The event organiser’s communication kit in times of crisis

The event organiser’s communication kit in times of crisis

Sup­port­ing event organ­is­ers on a dai­ly basis is our pri­or­i­ty. We are there­fore close­ly fol­low­ing the evo­lu­tion of the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic that is cur­rent­ly affect­ing the entire world. Our teams remain avail­able, atten­tive to your needs and com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing you with advice, ideas and sup­port through­out this dif­fi­cult time.

Above all, it’s impor­tant that you fol­low the author­i­ties’ rec­om­men­da­tions. At the same time, you could also take advan­tage of this moment of uncer­tain­ty to get clos­er to your atten­dees despite the dis­tance, and regard­less of the sta­tus of your event, be it pro­ceed­ing (pro­vi­sion­al­ly or defin­i­tive­ly), post­poned or can­celled. In an ear­li­er arti­cle, we list all our rec­om­men­da­tions for mak­ing the right deci­sions as an event organ­is­er dur­ing the COVID-19 cri­sis. This arti­cle tack­les anoth­er sub­ject: how to com­mu­ni­cate with your atten­dees dur­ing the peri­od of the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic.

Sum­ma­ry

  1. Delay when the sit­u­a­tion per­mits
  2. Com­mu­ni­cate clear­ly in the event of a post­pone­ment
  3. Call for sol­i­dar­i­ty in the event of a can­cel­la­tion

1. Delay when the situation permits

First­ly, you should not rush to com­mu­ni­cate until your event’s sit­u­a­tion is fixed, espe­cial­ly if it takes place out­side the peri­ods affect­ed by the restric­tive mea­sures imposed by the author­i­ties. You should there­fore ini­ti­ate a delay­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion strat­e­gy that includes the fol­low­ing ele­ments.

Use Weez­Tar­get, our mar­ket­ing and CRM tool which is free and avail­able now, to com­mu­ni­cate with your atten­dees. Access it from your Weezevent account, in the Appli­ca­tions tab, and instant­ly find all of your atten­dees’ con­tact details: Log in.

Re-emphasise the context and the rules in place

It’s always a good idea to let your atten­dees know what might make it impos­si­ble to hold your event — restric­tions on capac­i­ty, geo­graph­i­cal loca­tion, venue lay­out, etc. — as they might not be as well informed as you on the small details that can reverse a deci­sion in such sit­u­a­tions.

Announce the possibilities being considered

Com­mu­ni­cate the dif­fer­ent stages of your organisation’s deci­sion-mak­ing process to your atten­dees. If you don’t make an effort to show that you’re doing every­thing you can to fix the sit­u­a­tion and sat­is­fy your atten­dees, they might feel that you’re for­get­ting them. Detail how you intend to pro­ceed, who you are in talks with, the pos­si­bil­i­ties of post­pone­ment of can­cel­la­tion that are being con­sid­ered, the new con­di­tions for organ­is­ing the event, and so on.

Plan a second phase of communication

If you have noth­ing to com­mu­ni­cate for now, men­tion that you will get back to your atten­dees as soon as you have more infor­ma­tion. Make sure they’re will­ing to be patient by offer­ing exclu­sive or revis­it­ed con­tent, such as a behind-the-scenes pho­to of the moment, an after­movie from pre­vi­ous edi­tions, etc.

Show your compassion

Although your event’s sur­vival is of course one of your pri­or­i­ties, it’s also impor­tant that you take a step back from the sit­u­a­tion, as every­one is affect­ed, includ­ing your atten­dees in their per­son­al and pro­fes­sion­al lives, your teams, and soci­ety in gen­er­al. This is the time to show your com­pas­sion and your empa­thy towards those who sup­port you and with­out whom the organ­i­sa­tion of your event wouldn’t be pos­si­ble.

Give thanks for current and past support

Whether your atten­dees have already bought their tick­ets or not, they fol­low you on a dai­ly basis and are inter­est­ed in your event. That’s enough rea­son to thank them for their sup­port. Don’t for­get that despite this dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion, you wouldn’t even have to wor­ry about your event if they weren’t with you in this adven­ture.

Observe the model students

 

 

Launch your tar­get­ed com­mu­ni­ca­tion strat­e­gy now with Weez­Tar­get, our new mar­ket­ing and CRM email­ing tool:

Dis­cov­er Weez­Tar­get

2. Communicate clearly in the event of a postponement

Announce the context of the postponement

Why has your event been post­poned? Who made this deci­sion? Give a clear expla­na­tion of the sit­u­a­tion and the rea­sons for this choice. The more you express your­self in clear terms, the more like­ly it is that your atten­dees will be under­stand­ing and ready to attend your event on its revised date.

Be clear on the terms of the postponement

Be it a change of date, loca­tion or sched­ul­ing, be sure to clear­ly announce the con­di­tions in which your new event will take place, regard­less of whether they have all changed. If you don’t do what’s nec­es­sary, you risk atten­dees not get­ting the expe­ri­ence they expect. It would be a shame to dis­ap­point them after mak­ing such an effort to organ­ise your event at all costs.

Set up a refund procedure

You are required to refund atten­dees who request this, even if your event has been post­poned. How­ev­er, you are free to set your own terms and com­mu­ni­cate accord­ing­ly, with these terms includ­ing:

  • The date of com­mu­ni­ca­tion for the refund pro­ce­dure — This can be dif­fer­ent to the date on which the post­pone­ment is announced;
  • The refund claim peri­od — It’s up to you to spec­i­fy a start date and an end date;
  • The refund date — Either just after the end of the peri­od, or x days lat­er;
  • The dif­fer­ence between the dis­tri­b­u­tion chan­nels — Detail the poli­cies for Fnac, Tick­et­mas­ter, See Tick­ets, etc.;
  • The pro­ce­dure for anony­mous tick­ets bought in per­son — Announce your refund pol­i­cy regard­ing these buy­ers.

We’ve men­tioned prac­ti­cal tips in terms of post­pone­ment in an ear­li­er arti­cle and all the details involved in refund­ing atten­dees in our online help.

Draw inspiration from those affected first

 

 

3. Call for solidarity in the event of a cancellation

Announce the bad news

Your atten­dees may not be as well informed as you and may not be famil­iar with the restric­tions that apply to your event in par­tic­u­lar, in terms of dates, capac­i­ty, loca­tion, etc. Remind them of the facts in order to avoid mis­un­der­stand­ings and reduce the audience’s dis­ap­point­ment.

Communicate around refunds

In the Fre­quent­ly Asked Ques­tions part of our ear­li­er arti­cle, we went over all the prin­ci­ples and pro­ce­dures for pro­cess­ing refunds in the event of a can­cel­la­tion. Regard­less of how you pro­ceed — in terms of dead­lines, full vs. par­tial refunds, etc. — your way of com­mu­ni­cat­ing will have an impact on atten­dees’ patience and their gen­eros­i­ty if you lat­er make a call for dona­tions. If a full refund of all tick­ets jeop­ar­dis­es your event, take the time to devel­op a strat­e­gy to reas­sure atten­dees that there will be a refund pro­ce­dure in place.

Take your time before set­ting up your sys­tem, men­tion the excep­tion­al sit­u­a­tion and ask for your atten­dees to be under­stand­ing. In par­tic­u­lar, inform them that you’re doing your best to man­age your event’s can­cel­la­tion as well as pos­si­ble.

Call for your audience’s solidarity

The cur­rent sit­u­a­tion is entire­ly new and unpre­dictable. In this con­text, atten­dees of can­celled events are usu­al­ly as affect­ed in emo­tion­al terms as the organ­is­ers. We’ve there­fore observed occa­sion­al surges of gen­eros­i­ty tak­ing place.

If you’re close to your audi­ence, and your event plays a major role in your area’s social cohe­sion and cul­tur­al devel­op­ment, con­sid­er col­lect­ing dona­tions to ensure the sur­vival of your event or char­i­ty. Weezevent offers you all the tools you need to car­ry out a fundrais­er which could be of great help for your event’s future.

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