Alternative Options For Wedding Venue Cancellations
Cancellations are a part of life. Soccer practice called off due to rain, dinner date moved to next week because work ran a little late, and your favorite TV show came to an abrupt end because you were apparently the only one watching it(pour one out for Vinyl on hbo).
It happens. But a wedding or corporate event being called off due to a global pandemic? Well, that happens about once every 100 years or so.
While a coffee date being rescheduled might not be the end of the world and the idea of a plan free friday actually close to euphoric, losing a wedding or major conference is going to hurt your bottom line and crush your spirits, albeit temporarily.
Here’s some good news: it doesn’t have to!
Sure, you can wallow in your cheerios every morning listening to Andrew Ross Sorkin pontificate on the impending economic bust or you can adapt and make the most of this situation while also planning for an all but certain 2021 resurgence.
We’re offering up some alternative actions you can take today to help lessen the blow of a major event cancellations.
Plan For The Future, Today
We all hope nothing like the past 6 months ever happens again but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t prepare for it.
That means looking over contracts and adding in any clauses for future threats, whether it be infectious disease or natural disaster from inclimate weather.
That doesn’t mean take the opportunity to try to squeeze as much money out of your customer as possible.
It means being flexible. Your customer quite possibly had the best day of their life ruined and they’re already dealing with vendors and hotel bookings and 10 other headaches.
Plan on being 100% transparent and upfront with your customers. Let them know what is doable so there aren’t any surprises.
You don’t have to give things away for free like deposits but if you’re able to waive rebooking fees or open to receiving partial payment to make a 2021 event work, your generosity will not go unnoticed.
Also plan for that future event itself, not just on paper. Have a specific seating chart and adhere to CDC guidelines.
It might make sense to know who is sitting where if there happens to be a case where contact tracing is needed.
In addition, come up with procedures for cleaning and set up sanitizing stations. Good hygiene and taking care of ourselves shouldn’t be a thing that goes away when the virus does.
Avoiding total cancellation at all costs. Luckily it’s 2020 and not 1920 or even 2002. We can do pretty much anything over the internet.
Believe in the stream when it comes to weddings as well. Instead of refunding the bride and groom for the event, let the show go on but in two parts.
Adjust to the CDC guidelines and hold a small ceremony with loved ones where the couple can get married and stream it for everybody who could not attend. That’s part 1.
Part 2 is a promise to hold the reception at a later date at no extra charge as long as the ceremony is held in the first place and payment is received upfront.
Offer Weekday Wedding Packages
2021 is going to feel like a single weekend at Camp Slamma Jamma. Nonstop action and a lot of people wanting to make up for lost time in really a short, fixed amount of weekends.
With only a fixed amount of weekends and more customers than weekends, you could be missing out on potential business at the mercy of the calendar.
It’s likely that weddings will need to be booked on Thursdays and Sundays. A mid-week option for couples looking to save money should also be an option you offer.
With a midweek wedding option there comes a smaller party and more intimate affair, something a lot of couples would probably take in a heartbeat.
So while there's a ton of hope for 2021, it's not time to give up on 2020! Even small progress leads to big change in the future.
The event and wedding industry is going to rebound in a big way and now is the time to start preparing for it.
Author: Connor Rusinko
Connor is the E-commerce specialist and analyst at EventStable. He resides in West Hartford, Connecticut with many leather bound books that make his apartment smell of rich mahogany. You can find him in a local 30+ men's league still hanging on that dream of making it to the NBA