As we move toward ‘business as usual’ in 2022, live meetings & events may be anything but usual as new norms emerge for insurance coverage, attendee healthcare requirements, financial risk/reward assessment, hybrid options, and more. Meetings and events (M&E) insurance providers have managed countless claims for meetings and events cancelled over the last 20+ months. Now they are fine-tuning policies to clearly exclude a variety of cancellation circumstances while also increasing premiums and deductible thresholds to mitigate future risk and recoup losses from the past two years. Yet, with renewed demand for in-person, face-to-face business interactions, required lead time for M&E and ongoing unpredictability, what steps can be taken to mitigate risk and ensure success?
Know your insurance policy
What was once standard policy coverage may no longer be included and if it is, it may be at an additional premium. Case in point, 'Force Majeure' clauses are not likely to include coverage for communicable diseases and other previously common business interruptions. Work with your insurance team to gain an accurate view of both the categories and levels of coverage - included and excluded - before planning a meeting or event.
Incorporate safety protocols
While safety has always been a factor, COVID protocols including social distancing, facemask requirements, proof of vaccination and/or testing, are now routinely expected too. Insurers and/or attendees may require or expect mobile apps, onsite validation, medical expert planning and more, all leading to higher M&E costs.
Weigh the financials
Even if an insurance policy offers some protection against cancellations or reduced attendance, the deductible may be higher than sunk costs, making a claim worthless. Planners must make an informed decision on risks, potential ROI, and how to proceed.
Ready, Set, Pivot!
Virtual and hybrid options assure, at least in part, objectives of a meeting or event are met and are likely here to stay. What M&E components can be presented in a virtual format to deliver key messages, build critical relationships, etc.? Can you pivot reactively or proactively? Proactive planners are including virtual components to hedge their bets for success.
Vet your venue and vendors
From local official shutdown thresholds to venue policies, vendor and supplier service levels and more, consider contract adjustments to protect against unforeseen circumstances. Can you scale back? Delay? Cancel? If not, what’s your recourse? How can you recoup your financial investment? Is there any insurance coverage under the policy of another organization? Whether hosting, sponsoring, exhibiting or attending, what contractual obligations do you have if you back out? And, if you go forward, what is your liability coverage?
Notably, some hotels report that clients are avoiding signing contracts to swerve taking out insurance. This approach forces hotels to put people on joint-options or a ‘first-signed, first served basis’ making it difficult for suppliers who in turn become less inclined to work with corporates who take the no-sign approach
Live meetings and events are coming back and full recovery with greater predictability, less risk and less challenge are on the horizon. In the interim, planners will need to adjust, pivot and anticipate continued change and new norms, looking past surviving to again thriving, embracing industry changes to ensure stakeholder success.
Speak to our team about your next event and let us take the strain out of the planning.
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