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advantages of postponing an event

Benefits Of Postponing Your Event Instead of Cancelling

This is a year unlike any other. The novel coronavirus pandemic has already affected nearly 423,000 people worldwide, claiming more than 19000 lives (at the time of writing). A solution to the problem is not close in sight either, with the pandemic spreading to more and more countries – forcing people into self-isolation, quarantine, and a perpetual state of fear.

 

The Corona pandemic, apart from affecting lives in the worst way possible, has wreaked havoc in the global events and conference industry. From technology and business, to sports, music and finance – events are getting cancelled or postponed left, right and center (the Tokyo Olympics was pushed a year back only yesterday). High-profile technology events like SXSW 2020, the Mobile World Congress, the E3 gaming conference and even Facebook’s F8 conference have all been cancelled – resulting in a loss of well over $1.2 billion. The events industry is bleeding – and organisers are left with no other option than to cancel or postpone their events.

 

So, as a professional conference manager, does cancelling or postponing your event make more sense, economically and otherwise? At Eventify, we undertook a research – and can conclusively state that postponing your event is definitely the better idea.

 

  • You are getting more time to prepare — The situation is grim, but it is possible to put a positive spin on it. If you postpone your events for a few months, you can use that time to do more research, to understand the factors that would make your events more well-rounded and engaging, and implement them. If you simply cancel the event, you miss out on the chance.

 

  • You are not missing out on the investments – Let’s face it – you have spent big money, used up considerable resources, and invested a lot of time for planning your upcoming event(s). Cancelling them right away puts everything to waste. Instead, if you postpone strategically – you can ensure that your investments are not lost, and you can get the desired returns (albeit later).

 

  • You will not have to pay additional amounts to event tech vendors – Many organisers shy away from postponing their events – fearing that they might have to pay extra money to event management vendors. The fact, however, is, most leading event platforms are offering extensions on their plans (Eventify is doing the same). For example, if an organiser has an event in May 2020, has taken a package from Eventify, and the event now gets postponed to, say, January 2021 – no additional amount has to be paid. The current plan will remain active.

 

  • You can avoid the refunds problem – You had opened ticket sales, and had already earned a healthy ticket revenue. Now, if you cancel the event, you have to refund the entire amount to all those prospective attendees (which can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars). If you go for a postponement instead, you will not have to worry about these hefty refunds. Sure, some people will cancel their plans to attend the event – but that will be, comparatively, an insignificant number.

 

  • You will be able to meet your objectives (at least, most of them) – When you plan a business conference, you have certain goals in mind, right? Now, if you cancel the event – you are practically giving up the ghost, and will have to start doing everything afresh next year. However, if you host the event later in the year, you will still be able to meet most of your original objectives. There will be a considerable delay, but all will not be lost.

 

  • You will be able to deliver a better attendee experience – Most countries in the world are in lockdown. No sensible person is willing to venture outdoors. However, you need to keep in mind that there are many people who were looking forward to attending your event and following the proceedings. Postponing the conference will allow you to deliver on this expectation of the potential attendees. An outright cancellation, on the other hand, will disappoint people. That’s not something you want.

 

It’s also important to consider that event postponement or event cancellation are not the only 2 ways in which organisers can tackle the current state of crisis. Since large gatherings are the thing that needs to be avoided, you can move your conference to the virtual platform for now – and plan a proper physical conference later. That way, no major change of plan is required – and most event technology platforms do support webinars as well.

In light of the above considerations, we recommend that you postpone your event to a later date – when the global situation will, hopefully, return to normal. Do not cancel your event unless doing so is absolutely unavoidable. 

Stay safe, everyone. Together, we will surely overcome this pandemic threat soon.

 

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