Regardless of the season, it’s important to be prepared for unexpected weather issues surrounding your event. When you have to make the tough call to postpone, change, or cancel, you want to make sure your customers understand the situation as thoroughly as possible. Luckily, event organizers have more options at their disposal than ever before to stay in quick, easy contact with their ticket buyers! Read on for our breakdown of tools you can use to best keep your ticket buyers informed in the event of inclement weather.
Email is the best way to formally alert your guests about changes to your event. When crafting your email, write a strong, clear subject line explaining the situation, be it a postponement, cancellation, or otherwise (for example: “Open Immediately – PrimaCon Update” or “Postponed – PrimaCon Info”). In the body, include the most relevant details regarding the situation, be specific, and answer potential questions proactively. If you’re postponing for the safety of your customers or your staff, explain why — your customers will appreciate the honesty. Be sure to also include information regarding if and when to expect future updates, what attendees should do with their tickets, and contact information.
If the impending weather concern is something predictable from days in advance (an approaching blizzard, hurricane, etc.) you should send an email every day leading up to the event date. In the case of a last minute, day-of cancellation, you should send at least two to three emails on that day to increase the likelihood that ticket buyers receive your message and don’t choose to needlessly brave the weather.
If you use an event SMS system, contacting ticket buyers via text can be the fastest, most direct tool at your disposal to alert attendees of potential weather-related changes or postponements. Regardless of the situation, your message should be brief, and it should direct ticket buyers to your website or social media for more information.
In the event of certain postponement, clearly state that the event will no longer take place as scheduled and provide contact information for further details. If the situation is still developing (i.e. the event may or may not go on), you should send a text alert once to alert ticket buyers of the potential issue, and again with any major updates. Each text should also direct traffic to your website for more detailed information. If you’ve made the decision to postpone, you should also send a final text alert the day of the event as a reminder that the event will no longer take place as scheduled, preventing any confusion.
Thanks to its viral potential, social media is one of your most powerful assets in spreading the word about your event’s update. Take the time to share several updates throughout the day (or days) on your social feeds and direct traffic to your website for more information. Encourage followers to repost and share your announcements to get the news out as quickly as possible. Also, pin the post to the top of your profiles so it’s the first thing they see when they visit.
If you’ve also created a “Facebook event” on which attendees have marked that they are either “interested” or “going,” be sure to post any and all updates here as well. Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm may prevent a good portion of your followers from seeing a post from your page, but a post directly to the Facebook event should push a notification to all who have RSVP’d. To reach an even wider audience, also consider putting a small budget (anywhere from $50 to $150) towards boosting your page’s post on Facebook.
Encourage your event’s performers, speakers, or special guests to announce your weather-related postponement via their own social media profiles to further increase the likelihood that each of your ticket buyers will receive the news. To ensure the right information is disseminated, request they use a post that you write for them. Make sure it includes a push for attendees to view your website or app for continued updates regarding scheduling.
Your website is the hub for your event information, so updates about potential weather-related postponements should be no exception. In each of the above-mentioned communication methods, you should be driving traffic back to your website for the most up-to-date, detailed information on the situation. If your event must be rescheduled, full details regarding transferability of tickets, new show dates, and relevant contact information should all be listed here before any communication goes out, in order to reinforce attendee confidence and make the situation as clear as possible.
Not only is a fully customized mobile event app the perfect way to keep your attendees up-to-date on the latest lineup announcements, scheduling details, and other key event info, it also serves as a powerful communication tool in case of a weather-related postponement. By pushing a notification to all your app users, you’ll reach the audience who is most actively engaged with your event.
If you have a few days’ notice regarding potential postponement, push at least two notifications daily from your event app. If any major announcements regarding rescheduling or cancellation need to be made, send an additional notification. For last minute issues, push at least two notifications leading up to the start of your event, including an hour or so before the doors were set to open.