How to Reschedule a Meeting With Examples

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What does it mean to reschedule a meeting?

Rescheduling a meeting is an official, yet personal way to notify those who are to be part of the meeting of a change in the scheduled appointment. It also means apologizing for the inconvenience it might cause them. No matter how perfectly you have arranged a meeting or scheduled an appointment, sometimes you’ll find out that you can’t hold the meeting or make the appointment as scheduled or planned. Due to this fact, there is always a need to communicate the change in plans to others so they can also adjust their own schedules.

Reasons to reschedule a meeting

There can be different reasons why a meeting has to be rescheduled or canceled. 

The following are some of these reasons:

  • Bad weather that prevents travel
  • A serious traffic issue
  • Double-booking appointments with two professionals for the same day and time
  • Poor health that causes you to need to visit your doctor
  • A family conflict that urgently requires your presence and attention
  • Unexpected issues that come up in your workplace
  • Errors like picking the wrong day and time for the meeting in the first place
  • A change of plans that makes the meeting irrelevant

The need to reschedule a meeting might happen from time to time, but the reason should be a compelling one.

How to ask to reschedule a meeting

If you discover you are unable to attend a scheduled meeting, then you must learn how to ask to reschedule the meeting. 

The following steps will show you how to reschedule a meeting appropriately:

1. Firstly, write the email correspondence personally

You must ensure you write the email yourself, since you will be able to naturally communicate your intentions and message appropriately. You should set aside some time to get this done. These types of emails are not the ones you give to someone like your assistant to write for you.

2. Secondly, give notice well in advance

When rescheduling a meeting, you should ensure you give the other parties notice well before the day of the meeting. The reason for giving notice well in advance is to give the other people enough time to reschedule their times too. However, if you are left with no choice but to cancel a meeting an hour or so beforehand, you must have a good reason for doing so and the reason must be communicated appropriately.

3. Thirdly, give a worthy reason and explanation

Canceling a scheduled meeting with other people should obviously have very good reasons. However, you need to explain or communicate your reasons very clearly to the other parties so that they can understand your reason for canceling the meeting. Your message should be brief but must be to-the-point.

4. Next, suggest another meeting time and date

You should put in an effort to propose a new date and time for the meeting. Doing this will show the other parties that you still value them and still want to have the meeting with them despite the cancellation. You should, however, ensure you give the other parties the opportunity to make their own suggestions for new dates and times for another meeting.

5. Then, end the letter with an apology and with appreciation

You should end your email with an apology and with appreciation. Including these elements will show the other parties that you regret the circumstances that led to your decision to cancel the meeting. A common courtesy is to state an apology for the inconvenience the situation causes to their schedule. You should thank them for reading your email and for even considering your request to change the date of the meeting.

6. Finally, send the email immediately

Send the email immediately so that the other parties can receive it on time and put plans in place to readjust their own schedules.

Examples of emails to reschedule a meeting

The following are examples of emails that can be sent to reschedule a meeting:

Example of an email from a boss canceling a staff meeting

Dear team members,

I am writing to notify you that due to an unanticipated situation, I have no choice but to cancel our staff meeting scheduled for the day after tomorrow at 10 a.m. where we planned to discuss issues about staff welfare.

Please accept my honest apologies for the cancellation and any inconvenience this may have caused. I know how important it is for us to discuss this issue of improved staff welfare.

I will write to you by the end of the week and suggest a new date for the meeting.

Kind regards,
Jodie Nguyen 

Example of an email to cancel a meeting by a business partner

Dear Mr. Hamilton,

I regret to notify you that I have to cancel our meeting scheduled at 10 a.m. on Wednesday the 20th which was to discuss how our companies can leverage each other’s marketing resources. I was just informed by my personal assistant that I must take a business trip to Washington, which cannot be postponed to another day.

I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this will cause you and your company, as well as for my short notice. I wrote this email to you as soon as I got the brief from my personal assistant.  

I hope we can have the meeting rescheduled for the 27th of this month. I hope to be back well ahead of that time. I will greatly appreciate it if you can send me a confirmation of the receipt of this email and your suggestion of a new date for the meeting that will suit you.  

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Best regards,
Ken Sanders