Message #5: Update (08-05-2020)
On Wednesday the 6th of May, the Dutch government announced a new five-step plan with regards to the loosening of the measures surrounding the corona virus. In this update, we’ll walk through the steps and take a look at what this means for event organisers.
The basic rules
There are a few things you’ll absolutely have to keep in mind; these are the basic rules that will apply moving forward. What are these rules?
- Maintain 1,5-meter distance
- Avoid crowds
- Work from home as much as possible
- Wash your hands often
- Have symptoms of the cold? Stay at home. Feeling ill and have a temperature? The whole household will need to stay home.
These basic rules apply to each step.
Caution! Keep in mind that this entire five-step plan is conditional and that the situation and measures can change.
On the 11th of May, the first easing of the measures will be put into motion. This means that outside sports, libraries, primary education (including special needs education and daycare for children) and contact professions will be allowed to restart. With regards to the events industry, nothing will change in this period.
On the 1st of June, terraces, theatres, restaurants/cafés, cultural institutions, museums and secondary education will be allowed to resume. There will also be a 30 person limit which will apply to theatres, restaurants/cafés and cultural institutions, alongside the basic rules.
What does this mean?
Concert halls are considered to be cultural institutions. This means that concert halls, bars and cafés will be able to organise evenings and small parties again. The limit of 30 people still applies, given they’re able to maintain 1,5 meter distance from each other. It’s also very likely that reservations will be utilised to avoid long queues and crowds outside the entrances of bars and restaurants. If you’re unsure whether your venue is included under these regulations, feel free to contact us!
On the 1st of July, it’s expected that theatres, restaurants/cafés and cultural institutions will be allowed to accommodate up to 100 visitors. At this point, organised gatherings, such as church services, weddings, rehearsals and funerals are expected to permitted as well.
What does this mean?
For concert halls, bars and cafés this will be much the same as step 2, but with more visitors. This means that activities can be organised for up to 100 visitors, bearing in mind the 1,5 meter distance and probably even reservations. This period will last until at least the end of August. Are you unsure of whether or not you’ll be able to organise an activity in this period? Reach out to us, and we’ll help you along!
Starting on the 1st of September, all sports (indoor and outdoor, including matches) will be allowed again. Besides this, saunas, sex workers, coffee shops, casinos and canteens will be allowed to open their doors again. Nothing will really change for events in this period, and the measures from step 3 will likely remain in effect.
Events. We all want to know more about what is happening about the events, but sadly it’s impossible to say anything for certain at the moment. Once we know more, we’ll bring out a new update.
If you have any further questions or comments, please let us know by contacting us through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Message #4: Update (24-03-2020)
The Dutch government has produced a thick package of new measures to help tackle the coronavirus. The earlier measures are being expanded on, and sadly that has consequences for the events industry.
Whereas events of up to 100 visitors were permitted until the 6th of April, this measure is being tightened. As of two days ago, all events - regardless of the number of visitors - have been banned until the 1st of June.
Due to these measures, many of you will need to cancel or reschedule events. Naturally, we’ll help you in handling this to the best of our ability. Below, we’ve presented a few options in an attempt to expedite these processes.
Starting at 16:00 on the 25th of March, you’ll be able to select how you would like to process refunds per event. You can do this by going to ‘Manage’ and clicking on ‘Events’. This can also be done for events that have already ‘taken place’. Don’t do this for events that Eventix has already refunded manually, as that process is already in motion.
Option 1: Refund event - No option to donate.
Using this first option, there is no possibility for visitors to donate. A sum will be made of the total amount to be repaid straight away and this will be transferred to the visitors.
Option 2: Refund event - Option to donate.
The second option is to cancel your event and to offer your ticket buyers a refund with the possibility of making a donation. Eventix is developing this feature and will add an option to accept donations to the Dashboard.
On this screen, you can choose whether or not you want Eventix to send your visitors an automated email. In this email, we'll explain that the event has been cancelled and that a donation can be made by clicking on the included link. This link will refer them to the order status page (the same link they receive when they purchase tickets), where the visitor can choose to donate the complete ticket price or a fraction of it.
You can also set a final date and time until which your visitors can let you know whether they want to donate part of their order amount. Donations will be accepted up until the end date and time selected by the organiser.
If the ticket buyer doesn’t enter anything, then the order will automatically be treated as a full refund. Once this date has expired, a balance will be made of the total sum to be refunded.
Timeline (including Eventix’ email):
Option 3: Reschedule event - Option to request a refund.
The third option is to reschedule your event. When you reschedule, visitors who are unable or unwilling to attend the new date can request a refund. Eventix is currently developing this feature and will add an option to reschedule your event to the Dashboard.
On this screen, you can choose whether or not you want Eventix to send your visitors an automated email. In this email, we explain that the event has been rescheduled and that a refund request can be made by clicking on the included link. This link will refer them to the order status page (the same link they receive when they purchase tickets) where the visitor can request a refund. If you would rather that Eventix did not send and email, make sure to read Option 4 below.
Caution: This does not mean that we'll take over the communication with your visitors. Sending these emails is purely to expedite these processes. Once again, you can choose to disable these automated emails.
Before get started in the settings, you need to change the date of the existing event to the new date on which the event will take place. You can even change the date for events in the past.
Once you’ve selected that you want to reschedule your event, you can change the other event settings without any problems. However, we ask you to wait 4 days before changing any other settings, as the 'old' settings will be included in the email to the visitors. Once you’ve done this, it’s important that you let us know so we can regenerate your tickets with a new date on them. By doing this, everyone will download the correct tickets.
Caution: If you’ve used ticket backgrounds with a date on them, it’s important to change these and upload them again before we regenerate the tickets.
Choose an end date and time for receiving refund requests. Ticket buyers can only request refunds up to the date and time selected by the organiser. If someone does not ask for a refund within the selected time period, then we assume they agree with the new event date. At the end of this process, a balance will be made of the total sum to be refunded. At this point, you'll also know how many tickets you can still sell for the event, so don't put the deadline too close to the event.
Caution: When Eventix sends an email to your ticket buyers, we use the name and date of the event as registered in our system. This means that before you get started with the refund settings, you should enter the new event date in our system, but DO NOT change the event name (yet). To clarify: Before starting refunds, do not change the event name, but do change the event date.
Option 4: Reschedule event - No offer to refund.
You can also choose to reschedule your event without offering your visitors a refund. In this case, you’ll have to wait until your visitors request a refund by themselves. To do this, select the option to reschedule your event in the Dashboard, but turn off the option for Eventix to send automatic emails to your visitors.
Communicate to your visitors that the event is being moved; as Eventix won’t be sending any emails. Any individual visitors who request a refund from you can be referred to their order confirmation email, which they received when their order was completed. The link to the tickets will instead link them to a form where they can request a refund.
For this option, it's also important that you set a deadline. The deadline won't be sent to the visitors, but it's still important. The cut-off date lets us know when this period has ended so that we can make up a balance for this event, with regards to refunds.
EVENTIX TIP: You'll want to sell tickets for your event again, so you can fill the remaining capacity. The best thing to do is to create a new ticket, this makes it easy to see how many new tickets have been sold.
Settings (email off):
Option 5: Reschedule event - Don’t offer refunds (in this case, don’t use the Eventix refund options).
If you want to move your event and make an agreement with your visitors by using vouchers (or something else), but you don’t want to offer them a refund, then you don’t need to use this form. You can just change the date of the event, and that’s it.
Option 6: Haven’t chosen an option yet?
If you aren’t sure about what process you would like to use, or you don’t want the process to start yet (with or without the Eventix’ email to your visitors), you can start filling out the form already and have a click around. But whatever you do, DON'T save it! You can always do that later.
The sum to be refunded needs to be made available to us first. To make this happen as quickly as possible we’ll share a payment link with the organiser. Once the payment has been made, we’ll begin refunding your ticket buyers. If you’re not able to pay the payment link, please contact us.
Once the link has been paid, it will take between 3-5 working days before your customers will have their money on their accounts. Sadly, we have no control over this process once the refunds are complete.
Caution 1: Communicate the process clearly with your visitors. The emails we send in options 2 and 3 are NOT a replacement for the communication between the organiser and their visitors.
Caution 2: When cancelling an event, make sure to take the ticket sales offline. You can do this by removing the tickets from the shop. We explain how to add and remove tickets here:
“In the case of force majeure, such as now, an event organiser has the right to reschedule an event. Despite the force majeure, the visitor has the right to a refund. The event organiser is legally obliged to refund the money when a visitor requests it but does not have to offer it themselves.”
Message #3: Update (12-03-2020)
We’ve just received news that all events in the Netherlands, with over 100 visitors that are taking place between now and the 31st of March, must be cancelled. Due to these developments, we’re expanding our FAQ for organisers:
If you have any further questions, please use the chat. Due to the sheer number of questions, we won’t be able to address everyone by telephone. Your question will be answered more quickly via the chat.
I have sold more than 100 tickets, what are my options?
Option 1: Is it possible for you to ‘downsize’ your event, and allow it to continue with a maximum of 100 visitors? In that case, we could conduct specific refunds for the visitors that won’t be able to make it. Make sure to clearly communicate this to your visitors - and contact us as soon as you know which visitors need to be refunded.
Option 2: Reschedule your event. Given the situation, you could choose to reschedule your event. A visitor doesn’t have to agree with the new date and has the right to be refunded.
Before planning a new date, we recommend proposing the plans to your visitors first. You can do this through an online form (such as Google Forms).
Example Google Form ‘Rescheduling event’
Besides this, ask the visitors who won’t be able to make it to the newly proposed date whether they want a refund. Visitors can request a refund for their order by entering their ticket number (beginning with ‘TFE’ and located under the QR-code on the ticket) in the form.
Make sure to set a final date until which the form can be submitted. After the date has passed, we can start processing the refunds. At that point, you can contact us through the chat in our Dashboard. We only process refunds once, so make sure you send us a complete overview of the payments that need to be refunded.
Option 3: The most common option is to cancel your event and refund your visitors. In this case, it’s customary to conduct a full refund. If this is the route you would like to take, please contact us through the chat in our Dashboard. If you have any questions about the sum that needs to be refunded, you can ask us about it in the chat.
Can Eventix help me to carry out the refunds?
Yes! Of course, we’ll help you carry out the refunds. Contact us through the chat in our Dashboard as soon as you know who needs to be refunded. We’ll make sure that the calculated payouts are returned to us. Once we’ve received these payouts, we can start refunding. Visitors will have the money (back) on their accounts after five days.
If I have to conduct refunds, I’ll go bankrupt. What now?
It’s not in a visitor’s interest for an organiser to go bankrupt and be unable to refund anybody. If this is the case, have a conversation with your visitors and offer them an alternative (free entrance to the next editions, for example). You could also offer to refund a part of the ticket price. If everyone agrees to this, you can save your event, whereas the visitor only needs to be partially refunded.
Message #2: Update (11-03-2020)
Together with Taylor Wessing, law firm, we took a deeper dive into the questions that organisers have. You can find the article here (Dutch).
Message #1 (27-02-2020):
Tonight, the NOS and NU.nl reported that a Dutch citizen has been infected by the coronavirus. We understand that in light of this information you may have questions relating to what you should do with regards to your (ongoing) ticket sales. As your visitors will have many (similar) questions, we wanted to answer them in this article.
Can my event continue?
Internationally, a number of events have already been cancelled or restricted due to the virus - the Venetian carnival, for instance. At the time of writing (27-02-2020), the Dutch government (RIVM) has not yet issued any statements regarding the cancellation of events. Therefore, we recommend you do not cancel your event. Keep an eye on the RIVM website for up-to-date information.
What are my visitors' rights?
When an event is cancelled, visitors have the right to a refund by the organiser. However, if the government compels an organiser to cancel an event because of an epidemic, this is a form of force majeure. Force majeure is often mentioned in an organiser's terms of service as a reason not to refund a visitor, and to reschedule the event. Dutch consumer-law on the other hand does say that if the product is not delivered, the seller has refund if the visitor asks for a refund.
Eventix allows you to add your own terms of service to your ticket shop, which the visitor must agree to before making a purchase. You can read how to do that here.
I don't have/haven't had any terms of service in my ticket shop, what now?
Your terms of service don't necessarily need to be included in your ticket shop and accepted by your visitors. The law states that your terms of service must be made available to the public. More specifically; the consumer needs to have a clear opportunity to read the terms of service before making a purchase. It's sufficient to have your terms of service available on your website alone. If you don't yet have any terms of service for your event, then we strongly urge that you compile them and make them publicly available.
Can a ticket buyer claim the "14 day withdrawal period for online purchases" or the so-called "Buying at Distance Law"?
Events and leisure activities are included in a category of exception within the Buying at a Distance Law. As it is an exception, you don't need to refund a visitor if they ask for it. If you would like to refer to a source while in correspondence with a visitor, you can use this article (Dutch) by the Authority for Consumers and Markets.
Am I insured as an organiser, and if so, what am I insured for?
Some insurers pay out when the government forces you to cancel an event. The proceeds from ticket sales as well as any other costs accrued in relation to the event should be (partially) covered. However, if the cause is a nationwide epidemic, this could possibly fall outside of your (event) insurance. Make sure to contact your insurer, if you have one, and check what they do or do not cover.