April 23, 2020

Association Executives from over 80 Associations attend Presidential Forum Virtual Roundtable to discuss CONFERENCE CANCELED – Now What? – How is your Association navigating the repercussions of canceling or rescheduling your Event.

That was the topic of discussion when Association Executives met on April 23, 2020 for the Presidential Forum Roundtable via Zoom Web-conference.  The peer-to-peer discussion was moderated by Rob Eby, Partner, and Greg Plotts, Partner, both from Aronson LLC.

Attendees shared various stories about dealing with conference venues and hotels with the cancellation or rescheduling of event.  Varying degrees of resistance were met by the Association from the hotels and venue providers; the consensus was that it was important to document the legal restrictions (e.g., travel bans, large gathering bans, business closure declarations) and the timing of those restrictions (from Federal, State, Local, and CDC) in calling for the event cancelation and requesting deposits back or having deposits applied to future reschedule date.  Some Associations had purchased as early as 1-2 years earlier an infectious disease rider on their event cancelation insurance which they were able to claim from their insurance carrier.  Some attendees shared their situation of having an event planned for Summer/Fall 2020 and the current uncertainty surrounding that and how they would go about handling their contracts with the venue and/or hotel if it has to be canceled or rescheduled.  Several executives spoke about how they are moving to a virtual or hybrid conference format in 2020, but no one has reported successfully doing that yet. Regarding technology and vendors that specialize in virtual conferencing, executives on the call mentioned Intrado, Communique and Freeman-Digital.

As subject matter experts Jeff Tenenbaum, Esq. and Managing Partner from Tenenbaum Law Group PLLC (jtenenbaum@TenenbaumLegal.com) on the call as well as Dan Blaine, Account Executive from Marsh McLennan Agency (Dan.Blaine@MarshMMA.com) and Mark Robins, Partner – Association & Not-for-Profit Practice, Aronson LLC (mrobins@aronsonllc.com) attended the video-conference.  Tenenbaum pointed out that if Associations were willing to hold their conferences later in the year, it gives them a lot of leverage with the venues and hotels.  Also, Associations should be prepared that on-site Events will be less attended this year and next (perhaps as low as 50% of normal) due to travel restrictions that might be imposed on attendees by the employer and/or overall sentiment of uncertainty.  Additional information about legal considerations regarding event cancelation is provided on the links below from Tenenbaum Law Group PLLC.  Blaine pointed out how insurance policies written in the future will be restrictive regarding force majeure (i.e., pandemics will not give rise to a force majeure claim).  Robins commented on how accounting/tax considerations should be looked at for event cancellation so that you consider proper treatment before your fiscal year end.

Legal resources on to topic of Event Cancellation:




One of the association executives also shared Information from the U.S. Travel Association as helpful resources for the attendees who were looking for more information:

Materials available from U.S. Travel and their partners on COVID-19 and its impact.  Keep in mind each week these numbers can change as more information comes to light and additional research, feedback and surveys are completed.

Please reach out to the DMOs you work with and do what you can to partner with them to keep America meeting and traveling while keeping everyone safe and healthy!


U.S. Travel Toolkit Hub on COVID-19:



Economic Impact of COVID-19:



COVID-19 Weekly Travel Data Report:



Traveler Sentiment:





Back to Normal Barometer:

Back-To-Normal Barometer Briefing – April 15



Meetings Mean Business: Meetings Mean Business is a Coalition U.S. Travel help’s lead focused on the Meetings Industry.


Pre – COVID-19: Economic Impact of Meetings:


For questions, please contact the Event host, Wade Tetsuka, rsvp@ustranscorp.com or the Moderators from Aronson LLC, Rob Eby reby@aronsonllc.com, or Greg Plotts gplotts@aronsonllc.com


CPE Compliance Disclosure:


The onset of covid-19 has resulted in Associations needing to cancel their in-person conferences and events on short notice.  Some Associations still have in-person events planned for later this year with still a lot of uncertainty about the ability to conduct those meetings in-person.  Learn how Associations are navigating the cancelation or rescheduling of events from legal, insurance and finance aspects.   This course is ideal for Finance, Events, Membership and General management C-level executives of Associations.


  • Learn what legal issues such as force majeure are associated with short term event cancellations due to covid 19
  • Learn how insurance coverage plays a role in recovery of losses due to event cancellation
  • Learn about various financial and accounting implications involved including refunding of registrations, sponsorships and exhibitor fees.

INSTRUCTOR(S):  Rob Eby, CPA, CGMA, Partner, Aronson LLC; and Greg Plotts, CPA, Partner, Aronson LLC

DELIVERY METHOD: Group live presented online due to COVID-19


LEVEL: Intermediate

NASBA CATEGORY: Business Management & Organization

PREREQUISITES:  C-Level Management Experience

In accordance with the standards of the National Registry of CPE Sponsors, CPE credits have been granted based on a 50-minute hour.

U.S Transactions Corp. (CPE Sponsor ID: 138278) is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.NASBARegistry.org.