What to do when you need to cancel a meeting due to the Corona Virus?
At the moment, the entire travel industry is having a hard time. Due to the recent outbreak of the Corona virus (CoVID-19), many meetings need to be postponed or cancelled. This is a result of travel restrictions and bans by the companies. Consequences are that a lot of hard work, time and effort is wasted. There could also be an economic downside when you can't cancel the hotel anymore. However, there are many opportunities to discuss the cancellation fees. It's all about being honest and a little bit creative. Allow me to share some insider tips and tricks.
Check if there is a Force Majeure
First check if there is a force Majeure agreement in the contract. This agreement might give you the flexibility to cancel the event without additional costs because of a global virus outbreak.
Most importantly, be open and honest to the hotels. You selected this hotel because it matched your requirements and you are probably considering to book this hotel in the future. Therefore, we advise you to always be open about the situation and keep in mind that the hotels are also going through a tough time right now. Hotels are willing to be more flexible when you openly discuss the topic of cancellation fees. Since we always practice what we preach, we are also open and honest about our earnings.
Hotels love you too
Remember that the goal of hotels is to fill their rooms and generate as much revenue as possible. Next to thus they want to build and maintain good relationships with their customers. Hotels will not want to risk losing loyal customers. Always engage in an honest conversation with the hotel, in order to avoid cancellation fees. Once again, opennesss and transparency are key in both personal and business relationships.
Imagine the space being sold anyway
Cancelling an event 1 year in advance may still require paying cancellation fees. This might feel quite frustrating, but it is based on the contract you have with the hotel. It is very likely that the hotel will still be filled on the dates of your initial event. Suggest to the hotel beforehand that if a similar group books during that same period, your cancellation fees will not be charged.
We’ll be back
Due to the Corona virus, it is likely that the hotel does not manage to book a new group on the dates of your cancelled event. In this case try to negotiate booking the hotel for another event in the future. If you have already paid the full cost, you can use this payment as a deposit. You will not lose any money by paying in advance and it will create a win-win situation for both parties.
It could also be helpful to read the terms and conditions of hotels, click here for an example of the terms and conditions of Marriot meeting rooms in the UK. Please note that this can differ per request.
Please consider moving the group to a little later this year. In case the hotel still asks for a cancellation fee, you have to understand that the hotel does this to survive.
Give the hotels some love as well
Keep in mind that most of the hotels are losing a lot of groups and money due to the Corona situation. Hotels really need those groups that are currently confirmed. Please consider moving the group to a little later this year. In case the hotel still asks for a cancellation fee, you have to understand that the hotel does this to survive.
Let us know if you need help
If you need any assistance with finding a new hotel because your event has been cancelled. Let us know and we are happy to assist anytime!