Looking Ahead to May Events

Author: Convene Editors       


Timing is a factor when deciding whether to invoke the force majeure clause when canceling an event.

PCMA’s Catalyst community offers members a platform to ask each other questions, share ideas, or, as the website says, “communicate and collaborate.” Here’s a sampling from a recent Catalyst discussion.

Force Majeure and Cancellations

“Is anyone having a conference that is scheduled to take place in mid- to late-May?” Selina Cooper, project manager, Texas Floodplain Management Association, asked the PCMA Catalyst community. “Are you having conversations with your hotel in this regard? How do you see the force majeure clause playing a part if you cancel your conference at the end of March or even early April? Thoughts on this, please!”

I have some training courses scheduled for May at a Hyatt Place. I notified them [of] our intent to enforce the FM clause and I was told that right now Hyatt is accepting those requests without penalty for any events scheduled through April. I am going to hold off for a bit before asking them to forward it to their legal department as I believe I will have less of a fight in a few weeks.

— Barry Schieferstein, CMP, director conferences and meetings, American Society for Nondestructive Testing

I had a conference scheduled for May 12 and we were allowed to cancel with force majeure. The governor of Maryland declared NO public gatherings and once the CDC recommended 60 days of distancing, the hotel allowed cancellation. Same for a late April event in New Orleans.

— Lois Miller, CAE, president, L.D. Miller & Associates

We have a conference scheduled May 18-21 in Seattle (300 people). We are right on the cusp of the current restriction deadlines. We see the challenges of trying to promote a conference right now — especially in Seattle. We have talked to the DOS of the hotel and he is very understanding of our dilemma. If we could pull off any part of our conference, he said it would likely be the first work the hotel staff would have in about 2.5 months (yes, heartstrings pulled). We are leaning on canceling (rebooking for 2021), but decided to hold for two weeks to see how the situation evolves. Tough times — for far too many.

— Jennifer Jarmin, meetings director, Conference of State Bank Supervisors

What Events Professionals Need to Know About COVID-19

PCMA has created a COVID-19 resources page to help event professionals find reliable information about the outbreak and to share events industry-related resources to ensure they are prepared.

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