Have you ever experienced an unprecedented occurrence that requires you to cancel your event after people have registered? There are times when unforeseen circumstances come up and get in the way of you hosting your planned event.
Maybe the venue canceled on you last minute, or other factors you couldn’t control came up, jeopardizing your ability to go on with the event. Whatever it is, an event cancellation happens even to event pros. However, a well-handled cancellation may improve the integrity and strength of your brand.
So what do you do when faced with the challenging decision of canceling your event? Here are some pro tips from Aurora’s customer experience team to help you turn a bad situation into an opportunity that depicts top-notch customer service.
Valid Reasons That May Lead to an Event Cancellation
Here are some of the reasons that may lead an event planner to cancel an event:
Pandemics like Covid-19 bring with them significant challenges to event planners. Thus, an event planner may have to cancel an event due to a pandemic for the following reasons:
- Restrictions regarding public gatherings due to a limit in the allowed number of attendees
- Infections among keynote speakers or critical event staff
- Travel restrictions and extended quarantine periods for the event guests
- Masking requirements that may make some events untenable
- Requirements for social distancing may render a venue useless based on the number of attendees and their ability to create distance.
Circumstances may lead you to cancel an event due to bad weather, such as strong winds, tornado warnings, or thunderstorms.
Event Venue Problems
Hosting an indoor event may have a single factor that can threaten to sabotage your event’s success. Electrical issues, plumbing, HVAC, or other issues may force you to cancel an event.
You risk damaging the brand’s reputation when you cancel an event due to low attendance. Therefore, sometimes it’s advisable to carry on with the event, especially if you have attendees who’ve already made travel arrangements.
Writing an Event Cancellation Notice: Step-by-Step Guide
There are different options when it comes to how to write an event cancellation email. This section will help you with the correct wording to cancel an event. Here are the steps to follow when writing an event cancellation email:
Select the Appropriate Email Format
You can use two formats to write your letter to cancel an event. The formal email format with a professional approach is best for significant events like seminars. The other option is a less traditional format with a more friendly technique for parties or local events.
Make the Recipients Aware of the Event Cancellation
The most important aspect of incorporating a letter to cancel an event is an appropriate subject line like “Event Cancelled.” Consequently, once you’ve indicated the motive of the email in the subject line, the email’s body needs to give the rest of the details about the event cancellation.
State the Reasons for the Event Cancellation
Elaborate why you had to cancel the event on the cancellation email. Make the explanation in 100-200 words and keep it as professional as possible and straight to the point.
Write An Apology for the Inconvenience Caused
An apology is necessary when starting your email, or it can appear after explaining the reasons for the event cancellation. Use statements such as:
- “We regret to inform you,”
- “On behalf of the organizing committee, I apologize,”
- “Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused,” etc.
Stating your apology is one of the critical parts of an event cancellation notice, and without it, you’ll come off as rude and inconsiderate.
State the Terms of Refund
At this point, you need to mention the terms and conditions of the ticket refunds and how the attendees will receive their money. Also, indicate the amount to deduct as a service fee or commission.
End Your Letter With An Appreciation
Finally, at the end of your email, add some appreciation words. Such gestures add a soft touch to the professional letter while making it appear classy. Therefore, an appreciation lets the would-be attendees know that their money and time are valued.
Ensure You Send Out the Email As Soon As Possible
Your attendees need to know about the event’s cancellation as soon as possible. They’re already scheduling themselves to attend, and it’d be unfair to let them know when it’s too late.
Accordingly, you should only send the cancellation announcement after making the final cancellation decision with other stakeholders. Taking back a cancellation notice is too embarrassing.
Having to cancel an event is every event planner’s worst nightmare, but when done responsibly and openly, it means you can send invitations for the event again. Additionally, the experience gives you a chance to identify opportunities for growth while creating a foundation for an even more successful future event.