Editor's Note: The following is not legal advice but is for general educational purposes. If you have a specific question, you should contact an attorney.
1. an agreement between two or more parties for the doing or not doing of something specified.
2. an agreement enforceable by law.
While the industry is starting to see a gradual return to in-person meetings and events, there has been heightened awareness around the contracting process in an effort to mitigate potential risks to face-to-face meetings and ensure the effective execution of a meeting or event. In this month's Education Essentials, you'll learn tips for developing a contract with intention and consideration for the uncertainty posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
What to Expect in 2021
Meetings professionals who are developing in-person event strategies for the remainder of 2021 and early 2022 are still dealing with a considerable amount of unknowns. With these unknowns comes a rapidly changing environment that meetings professionals need to be prepared to navigate. In this article, learn more about the outlook for 2021 meetings and what meetings professionals can do to prepare, such as casting a wider net for potential host properties as demand increases, over-communicating during budgeting and contracting processes, and educating internal stakeholders to help them understand the implications of contingency plans.
When it comes to planning for the uncertainty that lies ahead with in-person events, it's important to focus on what you can control, such as force majeure clauses. In this recent article, Smart Webinars shares an exclusive Q&A with John S. Foster, CHME, an attorney with Foster, Jensen & Gulley, on event contract essentials in the COVID-19 era. Among the tips shared are to communicate your health policy and ask attendees to agree to the health protocols, ensure your co-insurance covers third-party claims, and negotiate the attrition, cancellation and force majeure clauses.
#TBT - FICP Chats: Booking Group Business in the Future: The RFPs, Proposals and Negotiations Before Going to Contract
In this FICP Chats from last year, FICP meetings professionals and hospitality partners learned how site research, the RFP process and negotiations will look differently moving forward. The discussion touched on how company RFPs will need to be adjusted to update event space needs based on social distancing, and to include cleaning and food service protocol requirements. Topics also included hotel and DMC proposal adjustments regarding communicating safety protocols, modifying concessions and limiting types of food and beverage services.
COVID-19 and Force Majeure
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, force majeure has an increased importance during the contracting process. Industry legal expert John S. Foster, CHME, Foster, Jensen & Gulley, provides his feedback for a standard force majeure clause in this article. Most notably, when building a force majeure clause inclusive of the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, he recommends explaining the Purpose of the Event so that it is clear if a frustration of purpose has occurred, specifying performance obligations and liability of the event sponsor in an attrition situation due to force majeure, and adding terminology to specify implications of group gatherings (size limits or stay-at-home orders) versus just travel restrictions.
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