None of us know when lockdown will be over, and none of us know what our beloved events industry will look like either. But what we do know it that we have all postponed a lot of bookings that we need and want to pick up post-lockdown.

I have been asked a tonne of questions from my clients during this time when our businesses are so difficult to navigate, but the main one that keeps coming up is how we can manage our events diaries when we have several months’ worth of bookings to squeeze in.

I have listed here the 6 key things you and your teams should be focussing on as soon as possible. You may have got the ball rolling on some of these already or you might not know where to start, but hopefully after reading this you will be able to put a plan of action in place.

As for the extra half tip..well you will find out at the end!

1: Start Early

You will have already been in touch with all your bookings recently because they will have discussed postponing with you. But one of the most important things to do when you are working out how to manage your diary for Q3, Q4 and 2021 is to start contacting your clients as soon as possible.


Don’t start too early; before government guidelines would be silly because people won’t know the answers to your questions, and you won’t be able to give them advice either. But as soon as the government announces you are able to reopen, start your phone calls. There is lots of work to do!

2: Be Proactive

I can’t stress the importance of proactivity in this circumstance enough. You will have months’ worth of bookings that are all worried about their event and probably anxious about money they have already spent with you.


The best way to understand what the landscape of your Q3, Q4 and 2021 diary is going to look like (as we all know it will be very different to what we usually see year on year) is to proactively contact all postponed events and gauge their preference of when they want to rebook. Don’t feel like you have to get an answer straight away from them. Infact the opposite; it would be useful to draw up a ‘mock calendar’ and input client’s preferences in there so you can juggle it easily to fit everything in before you confirm all bookings.

3: Be strategic with which bookings get priority

It is worth being honest with yourself that not every booking is going to get their preferred date and you may have to upset some people. Between you and me, the best thing to do is to decide who you really don’t want to upset. It is up to you as to how you categorise this and will depend on your usual business mix; you might decide that you want to prioritise a one-off event that is worth high revenue, or you might choose to prioritise a family birthday party because they are loyal customers. Either way, I would look through all bookings prior to getting your teams to call them and be strategic with who you don’t want to annoy.

4: Be open and honest

Not all your clients are going to get their first choice of new date. Remember, that isn’t your fault. We are in the midst of a global crisis and although all your clients will want the best for their own event, you need to be honest with them about how difficult it is to fit everyone in.

5: Get all hands-on deck

There is lot of work to be done here if you are going to create a mock calendar, be proactive and be strategic. My advice would be to get your entire team involved in the process. Your reservations team, your events teams, your proactive BDMs: They should all be helping make these phone calls. Realistically it doesn’t matter which department is making the phone calls, they just need to be armed with the right questions to gauge people’s preferences before you can be strategic with the answers.

6: Incentives

Lastly, it will have been hard to drive team moral during lockdown. People will be both looking forward to getting back to work to get stuck in, and also dreading it because they know there is a lot of work to be done. Incentivise them to build moral: Get them Dominos for lunch or Starbucks during their calling hours. Give a bottle of Prosecco to the person that makes the most productive calls. Give them something they can look forward to and they will work so much harder.


Oooh and as for the extra half a tip..this isn’t something that will build revenue in the short-term, but something just as important as everything else:


6 ½. Use this time to train your team on Diary management

Diary management has never been so difficult, and you will have never had to be so strategic. Therefore, now is the PERFECT time to get your team involved in every aspect of it so that further down the line they understand it more. Diary management is one of the topics I get asked to train a lot, and it is something that works best on the job. So, use this important time to internally train and empower them so that in the future they have the confidence to work it out for themselves.

In closing

I hope these 6 ½ tips will help you create a plan of action for post-lockdown. Client relationships are more important than ever, so being strategic in how you are going to handle difficult situations can make or break.


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Categories: Sales Events