‘Legalease with the Ladies’ Webinars Demystify Contracts During COVID-19

July 29, 2020

In the age of COVID-19, event planners are finding themselves in a challenging predicament. For organizations opting to go forward with hosting in-person events, planners are not only tasked with taking extra precautions to keep participants safe and healthy, but also managing the underlying legal risks associated with holding face-to-face events during a pandemic. To help planners overcome these uncertainties, group and meetings booking software provider HopSkip recently partnered with two event and hospitality industry attorneys to produce the complimentary “Legalese with the Ladies” webinar series. 

Created and conducted by Barbara Dunn, who represents event groups and associations for Chicago-based Barnes & Thornburg LLP, and Lisa Sommer Devlin, representing hotel clients for Devlin Law Firm, P.C. in Phoenix, the ongoing live and on-demand webinars cover contract-related topics and help decode legalese around the current climate. 

Event Contracts In the Age of COVID-19,” held May 15, focused on the basics of force majeure and how to navigate current contracts with hotels, while “Managing Risk In Meetings Moving Forward,” conducted on June 19, covered issues including social distancing compliance, waivers and the assumption of the risk. Both webinars are available on-demand now. 

A third session, “The Stakes Are Higher Than Ever: How to Avoid the Most Common Contracting Mistakes,” will take place Aug. 21 at 12:30 p.m. ET. More topics will be released in the coming months, according to HopSkip officials.  

So far, more than 3,200 planners and hoteliers have attended the Legalese series. HopSkip Co-founder Sean Whalin explained that since the software company had an established relationship with Dunn and Devlin in developing new contracting clause features on its booking platform, it seemed like a no-brainer to share their expertise with the events community via an ongoing webinar series under the attorneys’ existing brand.

“We felt like we could help share knowledge with the community and knew we had the perfect partnership with Barbara and Lisa… to do it,” Whalin said. “We’re consistently reaching out for feedback and asking [planners and hoteliers] about their current challenges and pain points in their sourcing process, and that’s what really shapes our content.”

According to Devlin, she and Dunn have been giving contract-related presentations together at industry events for many years, but decided to formalize their partnership via their relationship with HopSkip to help planners and hoteliers navigate the many uncertainties of hosting events in the current climate.

“Understanding contracts and risks has always been important,” Devlin said. “The situations surrounding COVID 19 have simply highlighted the issues for some planners that may not have focused on them as carefully before.”

She explained that an event contract is, in essence, a road map of the parties’ rights and obligations, so understanding how to read and follow contractual agreements are critical for planners and hoteliers, particularly during high-risk situations like COVID-19.

Dunn added that the success of the Legalese program lies in both sides – groups and suppliers – hearing and understanding the other’s perspective.

“We are proud to serve the hospitality community in this way – especially during these difficult times,” Dunn said. “The stakes have always been high on both sides and now they are only higher given the challenging environment going forward.”

Download past episodes of the “Legalese with the Ladies” here and here. To learn more about HopSkip, go here.


Don’t miss any event-related news: Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter HERE and engage with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram!

Add new comment

Partner Voices
Just when it seems like Las Vegas can’t get any bigger, brighter or more exciting for groups, MGM Resorts raises the bar again. The company continues to invest and innovate across its portfolio of Las Vegas resorts, with new attractions and upgraded experiences for attendees of all interests.  Remodeled Guest Rooms MGM Grand is the largest single hotel in the world with over 5,000 guest rooms and an 850,000-square-foot conference center. It is home to the newly remodeled MGM Grand Studio Tower—700 reimagined guest rooms with a fun mid-century vibe. Nearby, the iconic New York-New York Las Vegas Hotel & Casino recently completed a $63M redesign and remodel of its 1,830 guest rooms and 155 suites. Down the street, Bellagio Las Vegas is sporting renovated rooms in the Spa Tower with sunrise-inspired decor and luxurious soaking tubs in Premier King rooms after a $110-million transformation. Reinvented Luxury Experiences The Luxury Meetings District, made up of Bellagio Las Vegas, ARIA Resort & Casino, Vdara Hotel & Spa, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Park MGM and NoMad Las Vegas, is now more connected than ever before. A new interior walkway opened this October for a seamless attendee experience – connecting Vdara, Bellagio, and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, guests can now walk from Park MGM to Bellagio in around 15 minutes. New on the scene in the Luxury Meetings District is Cathedrale at ARIA, TAO Group’s upscale establishment specializing in exquisite French-Mediterranean cuisine offering elevated private dining experiences that opened in May. Heralded by World’s Best 50 Restaurants, GQ and VOGUE, LPM at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is opening this fall and will deliver its signature spontaneity and imaginative celebration of France’s Mediterranean cuisine, art, and culture to the unique luxury resort in impeccable fashion.  A “New Wave  for Mandalay Bay A new wave of enhancements and experiences has arrived at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, including Flanker Kitchen + Sports Bar, an 8,445-square-foot restaurant that opened this June, perfect for pre- and post-game eats and drinks. Event planner’s favorite, Chef Michael Mina’s StripSteak, received a full renovation and now includes one of the largest private dining rooms on The Strip. Retro by Voltaggio debuts a one-year residency with a fun take on pop culture of the 80s and 90s with classic American dishes. An exciting addition planned for 2024 is Swingers, a 40,000-square-foot oasis of street food, miniature golf and art at Mandalay Bay. Most exciting for meeting planners, the 2.1 million-square-foot Mandalay Bay Convention Center  is undergoing a complete refresh, with lightened space, added eye-catching art, and improved technology infrastructure for even more flexible space. Energy-efficient digital signage now leads the way with faster internet speeds and new AV options. From renovated guest rooms and meeting spaces to celebrated dining options and dedicated teams, MGM Resorts is dedicated to delivering exceptional and innovative meeting experiences.