This past week, we had the opportunity to partner with two of the industry’s top attorney’s Barbara Dunn, who represents Groups and Associations for Barnes & Thornburg LLP, and Lisa Sommer Devlin, who represents hotel clients for Devlin Law Firm, P.C. to share some knowledge and tips to 1,100+ planners and hoteliers about navigating event contracts in the age of COVID-19.
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA): Stay Safe
AHLA recently announced the launch of the new “Stay Safe” initiative that is centered around enhanced hotel cleaning practices protocols for both guest and worker social interactions to ensure all guests and workers feel safe and healthy once travel resumes.
We’ve all come to know the virtual event platform as a common solution for many cancelled face to face events planned during the height of the pandemic and quarantines. Companies such as Zoom, 6connex, and Vfair are just a few that have helped planners transition their meetings or conferences.
The big elephant in the room these days is how in the world are we going to have social distancing practices in place while being able to accommodate all our attendees with the space our hotel partners have to offer? How will exhibitors be set up?
Food, drinks and the F&B minimums are some of the most important and detailed parts of planning an event. Unfortunately these days, the rules of the ways meals have to be served, how they are served, when, and where they are eaten are all under review.
As planners begin resuming face to face events in 2020 and beyond, until the release of a vaccine available en masse, many will have to deal with the use of masks at their functions. Mask use and implementation will vary state by state, event by event, and especially which time of the year. However, there are pros and cons to this “new normal” of hygiene we have to be aware of in our planning community.
Spending the first four years of my career as a management consultant required me to live in hotel rooms every Monday through Friday, pretty much every week of the year. Being a seasoned business traveler, I "thought" I knew the hotel booking process well, but quickly learned that I was mistaken.