Meeting attendance threatened by a public health crisis resulted in all cancellations of face-to-face F2F events by the end of February 2020 thru June 2020.
Both healthcare professionals and corporate attendees were reluctant to attend face-to-face events since there was not a full understating of if/when the outbreak would be contained on a global level.
Many attendees, both corporate and clinical, invited to the meetings were prohibited from traveling out of the country.
Hotel venue contracts had been signed and cancellation clauses were enacted.
In the event that a meeting is cancelled due to a pandemic, the hotel does not usually offer a refund and instead requires that the meeting be rescheduled at a later date offering no flexibility should the meeting need to change course, location, venue, etc. Force majeure clauses commonly referred to in hotel contracts, typically do not apply to pandemic situations.
Using MTA’s prior experience dealing with the earlier health crises of SARS (2002), Swine Flu (2009), MERS (2013) and Zika (2015), by January 2020 MTA added a cancellation clause to all our hotel/venue contracts to reference COVID-19 specifically.
Each COVID-19 clause allowed MTA 100% cancellation in case of need to cancel the event.
Twenty of MTA’s hotel contracts were impacted by this additional clause.
In all cancellations, MTA utilized our hotel vendor relationships to initiate the clause and realize a 100% refund and void the original hotel contract for our clients.
As a result of the specific COVID-19 clause zero or none of MTA’s clients had to pay any event cancellation costs for cancelling their F2F events during the period between February 28 and June 2020.
Consequently, for MTA clients, there were zero ($0.00) attrition costs incurred.