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Eventeny Webinar Series: COVID-19 Event Contracts

Eventeny Webinar Series: COVID-19 Event Contracts

 

Speaker: Jeff English Speaker Bio: Jeff English has been in the event industry for over 13 years and he has a background in law. He now works as a general counsel and corporate secretary for CLARK Material Handling Company. The following are notes from the Eventeny Webinar Series and the full recording can be found below. -Make sure to apply the laws of your specific jurisdiction -These are general guidelines for managing contracts during COVID-19 -Do not try to be a lawyer/overcomplicate things -Now is the time to negotiate and compromise -Try to negotiate something that you can work with (such as deferment) or find a reasonable compromise -3 major areas to take close examination of event and vendor contracts: -Sponsorship -Vendors/music -Force majeure -Sponsorship -When you are in a situation of law vs reality, do not say “we are not producing this event and we are not refunding your money,,” rather look for alternatives (deferments) -Find creative ways to fill this sponsorships -Be flexible -Try to find common ground with sponsor, vendor, or music artist -Deposits can be deferred (Zambelli, Galt House, Millennium Events) -Music artists -Many require an upfront payment, so as event organizers, so explain to them why you cannot pay them upfront anymore -COVID-19 has allowed for event organizers to have more power and more room to reason with music artists -Allow for honest conversations -Waivers -You can get everyone to sign waivers so that you are not liable for any of the risks in participating in your event (take a look at the waiver example in the full recording) -This might not be that effective because the duty of being an event organizer supersedes a waiver -Causation and gross negligence -It is extremely difficult to prove causation that someone got COVID-19 because of your event -Be aware of your events liability as it relates to gross negligence by adhering to guidelines for COVID-19. Go above and beyond to follow restrictions and document it. If you do not document, then you might run into legal liability. -Force Majeure (COVID-19 is a force majeure event) -Force majeure clauses allocate risk between the parties when an unanticipated event makes performance impossible or impractical (COVID-19 is a force majeure event) -This principle applies to contracts signed before the pandemic as this event was not foreseeable and directly cause failure to meet obligations -See the full recording to find examples of contracts, addendums, and more

 

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