How to Gracefully Cancel an Event
The decision to cancel an event can be a hard one and even a heartbreaking one. While the decision may be set, the most difficult part is getting the communication out to everyone and ensuring that they know of the new changes.
Here are some tips:
Let them know as soon as possible.
If guests had to make travel accommodations, as soon as you know that your event is canceled, reach out to these people first so that they can make cancellations or other arrangements right away. It is best to reach out to them personally that way you can ensure that they have received the message.
Write an email explaining the cancellation.
For a large group of people, sending out an email is best but be sure to address them specifically in each email to personalize the correspondence. It is okay for the email to be brief but be sure that it is apologetic in nature. If there was a private reason, you do not have to disclose but if possible, do include the reason why you are canceling the event. If you sent the invitation out electronically, you can easily send a note to your guests via the app that was used. (To send a note to all guests via Sendo Invitations, go to My Account > View Responses > Send a Note.)
Make sure you reach out on the same media that you announced your event.
You may have sent an invitation, as well as making a Facebook event or even a website dedicated to the event. If you have multiple media channels that you announced your event on, make sure you follow up on each platform and put notice that it has been canceled. You want to make sure you cover all your bases.
Remember your elders.
If you have guests who may be on the older side and not familiar with today’s technologies, be sure to reach out to them via a phone call to ensure that they know the event has been canceled. This is a great way to ensure that everyone knows about the change.
Make a checklist of to-dos and who to contact regarding this canceled event.
This way no one is forgotten and no one shows up unexpectedly. By keeping your communication lines open regarding your event, you are able to show you care about each guest and respect as well as appreciate their time.
Do you have other ideas about how to gracefully cancel an event? Please add them to the comments below.
For me, if it’s a small and personal event, it is best to pass the news through SMS or calls. But emails would work for corporate events, it will surely be passed along fast through word of mouth.