Extraordinary matters: mia launches contract guidance

The Meetings Industry Association (mia) has launched guidance to the sector to assist contract negotiations and to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on trade.

Entitled ‘Extraordinary matters: Contract Guidance’, the best practice provides information on reducing the impact of cancellations and managing postponements and is designed to help keep everyone in business while making health and wellness a top priority.

The direction has been created after the mia brought together 140 members, booking agents and other industry representatives to discuss the challenges and issues surrounding contracts and future business planning at a dedicated ‘Extraordinary matters: COVID-19 and its effects on your business’ event on 9th March at 15Hatfields.

Following the debate, the mia promised to create a set of recommendations to help steer considerations and decisions for venues across the UK.

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A working group including CCT Venues’ founder and CEO, Caroline Bull; Wyboston Lakes’ managing director and mia chair, Steve Jones; Lincoln Inn’s head of catering, Steven Matthews; Seven Events’ managing director, Angelee Rathor and the mia’s chief executive, Jane Longhurst, have collaborated to ensure the recommendations are realistic, supportive and achievable.

Jane Longhurst, chief executive of the mia, said: “Nearly three-quarters of our member venues have had events cancelled as a result of fears of COVID-19 and there are serious concerns about the future of the industry since the UK moved from its current containment phase to delay and further restrictions are predicted.

“In order to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on all our businesses, it’s essential that the industry works in solidarity and that fairness comes first, which is why we created this document to help guide the industry in their approach to cancellations and postponements.

“We want to keep events alive and continue to encourage organisers to book events for the future. This is very much an evolving paper and we will continue to update our recommendations as the situation develops.”