Events in Crisis? 6 Key Recommendations on What to Do Now & What to Do Next

July 21, 2020
Weekly plan written on whiteboard

Recently, our partner, Naylor Association Solutions, released a white paper, Events in Crisis? 6 Key Recommendations on What to Do Now & What to Do NextWe wrote up a quick summary of their white paper, but encourage you to download the full version! 

What to Do Now 

1. Know All Your Options before Making a Decision 

Many times when there is a crisis, we’re faced with making decisions quickly. However, it’s always smart to know all of your options before making those decisions. Some things to consider: 

  • Your calendar. How far away is your event? Do you need to make a decision immediately? 
  • Review your event insurance policy. Use what you find here to help guide your decisions. 
  • Contact your venue and vendors for options on alternative dates. 

2. Once You Know Your Plans, Communicate Early and Often 

There is so much communication these days – emails, social media, the news – make sure to make your messages count. 

  • Avoid making open-ended postponement announcements. Without enough information for your attendees (and exhibitors!) you’ll start to lose your audience. 
  • Once you have a postponement date, communicate your plans as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. 
  • Stay positive! 

3. Don’t Just Move It, Improve It 

Your programming was most likely set (or getting there) when you made the decision to postpone. The world has changed so much, carve out opportunities to talk about the world as it is today. 

  • Add content that addresses the world crisis and its impact on your market 
  • Find ways to make it easy for more attendees to be there 
  • Find ways to add more exhibitor and sponsor value 

4. If You Cancel, Work Quickly to Offset the Losses 

Canceling an event means you will be losing out on some of the best opportunities for revenue, engagement and education for the year. So how can you replicate those opportunities? 

  • Develop a strategy for moving some elements of your event online 
  • Understand the highest value experiences of your event and try to replicate them 
  • Whatever plan you decide, have some of this in place before announcing your cancellation 

5. Go Digital with Event Content 

While many organizations were already live streaming some content from their in-person event, recording sessions for on-demand viewing, and hosting webinars throughout the year, the recent months have seen many new ideas and creativity as we no longer have in-person experiences (for now). Here are a few best practices: 

  • Don’t assume all technology works for you – make sure you vet the technology you are choosing before just making a decision 
  • Do update your LMS with new or refreshed courses. This can be content specifically developed for your courses or can come directly from the virtual events you are already hosting 
  • Do host a virtual career fair. Depending on the industry you’re in, there may be a lot of job seekers right now that would bring a lot of traffic to your event. 

6. Think of High-Impact, High-ROI Options 

Great content enables non-dues revenue. Some opportunities include: 

  • Sponsored eBlasts 
  • Industry Buyers Guides 
  • Digital sponsorships 

Want to dive deeper? Check out the entire white paper here

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