A huge pivot, I know. You’ve spent time and money preparing for a magnificent party that must be altered because of COVID-19. Perhaps it was a wedding, a baby shower, a graduation party, a religious gathering or work function. In some way shape or form, the event you planned has been impacted by the pandemic that took the world by storm. However, just because the world has hit ‘pause’ doesn’t mean your event planning also has to. All your considerable time and effort spent organizing every detail for your celebration doesn’t have to go to waste, you’ve just been given more time to perfect it all! Here are our top recommendations for planning an event during COVID-19.
First thing’s first: Take a deep breath. It’s going to be OK. Nobody knows exactly what’s happening right now and there’s no guidebook or crisis communications team trained to guide everyone through such unforeseeable circumstances. Nonetheless, we are adaptable, resilient creatures and we persist. Everything you planned will turn out as you wanted and maybe even better than you envisioned. Just breathe.
First order of business involves organizing your thoughts and making some tough decisions. Do you want to cancel your event, or do you want to postpone it? Are you going to stick to the original plan, or would you rather just host a virtual event? There’s much to consider now that COVID-19 has joined the conversation. The important thing to remember though is to over-communicate whatever final decisions you come to with your guests. If you’ve decided to cancel the event, announce that. If you’ve decided to postpone it, announce that. For the most part, your guests should understand that nothing is or can be definitive at this time.
Revise your guest list
After communicating your postponement, it might be a good idea to minimize your guest list. As recommended by health professionals and the CDC, limiting crowd sizes is vital in lowering the spread of the coronavirus. It might not be fun uninviting people, but it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry. Uninviting doesn’t mean they’re less important, it just means that their health matters to you. Everyone knows congregating too many bodies in the same place isn’t safe for anyone currently.
Talk to your venue
A lot of places and businesses have closed, so talk to your venue and vendors as soon as possible to discuss any possible refunds or rescheduling. Discuss what additional services they are offering to ensure they’re better accommodating the need of their clients. Although it’s likely not what you envisioned, when planning an event during COVID-19 you should explore the safety procedures venues have implemented to ensure the health and safety of all attendees. Will they be distributing face masks? Provide sanitizing stations? Enforce temperature checks? Distance tables and chairs? Moderate high-traffic areas at the venue? There is a substantial amount of worries that may cross your mind when modifying the plans for your event, but rest assured, your hard work and diligence will ensure your vision of a spectacular celebration will come into fruition.
Perfect Your Plans
So, your plans have now been delayed. Maybe it’s been pushed back a month or even sometime in the upcoming year. That’s a lot more time to amend, refine or restart your party planning all together. If you settled for a low-rated DJ you found on Craigslist for cheap, you now have the chance to find and book another! Are you unhappy with the centerpieces you assembled last minute? Hop back on Pinterest and find some new inspiration! The photobooth backdrop you ordered doesn’t look like the one you saw online? Make your own! As frustrating as it can be to postpone something you’ve prepared for, it can also be the one thing you need to flex your creative muscles and personalize every detail when planning an event during COVID-19. Take advantage of the extension and keep your head up, you still have something to look forward to!
Waiting longer than you expected for the event you envisioned would happen sooner might feel like a slap in the face, but trust that you aren’t the only one experiencing this. 2020 has been quite the year for everyone. Keep enduring and stay dedicated to the planning process because your vision will come to life at some point. You know what they say, when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.