As Hurricane Matthew spirals up the east coast, news stories turn to those
moving inland for safety and to others who have had to change their wedding
or event plans for the weekend. Natural disasters often spawn good and
bad behaviors from individuals and businesses. News reports of event venues
stepping in to save the day for the bride and groom can be overshadowed
by lost deposits and greedy price gougers taking advantage of the situation.
But do we get the whole story in the two-minute video or 500 words presented?
In defense of all east coast event venues, a hurricane is an act of nature
that cannot be avoided. Each venue has policies that must be met and costs
that must be covered. However, when disaster strikes and the client shoulders
the consequences, it makes one wonder if the event planner did his/her
homework before choosing the venue. It’s made us at the Clarence
Brown Conference Center evaluate how we might be rated if natural disaster
interrupted our clients’ events.
Whether you are planning a destination wedding or planning your office
holiday party, do your homework and choose your venue wisely. Meet with
the venue’s event planning team well in advance of making a deposit.
Ultimately as a client it is your responsibility to ask the “What
If…” questions, but it’s the venue staff’s responsibility
to guide you through their policies and procedures – including their
Force Majeure clause. If the venue does not have a clause that addresses
their responsibility should uncontrollable circumstances force your event
to be cancelled, you might want to rethink the venue.
Consider who the ultimate decision makers are when it comes to policy enforcement.
Is your venue operated by offsite corporate management, a public authority
or board of directors, or an independent business owner? The Clarence
Brown Conference Center, is operated by the Cartersville-Bartow County
Convention & Visitors Bureau through an intergovernmental agreement
between Bartow County and City of Cartersville. Yes, we have policies
concerning deposits, event payments and refunds; however, we also have
compassionate leadership that seeks good will by putting community first.
And, that community extends well beyond our neighbors in Georgia. Rest
assured that if a natural disaster strikes, the Clarence Brown Conference
Center team will work diligently to find solutions at other venues, or
to reschedule your event at the earliest possible date. With the drive
to exceed all expectations, we understand that business is business, but
good character is priceless.