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Jill Stone

Your Meeting Matchmaker Fairy Godmother

Hurricane Havoc

in: Event Planning Advice


Meeting planners have to rely on so much that is simply beyond their control. A biggie, especially as of late, is weather. When big weather wreaks havoc on an area, the fallout can result in everything from devastating to annoyingly time consuming. In the case of a hurricane, as the waters subside, clean-up and restoration begin, and none of it is going to happen quickly.

An upcoming conference can be affected in many ways.  Meeting space may be available, but sleeping rooms are not or vice versa or both. Dates may need to be moved, perhaps even the whole meeting will require a change in location!  Transportation access via airlines and roads to the venue may not be available, meaning attendees are no longer able to travel to the event destination. All of this leads to doubling, tripling, even quadrupling the amount of work usually required to plan a meeting.

When I work with meeting planners, I always ensure that all contracts include a clause stating that all rooms and meeting space MUST be available and usable in order to proceed with a conference or meeting. A clause that protects the rooms and space will help to lessen the blow.

More than likely, there are too many other places where your organization stands to lose in money, time and resources due to a disaster; this may include printed materials, updating of all digital resources, sending out frequent communications to attendees and other participants, rebooking or finding new talent and more.

In the case that the extreme circumstances require the event be cancelled, I can assist you in numerous ways:

  • By including a Force Majeure clause in the contract, the current location can be cancelled. Force majeure is French for “superior force.” It’s a contractual provision that relieves parties from performing contractual obligations when circumstance beyond their control arise.
  • For my clients, I can also begin to start a search for the new location IMMEDIATELY! In as little as 24 hours, I will begin researching and sending your meeting information to new locations in order to find another venue that can take the meeting.
  • I will also negotiate the new contract on behalf my client, and of course ensure that the Force Majeure and all other necessary clauses are in place in order to properly protect the organization and the meeting.

Meeting planners work way too hard to create perfect meetings, but as we all well know, the best laid plans can still be taken out by the weather. If you are need and are struggling to change your meeting dates and/or location, contact me today, let me help you get your meeting back on track.

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