You’ve done the best you could but due to unforeseen circumstances you have no other option but to cancel your event. This is a scenario no one wants to think about but, if you find yourself in this predicament the way you handle the situation will affect your reputation.
Whatever your reasons for cancelling your event follow the six tips in our two-part post for effective damage control to ensure your reputation will still be in tact after you break the news.
Craft an official cancellation message
It is essential that you ensure that everyone in your organisation is on the same page regarding the cancellation of your event which is why it’s important to craft an official cancellation message. Consistency in your messaging is key and conveys the feeling that for whatever reason the event was cancelled it had nothing to do with poor planning and disorganisation on your part.
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Notify attendees, speakers and sponsors
Your next important action should be to notify all your registered attendees, speakers and sponsors of the cancellation and refunds. Don’t wait too long to do this as many people may have flights, accommodation and other reservations to cancel. A delay on your part could prevent them from receiving refunds. Your attendees, speakers and sponsors should not hear about the event cancellation from anyone other than you which is why you should hold off on telling anyone (barring the venue) before you tell them.
Stop all bookings, ticket sales and promotions
In the midst of all the mayhem don’t forget to stop any further bookings, ticket sales and promotions. From the moment you decide to cancel the event you should immediately take time out to stop all promotion efforts (Don’t forget those with third party vendors) and remove all reference to the event from your social media, website etc.
Don’t miss part two of our post where we look at three more tips to help you successfully cancel an event without damaging your reputation.