How to Downsize Your Event Size During COVID-19

If you were planning a large event or community gathering in the near future, your plans have probably changed. The coronavirus pandemic has stripped the world from all social events, especially mass gatherings. 

However, small events have slowly started to make an appearance again and are being allowed throughout communities as we move back to the new normal.

If you’re up for the task, you might consider downsizing your event into multiple smaller ones while CDC isn’t recommending any mass gatherings for a while. This could be enforced until 2021 or longer. 



Reschedule or change your event

Everything can be done within your
Purplepass account. Changes, updates,
rescheduling only takes a few minutes.



Shrinking your event size

This idea depends on your event type, but (if possible) consider breaking up your event into multiple smaller events.

For example, if you were planning a large theater production, instead you could do multiple showings at different times with limited capacity.

Or if you are putting on a community fair, attendees can register online for different time slots (8am - 12:00pm, 12:00pm - 4:00pm, etc.) and/or days to attend the event.

This allows you to still host your event while maintaining an approved capacity and event size. 

If you plan on breaking down your event size, here are a few things you need to ask yourself first: 

  • What dates/days can you expand your event to?
  • Would you offer different days, different times slots, both?
  • What time slots would you offer?
  • Are costs going to increase and can you budget for them? (Examples are requesting vendors, talent, speakers, caterers, venue etc. for multiple day extensions or longer hours).



How to launch and market your downsized event

Launching your events

Start with communication and honesty.

This is a very different situation that hasn’t been explored before. The coronavirus has changed what once was considered “normal” forever, but people have learned to adjust and will understand the changes you are making. 

Before announcing anything, send out a mass survey to your future guests. Use this to determine popular event dates and times that people would want to attend.

You can also leave a space for direct feedback regarding your planned event changes and any concerns attendees might have before launching. 

left hand is holding a mobile phone with a survey open on the screen while the right index finger is touching the screen

Tips for communicating the changes to your guests:

  1. Email a public service announcement (PSA) to your expected guests announcing the changes and what they need to do next to secure a spot at one of your smaller events. *** Most likely, they will need to be given a PROMO code/credit for the amount that they originally paid. They then can use this code when they checkout for the smaller event. That way they aren’t charged for their rescheduled event. 

  2. Send out another mass email with more event information and direct links to your ticket page where they can reselect a time or date they want to attend. Let them know this is first come, first serve so they need to act fast.

  3. Use SMS Messaging to announce the changes and send short links for reselecting a time to attend. 



Purplepass' SMS Marketing feature

Stay connected via SMS! Send
quick changes, announcements, 
links, etc. and keep guests updated.


Marketing your events

You’ve announced your changes, but now you need to market them.

Push why attendees should still come to your event; why this smaller version is better and safer for them.

These changes are ultimately about the guests and their health, so your marketing should be focused on that as well. Make it about them. Show them how they will benefit from this new schedule. 

two women are talking on a live stream and messages appear below

  • Announce the smaller event dates on social media. For complete communication, live stream about the event change explaining why you are creating smaller events to gain your attendees trust and sympathy. 

  • Create an instructional guide on everything they need to do to change their event dates and time. *** Work with your registration first on the best way to cancel your original event and create smaller ones. 

  • Send out monthly newsletters leading up to the event that highlights different features about your event to get attendees excited. Expected vendor announcements, Q&A with special guests or artists, sneak peeks, video highlights, etc. 

  • Reach out to your local media and do some direct advertising with them. Radio, press releases, local news can all get involved to announce the changes happening with your event.

  • Offer promos, discounted rates or partial refunds for less popular event dates and times. 

Review your terms and conditions

Guests are going to ask for a refund. It’s going to happen.

Be ready to review your terms and conditions if your event has a no refund policy. Refer guests to a link or their confirmation showing they signed off on your terms and agreed to forfeiting a refund if that’s your policy.

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