Critical Decisions Should I cancel my hotel block and event?

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many organizations and attendees to make the difficult but critical decisions to cancel or postpone. The decision not only has significant financial implications but affects all individuals involved. Many people are left asking “Should I cancel my hotel reservations and event?”

Here are some factors that will help you determine whether or not to cancel

If you are like most event planners who are under increased pressure to cut costs, consider a drive-to destination. If you have the highest concentration of attendees in a particular region, you might choose a centralized location that so you can be as close to your attendees as possible. Furthermore it can be more cost effective to drive than to fly, and it can also be more convenient.

The first step is to find out what hotels are doing to ensure attendees feel safe and secure. Some hotels, like Four Seasons, continue to invest in apps that further allow guests to control how they engage with others – limiting face-to-face thus giving guests the flexibility for contactless engagement throughout their stay.

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts collaborated with Johns Hopkins Medicine International on enhanced health and safety programs called Lead With Care. The program focuses on procedures, behind-the-scenes measures including thorough employee training, additional food handling protocols, and enhancements to ventilation systems and other back-of-the-house operations. Here is an example of the detailed new measures Four Season is doing to combat COVID-19.

Enhanced Cleanliness

Each Four Seasons property is appointing a Hygiene Officer focused on implementing enhancements to already stringent procedures

Rooms disinfected daily with EPA approved products and will have black light inspection by room attendants

Four Seasons COVID-19 Advisory Board to explore an array of options to equip properties with the latest tools and technology, including electrostatic spraying, ozone technology for air purification and/or UV technology for HVAC systems

Heightened Guest Safety and Comfort:

Lead With Care kits placed in each guest room providing masks, hand sanitizer and sanitization wipes with additional masks supplied on demand

Social distancing measures embedded in all services for guest protection, including appropriately spaced fitness equipment, modified spa menu and services, contactless check-in and housekeeping services

Restaurants and bars may operate with reduced capacity to ensure adequate space and socially distant set-up

Nearly all restaurants providing a-la-carte service with digital menus wherever possible

In Room Dining offering contactless delivery outside guestrooms along with sustainable, single-use packaging

Four Seasons App and Chat providing guests with real-time, contactless interactions with employees from their own device on nine global platforms and in 100+ different languages

Empowered Employees:

Lead With Care training building on Four Seasons legendary service model and diligent attention to detail, ensuring Lead With Care procedures are delivered in a thoughtful, attentive manner that balances guest safety with personal reassurance and comfort

Training focused on educating and empowering employees to deliver the enhanced health and safety program with confidence, passing on this care to each and every guest and resident

The COVID-19 Advisory Board advising on the global training program for all employees including: ensuring employees have a well-informed understanding of the disease and its transmission, providing guidance on appropriate social distancing and use of personal protective equipment, as well as physical and mental health monitoring and support

Grounded in emotional intelligence, employees are undergoing behavioral training, ensuring empathetic, personalized care and connection are not lost in the absence of close contact and limited face to face interaction.

(Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts)

Similar to the Four Seasons, Hyatt properties have their own initiative called Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment. To learn more about their program, click the link below.

In addition, The American Hotel & Lodging Association has launched a program called Safe Stay to develop a series of best practices for the industry. This new initiative will ensure greater transparency and confidence throughout the entire hotel experience. According to the U.S. Travel Association recommends contactless or low-touch solutions around check-in and payment for goods and services. Hotels like the Viceroy Hotels & Resorts is now using Amazon Alexa in some properties to control the technology in guest rooms.

The U.S. Travel Association has also launched a new Travel Confidently Toolkit to help travelers do their part while on the road or in the air. The toolkit features industry guidance for the health and safety of all, more information can be found at the link below.

In conclusion

Before canceling your hotel stay or meeting venue find out what extra steps they are doing to give attendees and guest the extra peace of mind, both in-room and during your event. Ensure adequate sized meeting & event space to allow for social distancing and speak with your contact to confirm safety procedures, such as seating, F&B and activities.

The key to determining which is best in a particular situation is to be transparent to your attendees and determine your overall meeting goals. Also, remember that this is an evolving situation. It's crucial to follow guidelines set by your state and your health care provider. Continue to practice safety measures no matter where you decide.

Let us help get you there.

Created By
Savy Huynh


Created with images by Ashwini Chaudhary - "Room cleaning items in hallway" • Gerson Repreza - "Taken at my favorite resort, Hard Rock in Punta Cana."