How to React to Event Cancellations

You cannot escape the 24/7 news coverage about the Coronavirus right now. Due to the pandemic, many events have been canceled or postponed including March Madness, Coachella, and SXSW, to name a few. The CDC announced recommendations over the weekend to limit gatherings to 50 or fewer people.  How do you instill a sense of community when we’re advised to stay away from each other?  

Before going any further…

We do not believe in capitalizing on a crisis. It bristles the fiber of our being when we see it and it’s just not who we are. We understand the chaos and concern of the current status of our world and we’re here to help our clients find solutions to the quickly changing state of affairs. We will continue to support our clients and community the best way we know how: by crafting moments of surprise and delight and helping our clients create memorable experiences.

Creative Solutions to Postponed and Canceled Events

Some events are being cancelled, some postponed and some are moving to a digital platform. We’ve put together a few ideas below if you find yourself in one of these situations:

Event Postponed – The event is cancelled for now but will be rescheduled. You send out a “Rain Check” to the attendees you’ve missed.

  1. Do it digitally in an email with some fun rain themed graphics and more information on when you’ll be re-scheduling
  2. Send out a seed paper postcard in the shape of a ticket with “RAIN CHECK” printed on one side. Once planted the seeds sprout into flowers. This is especially nice considering we are officially in spring this week.
  3. Direct Mail: When you can’t see them in person send them a gift. Like an umbrella, waterproof notebook…a pair of socks with pictures of raining cats and dogs! See how we get carried away with a theme. We LOVE a theme.

Event being switched to a Digital Platform – we could still go with the Rain Check theme, it works here too. For the sake of exercising our creative muscles, though, let’s focus on a Virtual Reality vibe instead (cue Jamiroquai).

  1. Digitally sending out information is great for virtual conferences, webinars and meetings. Make sure to send the invites out with the calendar option so when attendees accept the invite it is automatically added to their calendar.
  2. The bummer about virtual meetings is that you don’t get all that sweet SWAG from being there in person. After the meeting you send out a t-shirt with “VIRTUAL ATTENDEE” printed on the sleeve. This would make a cool collector’s shirt to be worn at the next in-person event.
  3. For smaller, virtual meetings (Zoom Meetings and the like) where participants can see each other, send something out ahead of time that everyone can wear at the meeting. For instance, blue light blocking glasses. Easy to mail out because of their size; a useful and thoughtful gift.

Event is Cancelled

  1. For really large events, it might not be in the budget to send out something to every single person. Sending out an email, posting on social media, creating a newsletter; all relatively low-cost solutions for letting them know how sorry you are to have to cancel.
  2. For important clients and customers you will not get that valuable face-time with this go-round, a handwritten note does wonders. It’s thoughtful and costs about a dollar between the card and postage.
  3. Extra credit time. Take the handwritten note and pair that with SWAG you had planned to give out at the event. This can be for everyone or for a select group.

Take a look at the Pro’s

Canceling or postponing events can be inconvenient to those who were not only attending, but exhibiting too. We love how Joanna Gaines handled canceling her event, Spring at the Silos. She continues to highlight vendors through her Instagram even though the event has been canceled. Expertly done!

We’re Here for you

During this time we are adjusting to the news coming in minute by minute just like all of you. It’s understandable and even necessary that events are cancelled or postponed. We’re committed to helping you deliver joyful moments during both good times, and uncertain times like these. Let’s work together to create memorable experiences, surprise & delight and support our communities.

At Hello Promo we offer more than just merchandise. We are problem solvers, project managers, turn-around-time magicians, product creators and shoulders to lean on when you need help. We partner with you to provide tangible extensions of your brand. We are here to offer recommendations, ideas and creative solutions inspired by YOU. Contact us today at or by calling (866) 864-2602.

Sam Sonnenberg

Organization Ninja