Whether canceling or postponing one or many of your events–for private, public, or governmental reasons–here are some ideas to help you effectively handle such an unfortunate situation.
We know you put effort into each one of your events so it might be tempting in the moment to unpublish or even delete a canceled event, but you probably shouldn’t instantly undo your hard work, as it could cause you more headaches. People have already visited this single event’s page, bookmarked its URL, and shared it on social, email, and text.
Your visitors might come back to check for updated information, and you can help them while benefiting yourself: let them know it’s canceled, rescheduled, relocated, and/or suggest an alternative event on your site or another’s.
If rescheduled, you might want to simply change the event’s start and end datetimes and add a message to the start of the Event Description that this is the rescheduled time – don’t forget to mention the originally-scheduled datetime, at least for a long enough time period.
Display a Calendar Notice
The easiest, simplest way to display something noticeable is to add a message to the top of each canceled event. We have a free extension available the lets you mark an event as either canceled or postponed and display a notice on the event.
Chances are you might also want to display a notice on the calendar itself. Use the “Add HTML before calendar” option in the calendar’s Advanced Template Settings, located in WordPress at Events → Settings → Display.
Whether offering free or paid tickets, please reference our Refunding and Canceling Ticket Orders article.
Things are always a bit more complex when dealing with money so consider speaking with your business advisor and customers to determine the best plan of action regarding refunds/credits, tax implications, and properly handling things based on your cash or accrual basis.
Don’t let your attendees find out the hard way that an event’s time has been affected. Be in communication early and often, as appropriate, including notifying them the event has been relocated (such as to online-only) or recommending an alternative event (such as in the future). If you haven’t already, you can check out our Promoter service for automated communications with event attendees.
If your event will take place online, new ticket sale emails can include the private webinar link with our Add an Online Event Link to Ticket Emails extension.