On August 13, 2021, Andrew Steinberg was quoted in CEO Update on what associations should expect when negotiating event contracts with hotels, conference centers, and other meeting venues in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the article, the pandemic led to a costly flood of event cancellations last year that devastated hotels, restaurants, and other businesses that rely on the industry. Now as business travel slowly picks up and associations negotiate contracts for future events, hotels and conference centers are doing what they can to minimize their risk.
Steinberg said he is seeing more demand among both associations and event venues for returning to in-person and hybrid events after more than a year of virtual conferences. And while most contracts for upcoming events were drafted years in advance, parties are returning to the table to modify terms for force majeure, financial commitments, and food and beverage, he said.
“There’s been a fair degree of flexibility and accommodation that recognizes the generally long-term nature of the relationships between parties in the event context,” Steinberg said. “A lot of organizations will return to the same venues year after year, or every few years, so there’s certainly a willingness to maintain good working relationships.”
As for events years out, many associations are holding off long-term planning, given the uncertainty the pandemic has created, he said. “Those associations may be waiting to see how things go,” Steinberg said.