@MPIGNY- Spring 2013 - (Page 6)

#feature KEY CLAUSE THE Hurricane Sandy drove home the importance of force-majeure clauses in contracts BY NICK FORTUNA “FORCE MAJEURE IS COVERED IN ALL OUR CONTRACTS, AND IT’S IMPORTANT FOR MEETING PROFESSIONALS TO SPEAK WITH THEIR LAWYERS SO THEY’RE COVERED IN THEIR CONTRACTS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. ” 6 @MPIGNY SPRING 2013 M eeting professionals holding events in the greater New York area traditionally haven’t had to worry too much about hurricanes. But when superstorm Sandy ripped through the region Oct. 29, killing at least 125 people and causing about $62 billion in damages, Gov. Andrew Cuomo only half-jokingly concluded that New York “has a 100-year flood every two years now.” Sandy, which idled New York City’s mass-transit system and left parts of New York and New Jersey without power for days, was the second-costliest hurricane in U.S. history. Just a year prior, in August 2011, New York dealt with the seventhcostliest storm, Hurricane Irene, which killed 67 people and caused $15.8 billion in damages. For New York City-based meeting professionals such as Meghan Schilt, CMP, Events Manager at Apax Partners, and Jaclyn Bernstein, President and Partner at Empire Force Events, Sandy was a major headache that impacted months of work. Though both said they felt fortunate to emerge from the storm unscathed while others lost their lives and prized possessions, the disaster underscored the importance of including forcemajeure clauses in contracts with hotels, restaurants and vendors whenever possible. Such clauses free meeting professionals and their clients from liability in the case of an extraordinary event, or “act of God,” beyond their control. “Force majeure is covered in all our contracts, and it’s important for meeting professionals to speak with their lawyers so they’re covered in their contracts as much as possible,” Bernstein said. Planning for the worst As Sandy neared, Schilt, President of MPIGNY, said she kept one eye glued to the increasingly dire weather forecasts. She had planned a conference for 100 senior-level executives from around the world for Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 30-31, and her internal clients were on the fence about canceling until Monday afternoon. When Schilt’s clients asked her if they should cancel, she explained that with bridges and tunnels into the city closed and all flights into New York canceled, the best-case scenario was that about http://www.mpigny.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of @MPIGNY- Spring 2013

President's Message
Force Majeure
Trends in Event Food and Beverage
Meeting and Media
Member Spotlight
Tips for Professional Development
Meetings at the Beach
Destination Niagara Falls
Chapter Survey
New Members
Advertisers Index
Can You Spot Yourself?

@MPIGNY- Spring 2013