Help! How Do I Safely Hold My Event?
updated April 1, 2021
SMP Coronavirus / COVID-19 Event Crisis Management Tips, Steps, and Frequently Asked Questions
Wow, what a year 2020 was! While every single person on this earth was facing the unknown together, we at SMP want you to feel comfortable and safe…together. The below information is updated the moment news becomes available to all of us. Policies are being constantly reviewed to ensure the physical and financial health of all parties involved. We share this information from the professional guidance to our small business, but more as fellow humans.
Please review our Special Circumstance guidance below for events affected by Coronavirus and COVID-19.
As always, please keep yourself informed with the most up to date information and safety guidelines set forth by the CDC Coronavirus Guidelines. Event and Gathering Guidance by the State of Massachusetts can be found here.
Coronavirus / COVID-19 Recommended Plan B Course of Action Steps
- Decide how your event date is affected
- Definitely affected (March 8, 2020 - May 4, 2020)
- Likely affected (May 5, 2020 - March 22, 2021)
- Possibly affected (March 22, 2021 - all future dates)
- Carefully review each of your event contracts with your venue and all vendors
- What is the postponement policy?
- What is the cancellation policy?
- What is the COVID-19 special circumstance policy, if any?
- Contact (via email) your venue to inquire about re-booking date options for a NON-Saturday in the near future
- CC/Copy all of your day-of vendors (venue, caterer, hair/makeup, photographer, officiant, etc.)
- Create a Google Forms POLL with your venue’s re-booking availability dates
- Send the Google Form POLL link to each of your vendors in that day-of vendor group email and ask to submit poll responses ASAP
- Select the re-booking date where most, or all, of your vendors are collectively available
- Confirm re-booking date with venue
- Begin re-booking process with all vendors
- Since most, or all, have confirmed availability for the future date, this step shouldn’t be a hassle
- Sit back, stay health, and trust your wedding professionals to handle the behind-the-scenes for you
If you have a professional third-party (not venue) wedding planner hired, they are likely the ones to handle these steps for you. If you do not have a planner, now is certainly a great time to research wedding planner availability and assess your need for one. They are very likely the peace of mind you crave at this moment.
We are in this together.
Coronavirus / COVID-19 Affected Event Steps and FAQ’s
My Wedding or Event is Currently Banned by Government/CDC Guidelines
Start an email NOW with your venue and CC all of your day-of contracted vendors. Check each contract and each contract’s respective postponement clause carefully as you seek guidance from your vendor team.
Additional steps below.
My Wedding or Event is Currently Threatened by Unknown Gathering Ban Extensions
Check rebooking policies and collective availability of each vendor for a new date to have ready for plan B JUST IN CASE. This will make any later forced postponement much easier to handle for everyone.
My Wedding or Event is After March 22, 2021
As of this writing (updated 4/1/2021), events currently contracted for dates on or after 3/22/2021 are outside of the government gathering ban orders of all states SMP provides service to. At this time, all complimentary postponement/rescheduling fees do apply as originally contracted.
For events on or after 3/22/2021, please refer to the ‘Plan B’ steps below as a STARTING point to prepare yourself, your guests, and your contracted vendors to be ready in the event that the gathering bans and CDC guidelines extend beyond this timeframe.
At this time, we are unable to reschedule events on or after 3/22/2021 as part of the Special Circumstances Postponement and events postponed that are originally scheduled for dates on or after 3/22/2021 would be unable to transfer non-refundable retainer payments.
Cancellations result in a forfeiture of retainer as per original contract policy for all dates after March 22, 2021. Complimentary/no-fee postponements are a one-time offer. Postponed dates are subject to:
- Likely forfeiture of non-refundable retainer
- 10% Rescheduling Fee if event occurs on a Friday, Saturday, or a Sunday (if the Sunday occurs on a long weekend such as, but not limited to, Memorial, Labor and Columbus Day weekends).
- Client Forfeiture of 2019-2020 package pricing or discounts and new event will be assigned at the applicable 2021 package rates.
This policy is being reviewed as the government releases ongoing updates and guidelines.
What is SMP's Contract Postponement/Cancellation Policy?
TERMINATION OF SERVICES
If the Client Terminates services more than thirty (30) calendar days prior to the date of the event as noted above, the Client will be required to pay any unrecoverable cost already incurred by Talent and the Retainer Fee shall be treated as a Termination Fee. If services are terminated with fewer than thirty (30) calendar days notice, any unrecoverable cost already incurred by Talent and the balance due on the Total Performance fee shall be payable in full. All service terminations must be in writing with the Clients signature. If an entire event is postponed, all monies paid up to the full balance will be transferred to an alternative date within six (6) consecutive calendar months of the original date and subject to Talents availability.
How are Coronavirus / COVID-19 affected event retainers handled?
Our COVID-19 Special Circumstances Postponement offers have expired as of March 22, 2021. SMP is no longer offering complimentary date changes/postponements. Please refer to the termination clause of your contract for specific information as to monies that may be forfeited/owed.
What if my original DJ/MC is not available?
Why are most Saturday's 'off-limits'
Due to those dates already largely sold out, it is important to stress to clients the need to consider an off-peak event date/day of the week to avoid losses in payments to vendors who are unable to collectively postpone their contracts. SMP can NOT speak on behalf of any venue and/or vendor not covered within the SMP Event Booking Agreement signed by the client originally.
In an effort to save these small businesses, and your event budget, we strongly urge you to consider a non-Saturday rebooking within the same calendar year. This entire process is very difficult for everyone, and the financial health of your vendors and venues is just as important to us as your event is to you. We plead with you to take these considerations to heart and work together for the best possible solution.
Should I keep up to date with our planning portal tools?
Keep planning as if your event were moving forward as scheduled. It’s fun, it’s productive, and gives us all something to look forward to. We are available throughout this entire crisis to guide you as needed, or to hop on a Zoom call and enjoy some cocktails and lighthearted discussion.
Can we still meet?
We are now permitting in-person meetings if the client feels comfortable. Zoom/FaceTime/Phone calls are all still welcomed.
How should I handle my school prom?
Here’s the quick and dirty:
- Junior Proms may be best pushed to an early fall date (non-Saturday).
- Senior Proms and activities should remain the focus for the class of 2021
- Consider a mid-late summer weeknight postponement.
- Weekends across this industry are being salvaged for crisis wedding postponements and we would greatly appreciate your support of these couples.
- Just as mentioned above, in an order to save the industry and your event partners, please consider re-booking ALL vendors and venue so you do not lost retainer payments, and vendors don’t lose balance payments
- Consider a mid-late summer weeknight postponement.
- SMP Event Streaming Solutions is also available for Graduation and moving on ceremonies
- SMP Event Planner Blair Mitcham offers professional, certified COVID-19 Compliance Officer and Pandemic Compliance Advisory services Contact Blair at email@example.com for more information on this service to your school or institution.
From Real COVID Clients:
We are so happy to have chosen SMP for our wedding. In a unique situation with the Coronavirus Pandemic, we were faced with the possibility of postponing or cancelling our wedding. This news wasn’t easy to take in, and we didn’t even know where to begin in starting over in the planning process. David contacted us and took care of the WHOLE replanning process. We cannot thank him enough for coordinating with each of our vendors to find a new date that worked with each of their schedules. Thanks to David, we are still able to have the exact same wedding that we always dreamed of. I can’t thank/recommend him enough for making this difficult transition so easy. We look forward to celebrating on the dance floor this summer!
Thanks for being so understanding and letting us know you’re all available on our backup date! We really appreciate your flexibility during this crazy time.