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Ensuring a Seamless Transition with Your Venue when Event Dates Change

This year, we’ve seen an unprecedented number of events changing dates and being postponed as the market grapples with the impact of COVID-19. Of course, changing an event date isn’t as simple as updating the client info in your CRM database. It requires a careful plan to carry as much of the completed work over to the new date, as well as retaining as many of the booked vendors as possible.

While this can feel stressful for the best of us, it’s undoubtedly more so for our clients who are inexperienced in the world of event planning. Planning one event is already a big task for them, so having to push back the date and adapt to the changes can seem like an overwhelming feat. Thus, as event professionals, it’s our responsibility to shoulder that weight and help them to navigate these uncertain circumstances.

Here are a few ways that we, as vendors, can support our clients by limiting stress and providing a seamless transition to a new event date.

Ana Isabel Photography – DC NACE Meeting June 2019

Update your contract

A lot can change by moving an event from one date to another, so you need to first cover your bases legally to ensure your business is protected. For quick and easy changes, a date-change addendum may be all you need; however, if the new date is very far out, it might warrant a whole new contract.

If you haven’t already, create a template that will make it easy to fill out and get over to the client quickly. While you’re at it, consider whether you’re open to future date changes if the situation doesn’t improve; if you’re not, be clear about it in your contract. You can also adjust any other parameters that no longer make sense due to the pandemic.

Communicate effectively

When there isn’t a planner involved, it’s common to a breakdown in communication between vendors. Yet, postponing an event (or many events, especially) is a team effort and requires everyone’s attention to ensure it goes smoothly. With that said, the vendor team should absolutely be communicating among themselves even without a planner leading the charge.

Otherwise, it falls on the clients to communicate with everyone and it’s possible that they may forget someone or miss an important detail. Take this weight off them by taking the initiative to open up a line of communication with the vendor team — it’s really as simple as starting an email chain to kick off the conversation.

Be a team player

At the end of the day, everyone on the event team shares a common goal: to execute a client’s dream event as flawlessly as possible. COVID-19 has caused all sorts of inconveniences for clients and vendors alike, but there’s never any reason to be a bad sport. Don’t make the situation about you; the decision to change a date ultimately belongs to the client and it’s a vendor’s responsibility to adapt and roll with the changes.

This also means being responsive and timely in your communications with the client and their other vendors. If you aren’t prompt in your response, it may be enough reason for your client to choose another vendor (which isn’t just bad for you, but results in more work for them). Of course, the same goes for other unresponsive vendors if you’re trying to contact them on behalf of a client. If they want answers and aren’t receiving them from a certain vendor, be prepared to provide suggestions if they choose to go in a different direction.

Although we can’t personally change the way this year has panned out, we can (and should) take control of the situation by keeping our clients’ interests in mind, just as we have always done. Postponing an event is not an easy decision, but they will be far more comfortable in the process knowing that they have a solid team of vendors backing them up every step of the way.

 

Dixie Bagley is the owner of The Farm in Rome, Georgia – a European farm estate with lodging set in the north western Georgia mountains. The venue focuses on working with couples who want to give their guests a relaxed, but thoughtful countryside weekend wedding experience. Having been in the wedding industry for 12 years, Dixie is a master of multi-tasking and wants to make everyone feel at ease. Dixie holds a degree in exercise science from the American Council of Exercise and is Certified Wedding Planner & Venue Coach for The Bridal Society.

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