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Expo! Expo! Speaker Spotlight on Tyra Warner, Ph.D., JD, CMP-Fellow

Tyra Warner discusses the takeaways attendees will gain at the session she will be presenting during Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2023 on 5-7 December in Dallas, Texas.

By Mary Tucker, IAEE Senior Communications and Content Manager

Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2023 features a three-day educational journey covering seven diverse content tracks, including this highly valuable session led by Tyra Warner, Ph.D., JD, CMP-Fellow. All Things Force Majeure: What You Need to Know! focuses on the intricacies of force majeure – a supervening, intervening force.

A force majeure incident is something so extreme that it renders it impossible, illegal and maybe commercially impracticable (depending on how you write your clause) to hold or host a meeting or exhibition. Tyra will explore the fine line between cancellation and force majeure, since knowing the difference can mean the difference in hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Tyra understands that interpreting force majeure language in the context of an incident that has occurred has become a competitive sport. She will take attendees through the language, the intent, and the results of applying the force majeure clause.

Here, Tyra shares a preview of how participants will benefit from the information presented at All Things Force Majeure: What You Need to Know!

In this session, you will teach attendees how to create force majeure language that protects their organization from anticipated and unanticipated risks. Why is this a critical step?

Tyra: Once the force majeure incident has occurred, it’s too late to go back and protect yourself.  The time to protect yourself with a force majeure clause is at the time of drafting, before you even know what the force majeure incident might be.  This is why drafting a good force majeure clause is the best protection.

You will also differentiate between cancellation and force majeure using legal analysis of the clauses. Why is it important to understand the subtleties between the two?

Tyra: The bright line force majeure incidents – a hurricane that floods the hotel, airlines being grounded by the FAA – aren’t contentious. The force majeure incidents that are typically contentious are the ones that fall into the grey areas and are fact-specific in their application of the force majeure language. These are the ones where one party is usually arguing cancellation and the other party is arguing force majeure. Sometimes there is a fine line and it turns on the specific facts in the case.

In addition, you will relate force majeure language to various scenarios to determine its applicability. How will this exercise help participants as they create their own clauses?

Tyra: While I can’t explain the difference between the two for every possible scenario, I use scenarios to explain the legal inquiry process and the application of force majeure language to any fact pattern. Attendees can use these examples to draft the right force majeure language for their contract (there isn’t one-size-fits-all language) and to apply the force majeure inquiry to their specific fact pattern.

What fuels your passion for this subject, and why is this information so relevant in today’s business environment?

Tyra: I’ve always had a passion for risk management and crisis preparedness for meetings. I did my Ph.D. dissertation on the topic. Force majeure events are the ones that blind-side us, creating safety and security issues, triggering contingency plans, or throwing us into full-on crises. While no contract language is going to save a person’s life, it can protect the organization from financial crisis and that’s part of risk management and crisis preparedness, too.

Expo! Expo! is THE PLACE TO BE to learn about the latest industry trends and technology, as well as network with professional peers. Find more information here including how to take advantage of the BE SMART registration rate through 20 October as well as special promos for IAEE members.

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