If you planned an event last year that didn’t happen, you probably have random notes, lists, and unused flyers shoved away in a drawer. You couldn’t use them as intended but didn’t want to throw away all that work you had started on. Before you begin planning a new event, go through that drawer. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel. Clean it up, add to it, and finish planning the event you were going to have.
But where to start? The best place to begin again is your budget. It may have shrunk a bit since the last time you planned events. Your new budget will have substantial effect on planning this time around. Use your previous budget to determine what percentage of it was used per category (i.e. venue, food, speaker). Then take that percentage and recalculate each category using your new overall budget. This will tell you how much you can afford in each area. For more help in this area, read our blog Plan by Percent.
Reach out to your venue. Previous negotiations with a venue should be revisited. Ask about rates and dates again. Venues have seen all the same issues and cancellations that events have, so they are ready to work with you on a new event.
Review your promo material. And, most importantly, update the date! Again, we aren’t reinventing (or in this case redesigning) the wheel. If promo materials like flyers and social media posts were already made, go back to those design files, and resave them with the new information. It’s probably great stuff, considering you were going to use it last year.
Finally, I hope you saved your registration list. Those who had signed up before you cancelled should be emailed/called/Facebook messaged/etc. Don’t just wait for them to hear about it. These people need a personal invitation back.
There will have to be some modifications, but at least you don’t have to start from square one. You just have to do a little spring cleaning.