We’re all still adjusting to the new normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and now that many people across the United States are hunkered down, sheltering in place, you’ve probably done some thinking about what to do about your upcoming association event later this year. There are still a lot of unknowns about the new coronavirus, including how long this pandemic will last. If you’re considering canceling/postponing your event or going virtual, we summed up a few of the best resources widely shared among event organizers for you. (You can peruse them as you enjoy your beans.)
Postpone or cancel your event
Bevy’s CMX Hub comprehensive list: This 9-minute read packs plenty of links to resources and advice from reputable sources. We love how this list includes force majeure language and real examples of communication sent to communities regarding COVID-19.
World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendations: This is helpful as a follow-up after a COVID-19 outbreak has ended in your community, and the downloadable document lists must-do tasks: Designate a liaison to establish communication with local and national public health authorities, conduct risk assessment, and more.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: General guidelines and resources can be found here, including recommendations for businesses, schools, and institutes of higher learning. As the situation develops, we expect more info to be posted regarding large events and mass gatherings.
Associations Now tips: The article recounts how a major organization canceled its international annual summit, then offered its members a two-day virtual event that addressed business continuity topics in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. Associations Now also offers tips on how to get meeting participants more comfortable with virtual events.
Virtual’s key considerations, part 2 of 3: The association management company’s three-part articles detail the decision process in deciding whether to go online, how to create an engaging experience, and how their staff transformed their annual meeting into a virtual event.
Hootsuite’s virtual events how-to: The guide takes you through multiple social media tools to help boost interaction and engagement on social, and also lists different webinar, livestream, and conference platforms with descriptions.
Overcommunicate – some people may get annoyed with an influx of COVID-19 emails, but if they paid for a ticket to your event, this is not the time to be skimping out on details. If you haven’t decided whether to postpone or cancel, at the very least, let them know through multiple channels (mass email, your website, etc.) that you’re still deciding as the situation continues to develop.
Promote with caution – If your event is farther out than the Olympics and you’re confident you’ll be able to host your event as planned, survey the situation so your promotion efforts remain tactful.
With technology (much of it free) at our fingertips, event organizers find that going virtual is one of the easiest ways to stay connected and still host their event during these uncertain times.