Best Practices for Managing Events in Light of COVID-19

In such an unprecedented time in the live entertainment industry, a big question right now is how to handle, categorize, and report on events which have been cancelled or postponed. Through conversations with many venue professionals at venues across the world, we’ve identified several scenarios you may be facing and have developed some best practices in determining how to manage them in VenueOps.

If your venue has a scenario we haven't covered, or if you'd like to brainstorm with us to talk through the various options, please don't hesitate to contact us! Clients in Europe or the Americas can reach us at success@eventbooking.com or (+1) 865.966.4900. We are available at ap-success@eventbooking.com or (+61) 286.078.889 for our Asia Pacific clients.

We have found that events typically fall into one of three scenarios:

We outline the best practices for each scenario below.

The event is cancelled and will not be postponed or rescheduled

If the event has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled, it is considered lost business. You are able to mark the event as lost (releasing the space), record why it was lost, and report on the lost revenue. To do this:

  • Update your reasons for lost business to include one which describes the current situation. You could use a general reason (state or national emergency) or have a specific COVID-19 reason. This requires Sys Admin permission and we have step-by-step instructions in this article.
  • Mark the event as lost, choosing the appropriate reason (instructions here).
  • Report and view this information:
    • Events marked as lost can be pulled into the Lost Business report. If you prefer, this can be broken into two separate reports showing either estimated and/or actual revenue lost. If you need a Lost Business report on your account, please contact us.
    • Create a calendar view to show inactive events (includes both lost and cancelled events). On the calendar filter slider, select Inactive in the Status field (more info about calendar views here).
  • Our overview article about tracking lost business is available here for your reference.

The event is postponed and has been rescheduled

In this scenario, the event will still happen and you've been able to work out a date with your client. Since the event is the same event, we recommend moving the event to the new date. This will retain all event history (in the activity log) as well as notes, contracts, detailing, etc.

  • Step-by-step instructions for moving events are available here. Follow the instructions for moving an entire event, and we recommend doing this on the event details page.
  • Once the event is moved, be sure to:
    • Update outdated rental rates. If you are not changing the rates, you can simply click the pencil on the rental rates tab and then save.
    • Regenerate new contracts or create an addendum as needed. If you need to update or add a template specific to this situation, please contact us.
    • Add a note in the notes tab about why the event was moved, and record any conversations you had with the client.
    • Check and update task due dates as needed.

The event is postponed and will be rescheduled

If the event will happen in the future but you don't have those dates yet, you will need to both 1) flag the event so you are reminded to follow up on it, and 2) track and hold potential new dates.

Flagging Events for Rescheduling

There are several ways you can flag events for rescheduling:

  • Update the Event Name
    • Changing the event name allows for better visibility of those events on the calendar
    • Decide on standard text to append to each event. Ex: EventBooking Convention - Canceled: COVID-19 or EventBooking Convention - Rescheduled: COVID-19.
    • For even greater visual emphasis, you can add (via copy and paste) an emoji into the event name. Ex: Canceled: COVID-19 ⚠️ or Rescheduled: COVID-19 ⚠️.
    • Caveats:
      • The event name pulls into reports and document templates (such as contracts) so if you need to keep the name unchanged, please see the Event Description approach below.
      • Emojis will render as a blank character (box) on reports and document templates.
    • The event name is edited in the Edit General Information slider, accessible in the Calendar Summary Slider > More Info menu or on the Event Details > Overview tab. For step-by-step instructions, please see this article.
  • Update the Event Description
    If you wish to preserve the event name for contracting and reporting accuracy, you can use the Event Description field instead. This approach is best if you are not capturing a lot of additional information in this field, since the entire description field shows on the calendar.
    • Decide on standard text to add to the event description. Ex: EventBooking Convention - Canceled: COVID-19 or EventBooking Convention - Rescheduled: COVID-19.
    • For even greater visual emphasis, you can add (via copy and paste) an emoji into the event description. Ex: Canceled: COVID-19 ⚠️ or Rescheduled: COVID-19 ⚠️.
    • You can then configure a calendar view to show the description. See this article for more information.
    • The event description is edited in the Edit General Information slider, accessible in the Calendar Summary Slider > More Info menu or on the Event Details > Overview tab. For step-by-step instructions, please see this article.
  • Update the Space Usage
    • Create a new usage type for Canceled: COVID-19. We have instructions in this article.
    • Display the usage on your calendar (see this article).
    • Contact us to add a report or dashboard to your account which will display all dates associated with this usage type.

Tracking and Holding Potential New Dates

To track and hold potential new dates, you can add new booked spaces to the existing event (see this article). These spaces will have their own status, independent of the original event status. Once the new dates are sure, you can either:

  • Remove the original booked spaces and confirm the new ones (see this article). If you don't have any functions created, this method works well, or you can use the function mass editor to move the functions to the new booked spaces (see this article).
  • Remove the new, tentative booked spaces from the event and then move the whole event to the new dates (this can be done via the Edit Booked Spaces slider. This will move the functions along with their booked spaces and save you having to update the functions to the new booked spaces.

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