1. Patricia

    I would greatly appreciate a bit of advice about a corporate cocktail party our company was planning to co-host jointly with another company. The other company shares a similar clientele to us, however, this was the first time we had agreed to do something like this with any company.

    We agreed to invite a few of our best customers to a very exclusive cocktail party at the co-hosts high-end retail location in NYC. The invitation was sent via email 6 week in advance and again at 4 weeks to those who had not replied. A follow up with a personal phone call to those who hadn’t responded yet was done 2 weeks out.

    It is one week from the event and it turns out that our co-hosts have decided that the number of people who RSVP’d were not large enough to continue with the party.

    I now need to “reschedule” the event. I am at a loss of words on how to gracefully do this. The people who did say “yes” to the invitation are some of are very, very best prospects and clients.

    Do you have any suggestions on how to word this with in the best way? I need help with how to word it and also, would phone call or email be best? Or both?

    Thank you very much for any suggestions.

    • Alicia

      I would in your shoes not reschedule. I would scale back instead and make it just hosted by your company. But you do not want to alienate your best customers whom you have weeks out scheduled to come to this event. I would absolutely scale back but still host the event. Rescheduling makes your company look bad. Scaling back is seamless and including some of the best contacts from the other company still will probably get you a bunch of new business as clearly this other company does not have their act together.

    • Cyra

      Hi Patricia,

      I agree with Alicia that scaling back is a much better idea than canceling. It seems like you would need to relocate since it was planned at your co-hosts location, and you should definitely provide that information to your guests via phone call.

      If you do decide to reschedule or cancel, that should also be handled via phone call. I would say something along the lines of, “We’re so sorry, but due to circumstances beyond our control we’re going to have to cancel this event.” Then if you do reschedule it you should wait a while and send out new invitations.

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