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5 Tips to Mitigate the Financial Impact of Cancelling an Event

An unprecedented number of events have been cancelled or postponed in recent weeks due to COVID-19.   If your organization is considering cancelling an event, it is important to ensure the cancellation is handled in a way that supports the integrity of your brand.   At the same time, you will want to minimize the financial impact on your organization.

Below are five tips to help mitigate the financial impact of cancelling an event:

  1. Offer registrants the option of crediting their registration fee towards a future event. There should be an incentive for registrants to choose the credit instead of a full refund, for example by offering a discount off the future event.
  2. Consider changing event from live to virtual. Instead of cancelling the event, you may be able to host it virtually, albeit maybe at a reduced fee, using one of many available web-hosting platforms.
  3. Venues may reduce or eliminate cancellation fees if postponing the event or booking a future event with the same venue at the time of cancelling.
  4. If you are liable for cancellation fees, you may ask to include a clause that says funds are to be returned to you should the venue refill the space with same or greater value of business.
  5. Review the force majeure contract provisions and understand each party’s legal liability under the contract. Whether the coronavirus is a force majeure event will depend on the wording of the clause and the circumstances which the clause is being applied to.

Find out more about how associations can improve their bottom line, call me and we can have a conversation.  We can also talk about improving operating efficiency, reducing risk and strengthening your organization.  Reach me at 613-727-1230 ext. 212 or

Richard MacNeill, FCPA, FCMA, CMC, Dipl. T. is a partner at OTUS Group, a team of advisors to business, government and not-for-profit organizations.

Holding Certified Management Accountant (FCMA), Chartered Professional Accountant (FCPA) and Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designations, Richard is also a graduate of the British Columbia Institute of Technology, holding a diploma in Computer Programming and Systems Technology. Outside of work, Richard enjoys spending time with his wife and three children, and training for obstacle races.

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