How to revamp your Meeting & Event planning

Like travel, face-to-face meetings and events were among the greatest casualties of the pandemic. But as travel restrictions start to relax across the globe, meetings and events are starting to regain traction. Despite this, travel rules are regularly changing, so there is a risk that delegates may not be able to travel at the time of the event. As a result, planners focus on local, hybrid (in-person and virtual) events to reduce the potential risk and connect with a larger audience. 

Managing hybrid events for procurement managers and clients will require a new set of considerations and sourcing methods to match this evolution. As this is uncharted territory for most, having the right partner to guide you will be crucial. 

Four points to consider when planning your next event:

  1. Choose the right partner
  2. Additional Security
  3. Review Contract Cancellation Clauses
  4. Review Rates & Credit Clauses

1. Choose the right partner

Virtual events have become the norm, and a well-designed, well-run virtual or hybrid meeting takes as much work as an in-person meeting. Your event partner must now also take on the role of a television producer. In addition to logistics, questions such as how to capture and retain the delegates’ interest are paramount. Timing, cues, screen changes, high-impact graphics or breakout discussion rooms need precision execution before hitting the “on” button. How do you ensure the same experience for virtual guests as you do for in-person guests? For example, do you deal with gift packs or meals before the event

2. Add a layer of security

To gain more control, many companies are implementing an approval system or adding additional approval requirements before the sourcing takes place if one is in place.

3. Review Contract Cancellation Clauses

Most establishments have strengthened their contracts to avoid enforcing the Force Majeure Clause for COVID related cancellation. Contract addendums with specific COVID related cancellation clauses are highly recommended to reduce liability. To limit the risk of event cancellation or postponement, bookers are advised to diarise key cancellations and dates.

4. Review Rates and Credit Clauses

To limit loss and full event cancellation, conference venues offered clients credit for future bookings. The expiry dates on the use of these credits vary widely with a range of consequences.  For instance, hotels and venues offering shorter expiry periods limit the clients’ opportunity to use the credits adequately, while globally, hotels offering extended expiry periods are experiencing a bottleneck of events over busier periods.  Our recommendation is to negotiate a clause that allows credits to be redeemable. Clients can then recoup credit within the specified expiry dates.