Events are easy
until they’re not.
They’re easy when it’s someone elses money you’re working with, or when there’s no real money on the line to begin with. Or when your name and reputation aren’t attached to it.
They’re very much not easy when it’s your money and/or reputation on the line.
Last Friday afternoon i made one of the hardest business decisions I’ve ever had to make, whether to cancel an event.
I cancelled the event. 360|intersect 2014, that was to take place in Seattle next week, isn’t happening. Ticket sales were way too low. I had kept hoping the flood gates would open in the last two weeks, as often is the case with events, but finally had to admit defeat, no one was coming. Well not no one, but not enough, by a long shot.
I’ve never had to cancel an event before, I’ve been in spots where i probably should have, but didn’t. This was the first time i made the call. I spent the weekend calling the speakers and talking to them about it, thankfully each one has been awesome and supportive of the decision.
Today I’ve been emailing sponsors, the venue, the hotel, refunding attendees, etc. Working out the details of unwinding an event.
I’m losing money, but I’m losing less than had i gone through with it, in terms of money but also my reputation and the reputation of the event.
Events are easy, except when they’re not.