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What if You Have to Cancel Your Event? Tips on Smart Force Majeure Clauses

Will your force majeure clause really protect you? Find out.

With monster storms in the news today, many event planners are stressing over their upcoming events. Should you cancel or stay the course?

A force majeure clause—which enables the cancellation of an event if unavoidable dangers arise—can be a life-saver for your bottom line. Our sister publications group, MeetingsNet, has tips on drafting a force majeure clause that will ensure you are protected:

Most garden-variety force majeure clauses specify that both parties to a contract can cancel without invoking damages if unanticipated occurrences outside the control of either party make it illegal or impossible to go forward with the event. But that’s not enough in today’s environment, says attorney Joshua Grimes, president of Grimes Law Offices LLC. With today’s 24/7 news cycle and a growing national obsession with the Weather Channel, more attendees are getting spooked by potential events—anything from a hurricane bearing down on Houston to a service workers strike that threatens to shut down an airport—and deciding to skip the meeting several days ahead of time.

Grimes suggests that meeting professionals negotiate to include verbiage that would make it possible to invoke force majeure several days before the event is scheduled to begin. He recommends including “impracticable” and “inadvisable” to the standard “illegal” and “impossible” when it comes to reasons covered under the force majeure clause to cancel without damages ahead of the event … MeetingsNet

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