Ignite

Special Mini Edition 2020

A fresh resource for people who plan and manage meetings, events, business travel, promotions and incentive programs. Providing you with inspiration, guidance and great ideas.

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Cognizant that I am not legal counsel, it is my understanding that with the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring COVID-19 a worldwide pandemic—along with most provinces and many local regions declaring states of emergency, transportation curtailment and government regulations limiting gatherings to small numbers of people—events held in Canada in the immediate future are in jeopardy of not being able to fully execute their contractual obligations for extenuating reasons that are beyond their control. This is the premise of Termination (a.k.a. force majeure) and could therefore position hosts of events to invoke their Termination contractual language. A look at planners' rights and obligations in the new world of mass cancellations and renegotiations by Laura Bickle Contractually Speaking Is the pandemic a force majeure? It is my experience that there could be vague words in the termination clauses that legal counsel may be able to use to argue that a pandemic could be a reason for invoking the clause—without the actual word "pandemic" being included. These words could include: acts of God, incidents of force majeure, or even "examples beyond the control of the parties, such as….." What if a contract does not specifically name a pandemic a force majeure? As planners scramble to "unplan" their events and struggle with postponement questions, understanding contracts is more important than ever. Heather Reid, founder and CEO of London, Ont.-based Planner Protect, a contract review agency that negotiates event contracts for organizations and individuals, shares her guidance on navigating existing contracts and what the future may hold. 6 | Ignitemag.ca

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