How to Avoid 4 Common Causes of Event Cancellations

  • By David Kennedy | Wednesday, February 6th, 2019
How to Avoid 4 Common Causes of Event Cancellations

We’re all familiar with the phrase, “the show must go on,” but if your top billed performers cancel, your venue falls through, or the weather becomes uncooperative, this can be much easier said than done! The best way event organizers can work to avoid an all-out cancellation is by putting preventative measures in place well before show day. Read on for our event experts’ advice on avoiding four common causes of event cancellations.

Talent Fell Through

If your event’s top talent is forced to back out, you will find yourself in a tricky situation. Luckily, there are steps organizers can take to avoid canceling in this situation. Fandom event organizers should make every effort to book a robust, diverse special guest lineup to ensure the success of the event isn’t riding on one celebrity’s appearance. Festival organizers should do the same; be it a music festival, food festival, or anything in between, a full talent lineup with multiple top-billed performers or vendors is less likely to falter after a single guest cancellation. If your event does rely on a single primary performer or guest, however, be sure to have a clearly-stated contract in place detailing specific procedures in the event of a cancellation. And, if possible, pre-designate alternate dates for the event to provide the opportunity to postpone.

Venue Backed Out

Picture it: you’ve booked an amazing performance lineup, your event is nearly sold out, and show day is fast approaching. Then, the unthinkable happens – your venue cancels on you. With hundreds to thousands of attendees prepared for your event, what can you do with nowhere for them to go? Take steps to avoid this situation by discussing all possible outcomes with the management of potential venues during your initial venue search. The same as with your talent, be sure your venue contract is clear in laying out consequences of cancellation, and discuss placing a backup date on hold as a plan B. You should also have a short list of alternate venues that may be able to accommodate your event if needed.

Inclement Weather

Weather can become an obstacle to your event regardless of the season. Searing temperatures and high humidity can put a damper on an outdoor summer event just as quickly as blizzard conditions can make travel difficult in the winter. To mitigate the risk of cancellation from weather-related issues, it’s important to have plans and supplies in place. First, develop a solid communication plan to avoid potential confusion. Then, consider the types of weather events that could affect your event and prepare accordingly. If your event is outdoors and extreme heat hits, take precautions to ensure electrical equipment is safe, provide shade and cooling stations, and plan to have plenty of water on hand for your attendees. If possible, have an indoor backup or a pre-booked rain date as well. If your event takes place in the winter, take variables like transportation accessibility with potentially snowy roads into account when booking your venue.


You’ve been planning your event for months, you booked some amazing talent, and everything is in place, but you can’t figure out why the tickets just aren’t moving as well as you thought. One possible reason is competition from other events in the area. This all too common situation can be avoided by taking a few key steps. Research the market before settling on a date or venue for your event; identify competitors who appeal to a similar audience and make efforts to avoid the dates directly surrounding those events. Be sure to also look into other events nearby that could hinder traffic or parking near your location. Then, build your event into an unmissable experience! Work to provide a full schedule of top-notch vendors, engaging panelists, exciting talent, and interactive experiences to ensure your event stands out from the crowd.