Are you feeling in limbo again? You’re not the only one!
Earlier this summer, many of us experienced a honeymoon period where it felt like things had finally returned to normal. Up until a few weeks ago, clients were confidently moving forward with planning in-person events for this fall.
The Delta variant now has people on edge and understandably concerned. Some events have been cancelled, and mask-wearing is again being recommended or required in many settings.
Many workplaces have announced they are delaying when people will come back to the office. Broadway is requiring proof of vaccination and mask-wearing for all audience members. The Reykjavik Marathon I was scheduled to run on August 21 has been postponed due to COVID concerns.
If there is anything this last year has taught us, it is how to be resilient and creative in the face of the unknown. What we do believe to be a given is that despite how planning for fundraising events needs to pivot this fall, donors will continue to rally behind and support the nonprofits they love.
Here is a quick synopsis of what the Ann Plans team is seeing as of today:
- Some organizations have made the decision to shift their fall event to a virtual format or push their event to a 2022 date. Many events are being moved outdoors.
- All clients planning a fall in-person event have a contingency plan.
- Organizations with scheduled winter and spring 2022 in-person events are cautiously optimistic that those gatherings will happen as currently planned.
As we once again navigate uncertain times together, here are five tips to help guide your planning:
1. Communicate clearly in all event communication, including your website and invitation, that the safety of guests is your top priority. Let people know you are monitoring guidelines from public health agencies and will keep registered guests informed of any guidelines/protocols that may impact the event.
2. Take the pulse of your Board, committee members, donors, sponsors, and staff to gauge their comfort level in gathering in person.
3. For any vendor contracts you are signing, make sure you understand the terms and conditions should you need to cancel or postpone. Stay in touch with your vendor partners throughout any decision-making that may need to happen.
4. If your event is moving forward as an in-person experience, expect that attendance will be smaller than normal. That doesn’t mean, though, that you can’t still have a successful fundraising event! As part of your overall strategy, invite and engage those who aren’t attending your in-person event to still be part of supporting the cause.
5. Much virtual and hybrid event experience has been gained over the last 17 months. If you need to shift from an in-person event format, have confidence that with best practices in place, your event will execute well!
We hope these insights and tips will be helpful in creating a plan that energizes you and your supporters during these uncertain times. Regardless of how your event plans might shift, you can still have a successful fundraising season.
If you have questions regarding an upcoming event, please don’t hesitate to email me at [email protected]. We are always happy to help!
As we move into this last part of summer, I hope you take time to enjoy the beauty and fun of the season.
Senior Event Producer