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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates for Event Organizers

Last Updated: Apr 1, 2020 09:06AM PDT

Event Planning as it relates to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As an organization whose mission is to bring people together to experience meaningful moments, we remain committed to ensuring the health and safety of Events.com employees, event organizers and attendees during this difficult time. Thank you for entrusting us with your events. We take this responsibility very seriously.

We understand the concern and uncertainty you are likely experiencing surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We are closely monitoring information from government agencies, medical professionals, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to keep a pulse on the evolving situation. 

Health & Safety

If you haven’t done so yet, let your event goers know you care about their health and well-being as soon as possible. Find out what the CDC is recommending for coronavirus (COVID-19) in your area. Check with provincial, federal, state and local authorities for any current or potential event restrictions. This may help inform the best decision for your community. As an industry, it is our responsibility to maximize the safety of our partners and participants and we want to support your focus on health and safety as you make decisions about your events.

Emergency Plan Options

There are some tactics you might consider for your event that can help you navigate through the challenges and may help participants contain the spread of the disease, while reducing your risk of chargebacks and refund requests.

Here are some immediate action steps and things you can do (some using Events.com technology and features) to help you through this. Click each link below for further instructions. 

  • Change your event from live to virtual.
  • Postpone or reschedule your event to a later date.
  • Offer a deferment option to attend next year’s event. This option can be offered to sponsors, participants as well as vendors.
  • Turn on ticket protection with Fanshield if you haven’t already.
    • Important note: We are in the process of automatically turning on Ticket Protection for all draft or live events selling tickets or registrations in our system. You may still turn off this feature in your settings, but we recommend that you keep it turned on.
  • If your event is not permitted to occur on your event day or you cancel your event, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself in advance with your refund policy and plans, along with your insurance policies. We recommend you contact your insurance broker and/or advisor to review your policies. You may also want to review and enhance your legal waiver and associated text to ensure your protection as an organizer. If you do not currently have a legal waiver and refund policy, we suggest you implement one and add it immediately. We also recommend that you be very proactive with a communication plan with your attendees – reach out early.

Additional Resources

Many regions have restricted events of certain sizes to stop community spread of the virus. We expect to see more regions limit event activity in the coming weeks. When your event does occur, even after the restrictions are removed and we’ve all overcome the current challenges, consider measures you can take in the future to help prevent the spread of this and any other illness. Some examples include:

  • Make it a no-handshaking event or create your own on-brand non-touch greeting
  • Provide ample soap and handwashing stations
  • Add medical staff on-site with no-touch thermometers
  • Provide check-in staff with protective gear
  • Provide refunds or deferrals to elderly or health-challenged participants
  • Allow areas for people to spread out and enjoy the event rather than in close proximity
  • Hire a professional cleaning crew to clean surfaces

Event organizers tend to be MVPs in the lives around them, and many people rely on them for direction and so much more. Enable your team in the event that you are temporarily unavailable and establish a chain of command.

Review the guidance the CDC has issued for mass gatherings and large community events. It contains a number of helpful guidelines on the basis of what to do before, during and after a COVID-19 outbreak.  

Take a look at the recommendations from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention in these articles: Event Organizers and Staff – Flu Prevention at Mass Gatherings and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
 

U.S. Government Loan Program

On Wednesday, the U.S. government announced a fund to be run through the Small Business Association (SBA) to support small businesses impacted by the coronavirus. They are still working out the details and we don’t yet know how this will play out, but it may be worth applying as quickly as possible. 

Terms of the Loan:

  • Must be a small business with less than 500 employees
  • Loan amounts are up to $2M
  • Interest not to exceed 4%

You can also call the SBA directly at 1-800-659-2955. Monitor national, state, and local SBA sites for more information. 
 

In Closing

We will be sending out more emails covering additional topics as we all navigate through this period.

We are in this together as we stand with you and the entire events community. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that this is a temporary situation, it is not going to be forever, though it may feel like that now for some.

The event industry has led economic recovery in several cycles and has saved entire industries when they went through disruptions, such as music and even parts of the media industry. Our long term view of the event economy is still very positive, and we are quite hopeful for a fast recovery. 

Your Events.com customer success manager is available to assist you during these challenging times. Feel free to reach out directly to your customer success manager or send us an email at hello@events.com.

Our hearts go out to everyone who has been impacted, and as always, thank you for being a part of the Events.com community. 

Your Events.com Team

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