Should you plan or cancel autumn events? We help you decide.
If – pre-lockdown – you were thinking of holding a live event in the coming months, no doubt you’re now debating whether to go ahead or not.
Thanks to Covid-19, there are many unanswered questions about which events will be allowed to take place, when and how.
Nor do we know how confident people will feel about attending any type of gathering, even when restrictions have been lifted.
So it’s undoubtedly a tough call.
However, there are some practical considerations you can think about to help you make the right decision for both you and your event.
Here’s our 12-point checklist to help you decide:
- The importance of the event to your business.
Is it essential? Does it have to be in-person? Could it be virtual or hybrid instead? Identify and consider all the risks of either going ahead, remodelling or cancelling. Risks could include another full coronavirus lockdown, venue closures or suppliers going out of business
- A plan for going virtual.
If you’ve decided to take your event online or it could be an option further down the line, make sure you have a proper plan in place for how this will work
- The demographic of your target audience.
Are they likely to be willing and able to attend a live event, or will they be nervous?
Could the event be seen to be ‘in bad taste’, potentially putting your reputation at risk?
Will your guests be able to travel to the event? Are they likely to be affected by travel bans and/or quarantine periods? Also consider your options if public transport is halted or guests are being encouraged to avoid using it. For example, ensure the venue has adequate parking
Ensure you provide your delegates with the information they need in advance of and during the event, including safety measures and contingency plans. Don’t forget those who may not be attending in person – will materials be available to them and/or will they be able to watch the event online/a recording afterwards?
- Social distancing and cleaning.
How will you manage socially-distant registration, seating, catering and networking? Can your venue provide the extra cleaning services and other required adjustments?
- The consequences of cancelling.
What would it cost (in financial and other repercussions) if you attempt to go ahead with your event, but then have to postpone or cancel it? Can your company accept this potential loss? Take into account when deposits and full payments for the venue and other suppliers are due when working out potential losses. Will your suppliers offer refunds if you have to cancel?
- Your decision-making timeline.
Ensure you know who must make key decisions and when – both within your company and also contractually. Do you decide, or a committee of people? Make sure the process is clear and transparent to everyone involved
- Legal matters.
Do you have legal expertise available to you in case, for example, you have to cancel and potentially navigate complicated legal issues?
- Event insurance.
Thoroughly research what’s covered (and what’s not) and if it’s worth having before signing up
Do you have sufficient internal resources to help if you have a change of plan at short notice?
Every situation is different, so there will be other considerations specific to your event. But we hope this checklist gives you food for thought, setting you on the path towards the right decision for both you and your business.
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