Postpone, Cancel, or Proceed: Live Events in 2021 Nonprofit Resources September 15, 2021

Postpone, Cancel, or Proceed: Live Events in 2021

Although vaccine rates are increasing in the United States, the variants of COVID-19 are now putting us back into the realm of “uncertainty” when it comes to meetings and events. Some groups are cancelling and postponing, others moving forward with traveling and meeting face-to-face.

How do you decide if it is right for your group to move forward with hosting an in-person event? This three step process will help guid you to making the best choice for your organization:

  1. Survey your network
  2. Cost Benefit Analysis
  3. Present / Announce


Asking your general attendees of the event what they would like to do can help provide useful information if it is feasible to host an event. For example, asking if people would feel comfortable attending with protocols, which protocols they’d be willing to follow, and at what point they would make their choice by can help gauge if the demand meets the supply for your event. Here is an example of a survey question we used:

To get the full survey – email for the template!


RUN THE NUMBERS! From your survey, say only 60% of respondents say they would attend. Adjust your budget for income of 60% attendance. Do you meet your food & beverage minimum and attrition you contracted with the venue? What is the cost to cancel? Which additional costs would you need to consider for providing PPE, COVID-19 signage, supplying tests, etc.


If your group has a board vote on this decision, make sure that you are presenting the pros and cons of each option, including what the results from the network survey showed and possible gain/loss from your CBA. Making it a clear announcement to your network and the steps you took to make your decision moving forward helps keep everyone informed.

Need help facilitating this process? Contact us for a free consultation and opportunities to have Nonprofit Resources assist you to provide the best possible event experience through this time of uncertaintitiy.

Be sure to check out our most recent 501(c)ast on the future of events below for more information on the future of events!

Write a comment
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with all things Nonprofit Resources!

* indicates required