Covid-19 and contracts


A recent survey among corporate event buyers revealed that venues are showing understanding and flexibility when it comes to clauses in contracts, particularly over COVID-19.

When asked if the (now standard) COVID-19 clause is still being kept in venue contracts the majority of BNC members who responded said that it is being added in or taken out as necessary and that venues are being fairly and amenable when it comes to each company’s varying requirements.

The addition or deletion of certain clauses are being easily made without the need for lengthy legal checking or negotiations.

“We’re still adding COVID-19 clauses to our contracts,” confirmed event manager, Clare, from a financial firm.

Victoria, also in financial event management, agreed, stating that it’s best to be safe this year and she’s keeping the clause in. “Absolutely – and particularly for events over the winter months.”

Another event manager, Jo, from a media firm, is strongly against keeping the clause in.

“We do not have COVID-19 policy as there aren’t legal requirements anymore - having a policy mandates something and then makes you liable,” she said.

Sarah, from an association, has taken the clause out but is still keeping the practical processes in to protect all.

“We are not putting anything regarding COVID-19 in our joining instructions, but we do take masks and hand sanitiser for the registration desk if people want to use it.”

Law firm event manager Kate reports that the current climate of infrastructural instability has brought new challenges when it comes to policies and protection.

Where she was once able to add-in clauses to guard logistics around possible rail strikes she has noticed an abrupt change in recent times.

She says: “ We’ve only had it in one contract so far, and funnily enough when we had to move the event due to the strikes last week they have removed it from the new contract!”

Kim Paulden, The BNC’s Director, says if any Club members are experiencing any issues with contracts that they are to email in and he will do his best to get the right recommendations and advice.

“I’m really pleased to see that on the whole there’s a fair and flexible approach when it comes to contracts and clauses,” he comments.

“The events industry took a hard hit during the pandemic and we are still a long way off of being stable.

“In this ‘period of getting back to live, back to normal’ it’s wonderful to see grace being offered on both sides of the contract signing process.

“We will be discussing this and more at our next DBF/BNC Forum,, 21st & 22nd of November 2022, an event in partnership with DBF – it’s all about people – at the Hilton Ageas Bowl Southampton.”