This is being written on Day 53 of the 2020 Great Pandemic quarantine. A lot has taken place in each of our lives and livelihoods these last few weeks and as of this moment, we are still in a holding pattern.
While some of the world seems to be slowly opening up along with some Canadian provinces and Territories, these news updates just add to our daily discussions about the progress of this virus.
For those of us who have had to cancel and rebook conferences (all of us!), the challenge is that each geographical region has a different set of criteria. Can we meet? How large can the group be? What are the new rules?
Essentially, we are all trying to determine if we are officially in the window of Force Majeure? Who gets to deem the official timing? What is illegal? What is impossible? Is this impracticable?
Around the middle of April, there was a national consensus that the ‘official Force Majeure line’ was June 1st. Now it’s moved to the end of the summer in Alberta. British Columbia just recently said they will endorse groups of 2-6 people to meet, in anticipation of the May long weekend with a plan to reopen hotels by June.
Truth is, the target keeps moving. The challenge for planners eyeing a meeting in October or November is that there is a mountain of planning that needs to happen now and waiting until 37 days out from the start of the conference, is not an option. So…
This is where our hotel ‘partners’ come in. Honestly, there have been a number of hotel and hospitality heroes these last few weeks. Thank you! The saying, ‘we’re all in this together’, is a truth, the thing is though, we are not all in the same boat – just the same storm. Some will weather through just fine…while others will not.
Tomorrow marks another new contract ‘ready to sign’ for the 2023 future. It feels hopeful however the process took more time as all stakeholders had to adjust to the unknown. This is just another way to say, there are a whole new collection of terms. We built-in the possibility of social distancing (hope not in 3 years however it just had to be added – today) and there is most definitely a rate review date with a requirement to compare rates from the hotel online channels – months out. This rate review benefits both sides as the hotel also wants (and needs) the group to perform – well.
For weeks we have been deep into trying to imagine the future of hotel contracts. Collaboratively we’ve come up with some insurances to ensure that we’ve identified the risks.
Our offer to you is our time. If you have a question or something you just need someone else to help you figure out, give us a call. It would be our pleasure to help – hotelier or planner. These last few weeks have been a PhD in learning. Sometimes we just need to talk it out…together.