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Conference in Jeopardy Due to Ebola Outbreak: What Would You Advise?

This morning I saw a comment on an article about attrition and force majeure that made me want to weep for the meeting planner. He said:

I am in the situation of having booked and contracted into a hotel in West Africa for a Summit high-level gathering. Delegate attendees and executives that were coming to the Summit NOW say, "Actually, I would rather not" due to concerns over health with outbreaks of Ebola growing in the region. My staff are also concerned and the whole event is in jeopardy. Hotel states it's business as usual and cannot cancel or refund 10% deposit paid.

Of course, we don't know the details of the contract or how its force majeure clause is worded or whether the hotel is part of a chain or independently owned and operated, but do you have any advice for this planner? If so, please leave a comment below or e-mail me. I keep thinking about meetings happening when the SARS outbreak was in the news...maybe this article on cancellation and force majeure in the SARS era would be useful?

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