With gatherings across the country cancelled due to COVID-19, event venues and organisers have been some of the businesses hit hardest by this pandemic. We’ve seen theatres sit empty, sports teams pause mid-season, and events like the Olympics, music festivals, and TED conferences get postponed. As we miss out on our favourite annual events and watch beloved venues shut their doors, many are spending quarantine dreaming of the day we’ll once again be able to see live music, root for the home team, and celebrate milestones with friends and family. 

Thankfully, there are things we can all do (from the safety of our homes) to support the places, people, and companies that bring us the events we love during this difficult time. Here are some ways we can be there for the places that are usually there for us:

Look for online events.
With in-person gatherings suspended indefinitely, many venues and organisers have begun streaming classes, workouts, and even concerts online. Whether it’s attending global dance parties, chocolate masterclasses, or  business workshops, we can do more from our living rooms than ever before — all while doing our part to social distance and help flatten the curve. For more inspiration, Eventbrite has set up a dedicated collection for users to find and attend a wide variety of online events during COVID-19.

Ask to reschedule, not for a refund.
Already paid for tickets to an event that’s been cancelled due to COVID-19? Most major festivals, conferences, tours, and sporting events will be rescheduled — so if you can, hang on to your tickets instead of requesting a refund. This way, you’re supporting venues and organisers while also giving yourself something to look forward to. For events not being rescheduled, you may be able to receive credit. Eventbrite ticket holders can find more information about making requests and contacting organisers in the COVID-19 attendees guide.

Purchase gift cards or certificates.
For many of us, paying for concert tickets, workout classes, or other events has become a regular part of our monthly routine — and our monthly budget. If you can, consider putting the money you’d normally be spending on tickets towards gift cards or certificates instead if they’re being offered.

Buy merchandise.
Just because you can’t go to your favourite classes, festivals, or venues, doesn’t mean you can’t show them some love — and encourage others to do the same — from quarantine. Next time you get the itch to do some online shopping, skip big-box retailers and pick up a hoodie, hat, phone cover, or other piece of branded merchandise from venues and organisers instead. Not only does this help bring local businesses much-needed revenue (and some marketing!), but you’ll also be the most stylish person on Zoom calls, grocery store trips, and walks around the block. 

Sign up for newsletters.
For many event organisers, this has been a time to build and expand their virtual community of customers — and one of the best ways that venues, artists, festivals, and studios are able to do this is through newsletters. Signing up for these regular emails helps the sender to boost their numbers and visibility, but also helps you to stay informed on COVID-19–related updates, including information about how your go-to spots are handling staffing, what services are still available online, and what new processes have been put in place, like no-contact food and drink delivery. Best of all, you’ll be one of the first to know when these places are able to reopen!

Interact with social media content.
It might sound simple, but these days, social media is a revenue stream for a variety of artists and brands. With so much business transitioning online, a presence on these platforms has become more important than ever. Following, liking, reposting, sharing, and commenting on posts can be done from the couch, but is a tangible way to help event creators maintain and expand their presence during this challenging time. 

Get food/drinks to go.
These days, the most successful event venues often have multiple purposes — including many with onsite restaurants, bars, and even bakeries. These food and drink services may remain open for take-out or delivery during this time — even the bars, since some states have changed their laws to temporarily allow for the pick-up and delivery of beer, wine, and cocktails. To see what’s available in your area, check online food delivery services or head directly to the websites or social media profiles of your favourite spots to see what they are still offering.

Donate to relief funds.
In cases where the workforce has been hit particularly hard by the effects of COVID-19, some small businesses, undocumented workers, and employees have created crowdfunding campaigns to stay afloat. While we all have to take care of ourselves first, it’s important to help others when and how we can — and donating to relief funds is a great way to directly give back to support the places and people that have been there for us in the past. 

When you can, get back out there.
Right now, it’s critical that we stay at home and practice social distancing to help slow the spread of COVID-19, flatten the curve, and reduce the pressure on our medical system. But one day, we’ll be able to go outside and see each other again — and when that day comes, we’ll need to put equal effort into boosting the economy by supporting the industries most affected by the shutdowns, including event venues and organisers. 

In times like these, it’s important to stay connected to the people and places in your life — even if it’s from afar. By supporting the venues, artists, and organisers that brought you the events you loved before COVID-19, you can help ensure they’ll be there to put on even more when the pandemic is over.