Ticketor - How to: Event Cancellation

Event Cancellation

Corona virus or other temporary event interruptions - What to do and best practices

As many businesses are getting affected by this virus, event organizers are among the ones who are hit the hardest, with many events postpones or cancelled.

On the other side, are millions of ticket buyers who are isolated at home and are craving some sort of entertainment and activity.

What can you do to minimize the damage?

1- Move your event online:

Thanks to the technology, a lot of events can be performed online. Events such as conferences, speeches, most classes, stand-up comedies or even music, concerts, shows and performing events.

Events can be streamed through social media or YouTube or in video conferencing services such as Zoom or Webex.

Can your event be performed online? Be creative and find solutions to keep your business going.

You can keep selling tickets through your Ticketor website. Create a venue and call it "Online".

You can communicate the link to attend the event in different ways:

1- Edit the event and put the instruction and link in "After Purchase Notes" so the buyer will receive the information on their confirmation page.

2- Or keep the information confidential and send an email to them a few hours before the event using the Newsletter feature with the link and instruction to attend.

Some of the streaming services, allow you to limit the attendance to certain people. In that case you can download the Admission List and upload it to the streaming service so only people who purchased the tickets can attend.

2- Postpone the event instead of cancelling

Cancelling the event will cost you the payment processor fees as well as loss of current sold tickets as most payment processors do not refund the collected fees.

Moreover, you have to have enough cash available in your account to refund the tickets.

If postponing the event is an option for you, the buyers can keep their tickets and seats until new date is announced.

Most organizers are trying this approach and most buyers are understanding and cooperative.

Some suggestions if you need to postpone the event:

  1. Edit the event and from the details tab, add a red ribbon with the word "Postponed". Potentially add "Postponed" to the event title as well.
  2. In the event description, explain that the event is postponed and why and that the new date will be announced later and that the tickets will be valid for the new date and the buyers will keep their seats.
  3. If you want to stop the sales, set the "Sales end date" for the event to the past.
  4. If you have a new date change the event date, otherwise potentially change the date to an approximate date or keep the current date.
  5. Use the newsletter to send emails to people who purchased tickets to the postponed events and let them know about the date change.
  6. If necessary, you can process refunds or exchanges on a case by case basis. Optionally you can send out an email and asking anybody who needs a refund to respond to that email.
  7. Potentially you can edit the events Return Policy or Exchange Policy and allow the buyers to return or exchange their tickets in a self-service manner.

When the new date is confirmed, edit the event, change the date, change the sales end date, update the event description, remove the red ribbon or update it to "New date".

All tickets will remain valid for the new date. The buyers do not have to re-print their tickets, however, if they do, they will get the tickets with the new date on them.

Note that:

1- You can adjust the refund amount to any amount that you want to refund. The refund amount can be any amount between zero and the invoice amount. So you have full control on how much you want to refund.

Some common options are refunding full amount, refunding full amount minus the service charge.

2- Refunds can be made toward Store Credit or Refund to buyers credit card.

The buyer can use the store credit to purchase tickets later on your site.

If a purchase is made using the store credit, no payment processing fee and no Ticketor fee applies to the amount paid by the store credit. So if returning for Store Credit is an option, you can save some fees by doing so.

What should I do if my event is cancelled?

Events may get canceled or postponed for different reasons. What you do in case the event is postponed or canceled is up to you and your business strategies. Ticketor does not force you into taking any action however we provide the tools for you to properly inform the buyers of the cancellation and to refund the tickets.

Postponing an Event:

If you are considering postponing an event to another date, you can simply edit the event and change the date. All sold tickets will remain valid and scan-able. If the buyer access the ticket after you change the date or re-prints their ticket, the tickets will have the new date.

You can inform the buyers of the new date or follow the Refund instruction to refund those who may not be happy with the date change.

To send an email, simply use the Control Panel -> Events & Venues -> Mailing list and send an email to all the people who purchases tickets to that specific event, explain the cancellation and when and how they are going to get refunds.

Cancelling an Event:

Most organizers inform the buyers of the event cancellation as soon as it happens and let them know that they are going to be refunded in few days. This will reduce the chance of any possible credit card dispute or charge-back.

  1. Edit the event and set the "sales end date" to the past so the sales will stop. You may want to also update the title and add "Cancelled" to the title. Also, you can explain the cancellation reason and when the buyers can expect a refund in the event description or title.
  2. To void or refund the invoices follow the instruction in Control Panel > Help & Support > Help & Instructions > Returning or Exchanging Tickets / Voiding Invoices. Credit card refunds will show up on the buyer statement in a few days. So, you may want to ask the buyers to be patient and wait a couple days to see the refund.

Ticketor refunds your fee when you refund the tickets back to buyers credit card, however most payment processors do not refund your fee. Some may even charge for the refund transactions.

To avoid such fees, you should do your best to avoid cancellation and if possible postpone the event instead of cancelling.

You can also consider refunding the tickets for Store Credit so the buyer can use the credit to purchase tickets to your other events so you avoid all payment processor fees.

If you refund a ticket, the Ticketor fee will only get refunded as credit to your account which can be used toward your further bills. Ticketor does not refund the fees back to your credit card or PayPal and does not issue refund checks.