What to Do if You Must Cancel an Event

Event organizers may be considering whether their planned events should continue, change or be cancelled, due to the potential risks of spreading the COVID-19 virus.

If an event is impacted, here are some tips to help event organizers ensure their audiences are informed:

  1. Stop ticket sales immediately.
  2. Build a communications plan that identifies all affected parties and the best methods to inform them in a timely, respectful and consistent manner such as through email and/or social media.
  3. Make sure to include a clear explanation about why the event is not taking place as originally planned.
  4. Apologize for any inconvenience caused by the cancellation and offer a clear and simple process for obtaining any refunds that may be involved.
  5. Contact your funders and/or sponsors immediately to get answers to questions you may have about your funding obligations. Contact your insurer, if applicable.
  6. Include new event details, if it is being rescheduled or offered in a different manner, such as through a webinar format.
  7. Ensure all online calendars and event listings are updated.
  8. Be available to answer any questions about the cancellation.
  9. Use the situation as a learning opportunity for future event planning.

The following links may also be valuable to event organizers:

Risk-informed Decision-Making for Mass Gatherings during COVID-19 Global Outbreak

What to do When Your Marketing Event is Cancelled

How to Gracefully Cancel an Event

How to Cancel an Event with the Least Drama (with sample email)