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Meetings Industry Association launches contract guidelines

The Meetings Industry Association has developed contract and cancellation guidance to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on future bookings and ensure all parties are protected. 

Working with legal experts Mishcon de Reya, the step-by-step guide details all the actions venues operators should take to ensure they are totally transparent, and their cancellation policy is both fair and reasonable in all cases.

Jane Longhurst, chief executive of the mia, said: “As the sector moves towards the day when we are able to open up for business, it is imperative that venue contracts and cancellation policies reflect the understandable reluctance of buyers to sign on the dotted line. The intention is there, but the threat of a further pandemic-related business interruption still looms large and, in many cases prevents that final signature. 

“The guidance that we’ve developed includes a dedicated COVID-19 contract clause, which our members can safely add to their existing contracts. We strongly recommend they do this, or that they work with their own legal teams to have an appropriate clause prepared for their business.”

Members can elect to use all or just part of the recommendations, but whatever they choose to do, the mia is encouraging venue operators to ensure their contract terms are totally transparent, fair and reasonable. 

Longhurst added: “We are asking venues to always aim to satisfy the reasonableness test under the ‘Unfair Contract Terms Act’, particularly with regards to cancellation fees.”

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