for the event. Many tasks have been performed and now need to stop and/or reversed: selling or providing tickets, taking reservations, reserving a venue, hiring caterers and even entertainers. And on and on and on.

Chances are great that if your event was going to be held in April and May, you’ve already cancelled it. As for events scheduled for June and beyond? We bet you’re crossing all fingers and toes that social distancing guidelines will be lifted in time for the show to go on.

Sadly, this is looking less and less likely as many experts have said social distancing and “stay at home” orders should remain in effect for several months beyond this spring.

To put it mildly: no fun!!!

“No fun.” That’s putting it mildly. But social distancing is necessary in order to cut way down on the number of people who get the disease and to keep hospitals from becoming completely overwhelmed: which would result in even more deaths.

So it’s highly probably that you’ll have to cancel your upcoming event, here are a few recommendations that can help you do so, with a focus on marketing to and communicating with your event’s attendees and vendors.

You’re not the CDC: your audience wants information such as refund policies

Don’t worry: your audience no doubt understands why you have or will be cancelling your event. In fact, so much has the coronavirus changed our world in just a few weeks, we wouldn’t be surprised if you already have calls from attendees with questions regarding any event scheduled for June and beyond.

Once you make the decision to cancel, you’ll want to make an announcement quickly and you should provide information on such things as:

  • If you’ve already chosen a date to reschedule.
  • Your refund policy and how attendees and vendors can receive it.
  • Whether your event will be held remotely, via video, for example, and how attendees can access it.
  • If many attendees and vendors planned to travel from afar to the event, you might consider offering information on how to cancel air and hotel reservations.

The idea is to know your attendees’/vendors’ concerns and address them as thoroughly as possible. 

Communicate, communicate and communicate some more

As hinted at above, your job now is to give your attendees (both prospective and confirmed) as much as information as they need and could ever want.

Communicate your information via several channels: email, social media, news releases, texts, on your website, etc.  (A banner on the top of your homepage announce the event’s cancellation/rescheduling could be a great idea. But it’s not enough).

Again, you know your audience and how they like to receive messages.

Also – and extremely important – make sure everyone within your organization is provided consistent messaging so that everyone discusses the cancellation in the same way. 

It’s wise to vet your messaging

Before sending out official notices regarding cancellation or rescheduling, it’s wise to have your legal team counsel you on the appropriate language to use in your announcement, especially if you plan to cancel and not reschedule.

Event cancellation software platform for publishers

Many publishers host conferences and events – some of the best, actually! – and the MagHub CRM/ERP publishing workflow platform can help you run and manage your events from creation to fruition…and even cancellation. MagHub’s event module can help you refund tickets and vendors’/exhibitors’ fees easily. Its CRM capabilities will help you stay in touch with your attendees as you provide them updates for when and if you reschedule.

Once the coronavirus emergency has faded, MagHub’s CRM will allow you to follow up with past attendees when you hold new events, and can even help you create custom drip marketing campaigns to attract the attention of potential attendees for future events and conferences.

How can we help you manage your publication’s events?

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