Reasonable care has become an elevated priority—and so has liability. With the pandemic and public concern fluctuating in the midst of uncertainty, event planners and professionals are left with an enormous responsibility to prepare themselves, their guests and their contracts for whatever comes next. But we’ve anticipated this. This year, we talked tips, tricks and insights with legal professionals on negotiating event contracts and navigating the current legal landscape.
“… It just has to be done thoughtfully and carefully to ensure you don’t run afoul of applicable laws.” —Ty Sheaks
At the very start of the year, attorney at McCathern, PLLC law firm Ty Sheaks outlined some of the best questions to be asking when writing contracts. While some hotels are doing the right thing by taking Covid safety protocol seriously, even offering on-site testing, it’s especially important to have contracts squared away. State laws are varied. We discuss the potential legal repercussions of incorporating necessary Covid protocols and how to do it safely.
“Meeting professionals today are risk managers.” —John S. Foster
Force majeure clauses have been making regular appearances in event paperwork. We covered best practices with attorney John S. Foster, counsel at Foster, Jensen & Gulley, LLC during a Smart Webinar in March. Foster talked about reasonable care expectations of event planners and managers, what to communicate to guests and when, and what insurance is required.
“In opting out of negotiating and advocating for yourself, you think you’re building your reputation, but in actuality you’re damaging it.” —Alison Fragale
In May, Alison Fragale, an associate professor of organizational behavior at University of North Carolina, joined our webinar to reveal secrets for turning negotiations around and getting what you need from legal professionals, clients and family. Fragale provides helpful advice on leveraging influence and summoning motivation.
“The answer will always be ‘it depends.’” —Ty Sheaks
We invited Dallas attorney Ty Sheaks back in July, this time to delve more into unraveling and defining some of the seeming arbitrariness of contract negotiation. Covid-inspired, nitty-gritty intricacies of force majeure clauses deserve a careful eye. Sheaks gives tips for reviewing event contracts, highlighting frequent, protective common law practices worth being aware of, why and how to avoid lawsuits entirely and resources for setting limitations and legal expectations.
“The human tragedy of the pandemic is so extreme, but one of the profound byproducts of the crisis is that having to stay home has reminded all of us of our passion.” —Anthony Capuano
In November, we awarded Marriott International the annual Smart Meetings Catalyst Award for their resilient forward motion without forgetting the past in turning around a year that took a lot out of the company. Now, it takes a little more time to plan and everything becomes a little less predictable. The Marriot executive team shared tips for implementing safety for business and bleisure groups, determining what legal precautions to put in place before reinstating group business and how to sort out your event after a blow from Covid.