A hailstorm puts a damper on your outdoor festival. A water main breaks inside your venue. Your headlining artist comes down with the flu.
There are many reasons why you might need to postpone your event. Before you panic at the thought of losing out on all the ticket revenue you’ve earned, read our tips for rescheduling a postponed event, including how to communicate with guests and what you can do to keep them happy without making hundreds (or thousands) of refunds.
Let your guests know
The most important thing to do once you’ve decided to postpone is to communicate with guests. Inform them of their options, which may include exchanging their tickets for a rescheduled date, allowing them to attend a future event of their choice, or a refund. Continue reading below for our best practices on refund policies.
Give your guests as much notice as you can, understanding that last-minute postponements sometimes can’t be helped.
The simplest way to notify your guests of a postponed event is by sending an email notice through your Passage account. Here’s how:
From your Manage Events page, click the Select an Option dropdown menu for your postponed event, then select “Email Attendees”. This will allow you to compose the email and send to all upcoming event times, or select specific event times to notify (i.e. an update specific to just one date).
Note that you can currently only bulk email event attendees to events that have not yet ended.
Be sure to update your website and/or ticketing page with information about the postponement.
You may also want to update your social media pages and include a link to your website where guests can find more information about their options, or remind them to check their email for details.
Rather than immediately jumping to refund all your guests’ tickets, consider whether exchanging their tickets would actually make everyone happier. Your Passage account makes it simple to edit a customer’s order so that their tickets can be used when your event is rescheduled.
You can modify one (or any combination) of these things:
- Switch the event
- Change the ticket type
- Adjust the date and time
You may access this page from your transactions report by clicking on the individual transaction ID number in the first column, or quickly from your upcoming events page by clicking the “View Guest List” button, then the transaction ID number in your the customer’s information, and finally “View Transaction” to jump into the customer’s transaction details.
Once you are looking at your customer’s order, click the edit icon next to the individual ticket to change just one, or click the edit icon next to “Associated Tickets” to change the entire order at the same time. Select the new event, ticket type, and timeslot to assign, then click the checkmark to finalize the changes. The ticket(s) will be automatically updated in the system.
Take advantage of our concierge support
You don’t have to do it alone! We know there are many logistical concerns you need to deal with when postponing an event. Let our team handle the ticket changes so you can focus on staffing, working with the venue, and entertainment.
Do you have to refund?
There may be some cases when you decide you need to issue a refund to some (or all) guests. But it doesn’t have to be your first and only option.
Establish a refund policy and make it very clear to your guests up front
We strongly suggest you stick with the default “All Sales Final; No Refunds or Returns” policy, though you’re welcome to edit that policy as you like in your venue settings. With that said, we realize that sometimes extenuating circumstances come up and you’ll need to give a refund or two. This depends on your individual business and the nature of the situation.
Look for non-refund remedies first
There are plenty of ways to keep guests happy without issuing a full refund. The two most popular remedies are:
- Exchange for rescheduled date. Once your event is reschedule, change all customer tickets to be valid on the new date.
- Exchange for a future event of their choice (at a similar price point). If you host multiple events throughout the week or every month, allows your guests to choose a date that suits them. You can do this by authorizing our team to change customer tickets when they contact support (through chat, email, or phone), or by providing guests with a promo code that gives them a dollar amount off any future ticket. Make the dollar amount equal to the price of your original ticket.
If you really want to make your guests feel special and lessen the sting of a rescheduled event, there are some low-cost things you can offer in addition to exchanging their tickets, such as:
- Discount for a future event
- Free product
- Free concession item
Offering something free isn’t necessary in all cases. If your event is hosted weekly or monthly, simply rescheduling may be sufficient. If it’s a once-in-a-lifetime special occurrence, you might want to consider some extra perks for your guests.
Bend the rules as needed, on a case by case basis
Occasionally, you may encounter guests who cannot attend on the rescheduled date. The options to refund a customer’s purchase are available in their transaction details. You can use the Transactions Report filters to quickly locate their transaction by the last 4 digits on the card used to purchase, name on card, or date and amount of their purchase. Then click their ID number (first column) to go into their transaction details. Another option is to look up the customer by name or email address in the Upcoming Events guest list, click their transaction ID number, then “View Transaction” to go into their details.
Once in their transaction details there are 4 options next to the transaction number: Print Receipt | Print Ticket | Send Customer Receipt | Refund Transaction. Clicking “Refund Transaction” will present three options for a refund:
- Full Refund – Issue a 100% refund for the entire order, and void all tickets and products included.
- Partial Refund – Manually enter an amount to refund. The status of tickets and products will not be updated.
- Ticket Refund – Select individual tickets or products from the order to refund (multiple items can be selected). Tickets or products that are refunded this way will also be voided.
When a refund is complete, we don’t send anything to the customer by default. You’ll want to let the customer know that the refund is complete and the funds will hit their account within a few business days. You can also click “Send Customer Receipt” on the same transaction details page to send a new receipt to the customer showing the refund line-item.