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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.
- Turn your event into a livestream, webinar or other virtual event format.
- Visit our Events Toolkit for resources on planning virtual events.
- SFU IT Services recommends the following platforms:
- Zoom Meeting or Webinar
- 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 email@example.com 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.
- Contact MECS Virtual at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance with your virtual event in Zoom or Hopin.
- 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 email@example.com 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 in-person event or meeting
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
- 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.
- 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 and approved in-person meetings, events, or ceremonies (faculty and staff only) with an approved safety plan.
- 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.