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Olympics Crisis and Hotels’ Pain Provide Event Contract Lessons

Understanding things like event-insurance fine print and which areas of operation hotels get group revenue from will help planners become better at contracting and negotiating.

With the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo postponed to 2021, some of the biggest insurance firms in the world are breathing an enormous sigh of relief. That’s because the International Olympic Committee and other parties involved in coordinating different elements of the two-week-long event can’t make a claim for staggeringly large payouts to replace investments that would have been lost from outright cancellation of the event.

The International Olympic Committee has $800 million in insurance protection for the Summer Games, while other parties have $600 million in insurance for TV rights and sponsorship as well as $600 million in insurance for travel and hospitality programs. And though delaying the Summer Games will trigger some insurance claims from host parties due to additional costs, not all event policies account for postponement costs—something corporate and association planners should think about as they seek to purchase insurance for their own future events. This article from Reuters has more details on the postponement-clause fine print in those event-insurance contracts.

Here’s another item that’s educational for planners: An article that talks about the hotel industry’s effort to get emergency financial support from the federal government—which also reveals the percentage of total revenue that hotels in different price segments earn from their guest-room rates. Armed with this data—especially for the upper upscale and luxury segments—planners can strategize their ancillary spending at a host property to get better guest-room rates for an event.

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