Has the COVID19 situation changed cancellation culture for the event industry?

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DJ Ricky B

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It seems to me that too many large events, and weddings are being cancelled too early. Perhaps jumping the gun a bit. It's almost as if everything is being scheduled to cancel via projection and unanimous forecasting.

Why should ANYTHING more than 45 or 60 days out truly be cancelled without really knowing how things will go? Example: THE SUMMER OLYMPICS in Japan?

Also, another example...We now have a JUNE 6th wedding considering cancelling because of the current events. It is still over 70 days out. Why not wait until after May 1st or at least April 26th to make a decision on that?
 

Dan The Man

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The way it reads right now is it's very unlikely we'll back back to business as usual before fall and that's iffy. The earlier people cancel events (weddings, anniversaries, etc) the better it is for guests who may not have booked tickets or hotels yet.

On a personal note I had a car rental setup for mid-April to take my mother to the doctor. I cancelled a week or so ago and ate the $50 cancellation fee. I'm a little burned about that maybe if I'd waited a little longer they'd waived the cancellation fee in light of what's going on. I reserved early to save but certainly didn't/couldn't anticipate this.
 

DJ Ricky B

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The way it reads right now is it's very unlikely we'll back back to business as usual before fall and that's iffy. The earlier people cancel events (weddings, anniversaries, etc) the better it is for guests who may not have booked tickets or hotels yet.

On a personal note I had a car rental setup for mid-April to take my mother to the doctor. I cancelled a week or so ago and ate the $50 cancellation fee. I'm a little burned about that maybe if I'd waited a little longer they'd waived the cancellation fee in light of what's going on. I reserved early to save but certainly didn't/couldn't anticipate this.

The Fall would be nuts. I believe people will go nuts way before then. Looting, Riots...and We all know TRUMP won't stand for that lol. He is out there saying he wants to get the economy rolling by Easter. Sure he is being very positive, but he will do everything he possibly can to get things rolling sooner rather than later. Also, I can't see the gangs out there letting this effect their crime operations in cities like Baltimore and Chicago for that long either. At some point they will all go out side and say "F*** this Virus".

Personally, I think if this extends past Memorial Day weekend we would see an economic and emotional meltdown here in USA.
 

adj2ent

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Most colleges & universities aren’t going back until maybe the Fall. Most schools aren’t likely going back until the Fall. Even when they relax the restrictions I wouldn’t expect things to go back to normal anything soon. I am willing to bet most won’t want to be in a closed room with a large group while there is still a chance of catching the virus.

A question for you, in China has things returned to normal yet? It’s been 3 plus months and still not back to normal yet. And they had to build a huge hospital to handle the peak demand for all people who require hospitalization. The same for Italy except they except couldn’t build more hospitals, so theirs is being now overrun. We haven’t begun to even peaked yet. Many are just now coming to the realization that this isn’t a hoax. If you think this will be over soon or will just go away. I would suggest you talk to some doctors to get real information.
 

steve149

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The Olympics were moved because the athletes need to be at peak levels to compete properly and many CAN NOT find practice facilities. SO even if the virus went away completely in Japan, the athletes wouldn't be up to performance level .. and many countries (the continent of Africa most likely) will still be in ramp up mode for the virus in 2 months.
 

dunlopj

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The Fall would be nuts. I believe people will go nuts way before then. Looting, Riots...and We all know TRUMP won't stand for that lol. He is out there saying he wants to get the economy rolling by Easter. Sure he is being very positive, but he will do everything he possibly can to get things rolling sooner rather than later. Also, I can't see the gangs out there letting this effect their crime operations in cities like Baltimore and Chicago for that long either. At some point they will all go out side and say "F*** this Virus".
I hate to say this, but that is possible...:urgh:
 

steve149

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Gangs in Brazil are helping enforce the quarantine there ..


Meanwhile, organised crime gangs are enforcing their own coronavirus lockdown in Rio de Janeiro by ordering people to obey a curfew.

Threatening messages which circulated in the city's notorious favelas warn that gangsters will teach people to 'respect' an 8pm shutdown, Brazilian media says.

'Attention all residents of Rio das Pedras, Muzema and Tijuquinha! Curfew from 8pm today. Whoever is seen on the street after this time will learn to respect the next one,' one message from the gangsters reads.

According to G1, another message says: 'We want the best for the population. If the government does not have the capacity to fix it, organised crime will solve it.'
 

Ausumm

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Gangs in Brazil are helping enforce the quarantine there ..
Depending on what type of "gang" they are....
if they sell drugs...there will be more customers if people have to stay home.
if they steal...it's a lot easier to loot a store if no one is in it at the time.
 

steve149

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Depending on what type of "gang" they are....
if they sell drugs...there will be more customers if people have to stay home.
if they steal...it's a lot easier to loot a store if no one is in it at the time.
No .. it's like many political gestures ... They just have the best interests of the people at heart .. :)
 

rickryan.com

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I really hate to be doom-and-gloom, but the thought has really begun to settle with me that, moving forward, the event industry has now been changed, likely forever. We just got finished with an already booked November bride, who wanted us to change our contract to add an addendum, guaranteeing her a full refund in the case that her event got cancelled. I strongly suspect that future clients are going be demanding new contract concessions in their favor and I also suspect that most providers are going to cave in and just give it. I also strongly suspect that this is likely going to make a serious dent in the number of events being planned, making bookings (long term) much harder to come by. When gigs get scarce it also inflates the race-to-the-bottom numbers, putting downward pressure on rates.

In my own situation, about 1/3 of our family income (net) comes from this side hustle. I also don't know if my venue is going to be profitable or not. I'm currently re-evaluating additional income streams, which could easily cause me to make a decision whether to continue the wedding biz or not. I really feel for the FT folks here and can't imagine the fear and anguish you guys are fighting.
 

Ausumm

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I don't know, Rick.
that may be true for DJ's, and perhaps photographers/videographers...
But venues, cake bakers, flowers, and other vendors
have actual money invested in buying things to prepare for a wedding.
So I can't see how they could offer full refunds.
Perhaps they will ask for less of a deposit.
 
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steve149

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I really hate to be doom-and-gloom, but the thought has really begun to settle with me that, moving forward, the event industry has now been changed, likely forever. We just got finished with an already booked November bride, who wanted us to change our contract to add an addendum, guaranteeing her a full refund in the case that her event got cancelled. I strongly suspect that future clients are going be demanding new contract concessions in their favor and I also suspect that most providers are going to cave in and just give it. I also strongly suspect that this is likely going to make a serious dent in the number of events being planned, making bookings (long term) much harder to come by. When gigs get scarce it also inflates the race-to-the-bottom numbers, putting downward pressure on rates.

In my own situation, about 1/3 of our family income (net) comes from this side hustle. I also don't know if my venue is going to be profitable or not. I'm currently re-evaluating additional income streams, which could easily cause me to make a decision whether to continue the wedding biz or not. I really feel for the FT folks here and can't imagine the fear and anguish you guys are fighting.
Just add pandemics under acts of God and call it good ..
 
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djtaso

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I really hate to be doom-and-gloom, but the thought has really begun to settle with me that, moving forward, the event industry has now been changed, likely forever. We just got finished with an already booked November bride, who wanted us to change our contract to add an addendum, guaranteeing her a full refund in the case that her event got cancelled. I strongly suspect that future clients are going be demanding new contract concessions in their favor and I also suspect that most providers are going to cave in and just give it. I also strongly suspect that this is likely going to make a serious dent in the number of events being planned, making bookings (long term) much harder to come by. When gigs get scarce it also inflates the race-to-the-bottom numbers, putting downward pressure on rates.

In my own situation, about 1/3 of our family income (net) comes from this side hustle. I also don't know if my venue is going to be profitable or not. I'm currently re-evaluating additional income streams, which could easily cause me to make a decision whether to continue the wedding biz or not. I really feel for the FT folks here and can't imagine the fear and anguish you guys are fighting.
DO NOT DO THIS! You already have a contract created, and as Mike said, you have operating costs to cover so that the venue can exist when her wedding comes around. If you want to void the remaining payments that's fine. Most venues also have a policy to reschedule when its state or national emergencies, which you can extend to her. Under no circumstances is a retainer meant to be returned.
 
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DJ Ricky B

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We are only experiencing the beginning of the turmoil.

You all realize that with this massive unemployment, the housing bubble IS GOING TO BURST. Not if it will, IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN. Mortgage system crisis. Jobs crisis. There are going to be more Crisis situations created from this pandemic. Event industry is going to be screwed big time. Don't just think that we will suffer with dealing with some post ponements, maybe a cancellation, and things will be back to normal for us in a few months. We will feel effects from this for AT LEAST the next 12 months, and that is being very conservative.

...Talked with my friend who is a director of repairs for the BWI region for AVIS. AVIS lost 85% of their business! They had to cut 50% of their operations staff. Total, about a 40% cut of the employees in the entire company! He had to let go of 3 mechanics on Monday. He felt real bad doing it. Company memo says that these people being laid off may possibly get their job back, but there is no guarantee. Also, they expect this to last a minimum of 10 weeks before things START to get back to normal.

He could have got me a job there last year...Maybe a good thing I did not take that offer.
 

rickryan.com

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DO NOT DO THIS! You already have a contract created, and as Mike said, you have operating costs to cover so that the venue can exist when her wedding comes around. If you want to void the remaining payments that's fine. Most venues also have a policy to reschedule when its state or national emergencies, which you can extend to her. Under no circumstances is a retainer meant to be returned.
Don't misunderstand, I have no intention of adding this clause and giving back money. However, what I'm suggesting we all take time to consider and plan for is that we're likely going to have clients who begin making demands towards it. Furthermore, if the rest of our competitors cave, are you going to adapt or are you going to remain staunch and start losing bookings? I don't know where it's going to shake out but I do know that my tendency is to adapt to a changing environment. Remember all the DJs who said they were "music specialists"? They refused to offer uplighting, photobooths etc. and they went the way of the dinosaur.

On my venue, yes, I have a substantial financial investment that's been made in hopes that I can make a profit. This new world scares me even more with that world than the DJ world, where I have much, much less money invested to gear up. I can walk away from the DJ/Photo world much easier than I can the venue world.
 

djtaso

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Don't misunderstand, I have no intention of adding this clause and giving back money. However, what I'm suggesting we all take time to consider and plan for is that we're likely going to have clients who begin making demands towards it. Furthermore, if the rest of our competitors cave, are you going to adapt or are you going to remain staunch and start losing bookings? I don't know where it's going to shake out but I do know that my tendency is to adapt to a changing environment. Remember all the DJs who said they were "music specialists"? They refused to offer uplighting, photobooths etc. and they went the way of the dinosaur.

On my venue, yes, I have a substantial financial investment that's been made in hopes that I can make a profit. This new world scares me even more with that world than the DJ world, where I have much, much less money invested to gear up. I can walk away from the DJ/Photo world much easier than I can the venue world.
The solution is we offer them to reschedule their event with no penalty. They made a commitment to use our services for a certain price point, and we expect that income after the contract is signed. If the date has to change for reasons beyond our control, then fine, but if they just decide to use that opportunity to cancel outright, they shouldn't get anything back.

I'm personally also noticing that the people getting asked for money back are one's with retainers of significant value, say over $750. I keep mine low at $300 and no one has even brought up anything about it... even the one's potentially cancelling.
 

rickryan.com

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The solution is we offer them to reschedule their event with no penalty. They made a commitment to use our services for a certain price point, and we expect that income after the contract is signed. If the date has to change for reasons beyond our control, then fine, but if they just decide to use that opportunity to cancel outright, they shouldn't get anything back.

I'm personally also noticing that the people getting asked for money back are one's with retainers of significant value, say over $750. I keep mine low at $300 and no one has even brought up anything about it... even the one's potentially cancelling.
At a $300 retainer, you get seriously dented upon a cancellation. At 50% ($500-$1500 average), I may get more people fussing but I've also got a lot more cash in my pocket.
 
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djtaso

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At a $300 retainer, you get seriously dented upon a cancellation. At 50% ($500-$1500 average), I may get more people fussing but I've also got a lot more cash in my pocket.
I don't get cancellations really... avg 1 a year. Plus, I usually make it up with another booking since my availability is more open than most I'd assume with only doing 70 events.
 
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steve149

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I don't get cancellations really... avg 1 a year. Plus, I usually make it up with another booking since my availability is more open than most I'd assume with only doing 70 events.
This is one of those aberration years ..