SAFETY FIRST - CANCEL YOUR EVENT BUT . . .
Updated: Jun 4, 2020
Your mind is racing back and forth. You thought COVID-19 would be over by now, and things would start getting back to normal. Well, you are sorta, kinda, right . . . maybe, possibly, we think???? Did that help? Probably not. You had an event scheduled for the summer, and you want to wait it out as long as you can, because you NEED the funding that comes from the event. June is now here though, how much longer can you hold out?
Before we dive into things, we know there are always exceptions to the rule. Someone is going to email us and say that they raised MORE money by having their event this summer. To those people, we applaud you and think that is awesome. To everyone else though here are a few suggestions:
1) Cancel your event. We know, you want to go back and forth on this . . . but cancel it. It has the potential to be a PR nightmare for you, as you might get some backlash from the community. Even if people were accepting of things, your crowd is not going to be what you expected. Your 500 person annual dinner is probably not going to see 500 people this year. In fact, you might even risk the chance of spending a lot of money on an empty event.
2) This is where the fun starts . . . you need to talk with your donors and then have a planning session. Cheap plug for a Community Impact Study from Midwest Studies Group? Why not ;-) We are here, so contact us for a free consultation. OK . . . back to the story. Get feedback from the community on a few ideas and then start the legwork on a few different options. Be creative. Here are just a few. Ask your event sponsors if they would be open to still donating their sponsorship to your great cause. You would be shocked, as many might still do so. For those who can't afford to give you that big bulk of money at one time, what if you asked them to break it up over a year and pay monthly? How about doing an online auction? This is your time to have fun and think of new ideas.
3) Final thing to do, or should we say NOT do . . . be sure that you don't beg. Sure your event got cancelled but be positive about things. When you talk with your donors say something along the lines of "Hey, got great news. Our event got cancelled but we have another opportunity that I think you are going to enjoy. Let me tell you about . . . as the funding will continue to allow us to . . . ". Stay away from saying anything about how bummed you are about your event getting cancelled or that you really need the money or else your doors will close. No one wants to hear from a "Debbie Downer". Right now is not the time for sob stories. Sure, you are having a tough time since your event got cancelled but imagine the time business owners are having. That's part of being a leader though. Taking the lemons and figuring out how to make lemonade and sounding positive about it. Anyway, those are just a few tips to help you out. For more information on how we can help brainstorm with you, be sure to check out our services.
The Midwest Studies Group Team