Event Planning During the Pandemic

With COVID-19 sweeping across the country, and the banning of large gatherings, almost every association has either cancelled or postponed their events scheduled from March - June.  Associations with event scheduled from July until the end of the year have adopted a wait-and-see position in the hopes that with containment of the virus, these important knowledge, networking and revenue-producing events will be able to take place.  


CHMS has extensive relationships with event properties and venues across the United States and the world. These relationships have proven very valuable as we have communicated and negotiated with client event sites. Among our experiences, to date, are: 

  • Event Cancellation with No Penalties – This is due to the previous negotiated contract or due to the amount of business CHMS has conducted with the property, they released the association from its obligations due to the uniqueness of this public health crisis.

  • Negotiated Reduction in Cancellation Penalties – Based on the leverage CHMS brings to event negotiations because of our portfolio of 56 client-associations, we have also been able to reduce the size of the financial penalties due to cancellation.

  • Negotiated Change of Event Date – Working closely with a property in order to find another open date that works for both the association and the venue to ensure a “win-win” for both parties.

  • Keeping the Lines of Communication Open – We are doing this for all clients who have either postponed events or have events scheduled for the second half of the year. This proactive approach is providing comfort to both the association and the venue—and will help all as we continue to monitor the pandemic. 

  • Time is on Our Side – Patience is key at this time.  The venues are looking at each conference individually and as with contract negotiation they need to review all aspects.  

These are only a few scenarios we have worked through, there are many options available to you.  As each client event is addressed, CHMS is also working with conference support vendors, including exhibitor/decorating, audio-visual, etc. to ensure that these important services are aligned with the event resolution.

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