As event planners – we all know that no matter how much planning and thought you have put into the lead-up to the event – the last couple of weeks are always crazy! They are crazy with last-minute changes, final budget decisions, confirming attendance, re-confirming attendance, changing attendance (oy!), crossing the “t’s” and dotting the “i’s”… you know what I’m referring to! It is with this first-hand knowledge that I physically cringed when I read the headline in one of my industry list-serves – “Being Moved 10 Days Out!”. I could only imagine what this horrendous and unexpected experience might have been like – as I have been incredibly fortunate to never having experienced this.
So, I want to share their story and share the lessons.
Group of 70
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Construction at hotel venue fails to be completed as scheduled – will not be done for client event
Client told they had to move 10 days out
Hotel venue has found comparable space 220 miles away in Orlando
Client not moving their event 220 miles away
Hotel venue tells client they will cover flights etc
Client refuses this “remedy”
Hotel venue claims there are no local venues available – they contacted 20 places
Client double-checks on availability – there is space available – just not at venue’s local sister property
Client struggles to get any satisfactory assistance with being released of their contract – hotel venue simply wants to relocate them
Client finally relieved of contractual obligations
At 7 days out – client has to notify all participants of alternate location
Event planner now planning the meeting for the 2nd time around!
And the insane kicker, the hotel venue wanted the client to sign a gag order before releasing them of their contract
Venue Contract – are you certain that you adequately negotiated every aspect of the venue contract?
Language – you had better know your contract language – this example was predicated on the tiny little words “substitute hotel” being changed to “sister hotel” in the final contract version.
Litigation, cancellation, contracts – your group had best have access to legal counsel to assist with negotiations
This kind of scenario could be adapted to reflect medical emergencies, weather impacts, flight disruptions
Do you honestly have a tangible plan of action for your PLAN Bs and PLAN Cs
Do you have trusted advisors to call upon in a time of urgent need – e.g., global sales, destination marketing organizations, legal counsel, insurers
I would encourage everyone to read the full and real story here.
CALL TO ACTION:
So – what do you need to do today to minimize your exposure to this kind of situation?
I have 2 suggestions:
Perhaps it is time to sign up for one of my three-hour webinar series HERE where we dig deep into venue contracts?
Perhaps it is time to seek in-house training or customized one-on-one contract review services for you and your team? Please connect with me at 519-652-0364 or Heather@PlannerProtect.ca.
Together, and alongside legal counsel, we can create event contracts you can trust!