The Covid 19 Pandemic has forever changed the event industry. We are all trying to maneuver and pivot during this difficult time making decisions with our clients and navigating unchartered territory. We are in a period of unprecedented uncertainty and it is time to reset and take on new measures and precautions. I am using my 20 years of experience to come up with “Plan B” for nearly every event I have planned thru at least the fall of 2020. My actions of postponing planned events has been time consuming, detail driven and a huge undertaking. I don’t know what the future holds but I am certain we will be celebrating soon and I look forward to once again executing the perfect celebration from weddings, birthday’s, anniversaries and showers to delayed graduation parties for my clients bigger and better than ever!
As I cautiously charter this new world, I want to share with you the wealth of knowledge I have gained in the process and hope you can benefit from my advice. In the many years I have been in the industry as an event planner I have never had to deal with a pandemic (nor has anyone I know) so we are all in this together.
1. Assess the Situation-When is your event? If your event is taking place in the remainder of 2020, start with calling the Venue immediately. Check on availability (future dates). I am recommending choosing a date in 2021 as a safer bet (we are already seeing a downward trend of booking into the fall). Since we have not yet entered into Phase 1 of reopening in Massachusetts, and seeing that reopening on May 18th may be too early and we can see a resurge. I am encouraging clients who have to rebook their summer events to book in 2021. Be ready to be offered by the venue, dates such as non-saturdays, mon-fridays and perhaps not the holiday weekend you always dreamed of. Remember venues book 1-2 years in advance and probably have had that Saturday already booked prior to the pandemic. Be flexible!
2. Reach out to your Vendors. Vendors are scrambling to rebook events with clients so be patient when getting in touch. Start first with your three top vendors and come up with an unanimous future date they are available. Sometimes this is decided by what elements of your event are most important to you. You are a foodie and absolutely love the caterer? Reach out to them first. Your band is second to none? Call them please. Move ahead quickly and efficiently to book and ask for a revised contract with new date.
Tip: Review your vendors terms and conditions. Speak with them if you are unclear about event transfer or postponement conditions. There are many challenges to moving an event date but there should be minimal financial loss in the time of a pandemic.
3.Update Your Guest Information-Did guests receive a Save The Date prior? Did they receive an invitation? Do you have a website with event itinerary?
Tip: You remember that map you had created for the invitation suite that has already been designed? Yikes! It had the date on the wedding on it. Make sure to change date on any design pieces as well!
Yes. This is certainly a time consuming process. There will be so many pieces you will need to take care of. Go ahead and take a deep breath. You will get this done. It might feel stressful and impossible, but you will be in a better place once this all shall pass (and it will.) Feel free to reach out to me if you feel overwhelmed with the process. I am currently scheduling consultations thru this pandemic and happy to help you navigate your way.