During the uncertain, chaotic period brought on by the rise in COVID-19 cases, effective management of the event planning process can prove an extremely valuable financial asset. Whether rescheduling an event to a later date or planning a new event for the future, our Charleston financial advisors recommend taking these proactive measures to ensure a successful function.
Preparation Before You Plan
Before planning a new event, make sure you have up to date information regarding any public policy changes for COVID-19. This is especially important when selecting an event date, as regulations may impose capacity or seating restrictions or prevent in-person attendance altogether. Doing research on insurance options is also imperative to protect you or your company against unforeseen circumstances that might your event. Take care to read contracts thoroughly so you can prevent surprises and unintended financial complications in the event planning process. Ask questions before finalizing any contracts or agreements. For example, will your venues allow you to reschedule without financial penalty? Will they keep your deposit and apply it to your next event?
‘Force Majeure’ is a common clause that may allow contracts to be terminated without financial penalties, given the ongoing circumstances which are outside the reasonable control of a party. It may also be helpful to calculate multi-scenario financial projections with this information from the contracts. Plan financials for three different outcomes to make more informed and responsible decisions: cancellation, reschedule, proceed as planned. Financial preparation minimizes the impact of unforeseen circumstances on your event and will provide you with greater confidence in the planning process. More effort and diligence on the back end will create a smoother progression moving forward.
Start the Planning Process
Now that you have completed your extensive research, it is time to plan your next event. Participation is a major factor in the success of an event, with large event engagement at the forefront. If possible, design and distribute online surveys to gauge interest in attending your event. This will provide valuable information on attendee preferences that will help your event grow and guide planning decisions.
With this information, an appropriate event format can be chosen to fit your goals and provide the best experience for guests. A virtual event may be a great, low-cost solution to avoid future cancellations and disorganization. Explore the digital opportunities and resources available and see if you have the technological capabilities for this type of venture. Once event details have been hashed out, confirm (and re-confirm) with the venue, speakers, entertainment, and other vendors.
The most successful events stem from cohesive teams. Communicate each step of the event planning process with all team members and stakeholders to maintain transparency and foster support. Similarly, notify event attendees of alterations to event details including date changes, theme updates, or refund opportunities.
COVID-19 has introduced the importance of developing health & safety event protocols for future use. These plans can include virus mitigation techniques and precautions to create a safe environment for events moving forward. Related expectations and procedures should be approved by project managers and re-evaluated accordingly.
Be Decisive, Act Swiftly
If you are forced to cancel your event despite taking these proactive actions, you should announce event changes as quickly as possible. Have an appointed emergency task force in place should this happen so that a contingency plan can be created and executed. Before making any final decisions, review the implications of not hosting the event, or rescheduling the timing or location. Consult with a key company or departmental members and consider their input and recommendations. The faster you move to make a decision, even in the face of uncertainty, the better. Once a decision has been made, stick to it and move forward with clear, transparent communications. Clarity will provide a sense of confidence while reducing any potential anxiety or miscommunications. Be sure to reinforce that employee and attendee safety is your number one concern!
We know that these extenuating circumstances can be chaotic and difficult to navigate, especially for those working to plan or reschedule their events. Be sure to review these resources that can help you navigate handling the cancellation and rescheduling of a variety of events!
- How Do I Reschedule or Get a Refund for My Vacation?
- Should I Postpone or Cancel My Wedding?
- So Your Event Was Cancelled Due to Coronavirus. What Now?
- How To Save Money While Cancelling Company Events
We know that the extenuating circumstances that COVID-19 brings, financial losses are a reality for many companies and individuals. Now more than ever, it is crucial to learn how you can enjoy greater financial freedom. Our expert Charleston financial planners provide you and your loved ones with the responsible wealth management you need to live abundantly. Contact one of our wealth management experts today!
The opinions expressed herein are those of Morris Financial Concepts, Inc. (“MFC”) and are subject to change without notice. This material is for informational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice. MFC is an independent investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. More information about MFC including our investment strategies, fees, and objectives can be found in our ADV Part 2, which is available upon request. MFC-20-20