As in-person conferences announce their dates this fall, it’s essential to understand the right questions to ask before attending any event. Event organizers are hard at work to make their event a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are the top 10 questions all attendees should have answered before going to a conference this fall.
1. What is your refund policy?
As an attendee, you should avoid events that do not have a clear, attendee-friendly refund policy. Outside of it being tone-deaf, it’s wrong. Hosting an event in 2021 and not offering refund options is detrimental to those with limited capital, which often have the most to gain from attending a financial services event, including young financial professionals and underserved populations.
From here on out, it has become table stakes to offer a flexible refund policy. For Summit, all registrations are eligible for a 100% refund up to 90 days out and even past that date, we are offering a complimentary registration transfer to 2022. When we polled our previous event attendees on what they are looking for in future events, having a clear refund policy came first, and it wasn’t close. It beat out attendees wearing masks, providing socially distanced seating, and hosting the event within driving distance. In years past, it has been challenging to determine what circumstances afforded a penalty-free registration cancellation. Moving forward, we won’t sponsor an event that doesn’t offer an attendee refund option. You’re telling me an attendee that can no longer attend due to caring for an ill family member has to eat that ticket price? Get out of here.
2. Will the event be sharing the venue and facilities with other groups?
You’ve chosen a fantastic event, and you’re confident in the outlined health and hygiene standards. You arrive at the venue only to find one, two, or even three other events running during the same time, and you quickly realize their commitments to hygiene are much lower than the event you are currently attending. This is the problematic situation attendees find themselves in when attending events at large venues or convention centers that have to share facilities with other outside organizations.
It used to be an inconvenience for event planners to share facilities, but now it is being included in hotel contracts that no other outside organizations will be onsite during the event. Even if you’ve done everything right to keep things safe and clean, it defeats the purpose when another group at the same property doesn’t follow the rules.
3. Could you provide a list of safety measures your event will be taking?
In addition to your personal preferences, here are a few critical items all events should provide:
- Providing all attendees with hygiene supplies like hand sanitizer, face masks, and wipes.
- Rigorous cleaning routine and multi-shift sanitization of high traffic areas.
- Open coordination with the local health department on best practices and up-to-date health regulations.