Planning guidelines

At this time, the federal and provincial health authorities have issued a directive discouraging all non-essential gatherings of any size. Therefore, all non-essential in-person university events and meetings will be cancelled until further notice, including off campus events. Where possible, virtual events are encouraged.

If you have questions or concerns regarding your meeting or event please refer to the FAQs or email covid19@sfu.ca.
 

Virtual events

  • Turn your event into a livestream, webinar or other virtual event format
  • SFU IT Services recommends the following platforms:
    • Zoom Meeting or Webinar
    • Bluejeans
    • Hopin
  • When choosing a platform consider audience participation and accessibility. If using a platform not listed above, please contact IT Services to assess privacy and technology considerations. 
  • If using BlueJeans or Zoom, please contact IT Services via its-help@sfu.ca for assistance with this technology. Please note that all requests to IT Services for support will be prioritized to support critical university functions as determined by the University COVID-19 response teams.
  • Please visit our Events Toolkit for resources on planning virtual events.
     

In-person events

  • At this time, the federal and provincial health authorities have issued a directive discouraging all non-essential gatherings of any size. Therefore, all non-essential in-person university events and meetings will be cancelled until further notice, including off campus events. Where possible, virtual events are encouraged.
  • In the case of extenuating circumstances that require an in-person meeting on or off campus during this time, a request may be submitted to covid19@sfu.ca describing the event, why an in-person meeting is deemed necessary, and the measures that will be taken to mitigate risk and comply with health authority directives.

 

Cancelling or postponing an event 

Event Cancellation checklist

  • Notify the venue, caterers and other internal/external service providers*
    *SFU Meeting, Event and Conference Services (MECS) is currently waiving cancellation fees
  • Notify all invitees as well as registrants 
  • Notify guest speakers, emcees, Indigenous Elders and all other participants
  • Mark your event as "cancelled" in the SFU Events calendar via Livewhale (How-to)
  • Consider placing a sign at the venue in case guests show up day-of
     

COVID-19 and the Force Majeure clause

  • When considering event cancellations, event planners should check the contracts they have with venues, contractors and artists to see if it contains a force majeure clause or provision. A force majeure event refers to the occurrence of an event which is outside the reasonable control of a party and which prevents that party from performing its obligations under a contract. COVID-19, as a global pandemic, meets the definition of force majeure. It should therefore, be possible to release yourself from the terms of the contract in this situation. Each contract may have a slightly different definition of force majeure however, so it is good to review your contract closely, and then contact your venue or vendor to discuss further.
     

Post-event

  • If advised after an in-person event or meeting that someone has fallen ill, the organizer should coordinate a response with University Communications. 
  • If notified of possible COVID-19 exposure at one of your events, please advise your supervisor immediately.
  • Students, faculty, or staff who have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 by laboratory testing should self-isolate for 14 days after their last encounter. Individuals should monitor themselves daily for symptoms (fever, cough, muscle aches, difficulty breathing).
  • More information on self-isolation from the BC Centre for Disease Control.

 

Planning a future event

  • Event planners who have events with longer planning timelines will need to make special considerations as the COVID-19 situation evolves.
  • At this time, event planners should continue to plan events online, unless they are limited one-time, small, essential in-person meetings, events, or ceremonies (faculty and staff only) with approved safety plan and the above restrictions are taken into consideration.
  • Plan for possible cancellation, postponement or an alternative online format. 
  • Confirm with venue and caterers that event cancellation is possible due to extenuating circumstances.*
    *SFU’s Meeting, Event and Conference Services (MECS) is currently waiving cancellation fees and closing large campus event spaces.
  • A full safety plan will need to be prepared by the event organizer/host in order to ensure the necessary event safety protocols and risk mitigation strategies are followed. If you are planning a meeting, please follow the checklist (Appendix A) in the Guidance and Application For In-Person Meetings Or Events. If you are planning a more elaborate event, please contact MECS and refer to our COVID-19 In-Person Events Checklist.
  • Provide clear communication and signage to participants on how to protect themselves and others during the event to reduce virus transmission.
  • Everyone who visits any SFU campus should safely and effectively wear a non-medical mask in all indoor public areas. Public areas include building entryways and atriums, hallways, stairwells, washrooms, and study areas. Those who are not able to wear a mask for medical or other reasons, should be especially careful to maintain a safe distance.
  • If the in-person meeting, event, or ceremony is being held off campus, the gathering must still comply with the SFU COVID-19 Guidance on Safe Work on Campus and obtain approval.
This page will be reviewed and updated regularly. Last updated on Tue, 10 Nov 2020 11:00 AM