Quarantined, isolated and distanced? You’re not alone.
Indeed, these are unprecedented times. But that doesn’t mean your business needs to resort to unprecedented measures.
Think twice – rather, think creatively – before you cancel a staff meeting or guest speaker.
No doubt, your company has staff working remotely from home offices as a means to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
It’s not just a public health issue, but it could pose as a reputational minefield as companies and event planners cancel previously scheduled large gatherings.
Thankfully, technology has granted us alternative means to in-person meetings. It also allows companies to alert their customers that they are still open for business.
Video conferencing is a valuable and effective option. Web conferencing, greatly enhanced since it was introduced in the 1990s, allows staff to remotely participate in slideshows, jot whiteboard notes and share screenshots as efficiently as if they were in the boardroom seated next to you.
Plus, it’s more interactive than a standard text or email.
Speaking of which, let’s not forget that our phones still are capable of making calls that enable us to hear a live voice on the other end.
You shouldn’t hesitate to call a co-worker or client, as messaging often can be misconstrued through the aforementioned text or email. Plus, human interaction usually helps those who are struggling with being isolated.
Communication among staff and with clients, especially now, is paramount. It’s far too easy to become disconnected or sidetracked when routine interaction has been lost.
What to do with planned events?
Communication is key to keeping stakeholders and contractors informed. All communication should have consistent messaging, whether to stakeholders, staff or the public and it should it distributed to all at the same time.
Once the decision has been made to cancel your previously scheduled event, cease all ticket sales immediately and shut down all aspects of the event as quickly as possible to mitigate more costs from piling up.
Be sure to contact all ticket holders informing them of cancellation. If tickets have been sold, have a policy in place for refunds or grant ticket holders the ability to use tickets at a future event.
It’s a good idea to use social media sites to distribute your message. Include what options people may have for refunds and tickets.
Don’t forget to contact all suppliers such as catering, party supplies, technical and sound system, speakers and entertainers to make them aware of the cancellation.
If your event can be held any time of the year (gala, dinner, conference) try to select a new date six to nine months or more from current date.
Most importantly, ensure that your planning team is kept in the loop as to what is happening every step of the way to avoid mixed messages.