All the Contract Clauses Existing

to Protect Owners and Contractors from Event Cancellations



By Sacha Lefils

SKEMA Business School

Lille, France



Event management is a very big challenge as the risk of cancellation is omnipresent. Event planners have to be very careful with this risk in order to protect themselves from non-payment and excessive cancellation. This paper aims to answer the following statement: what are the best options for event planners to protect themselves from any cancellation. The solution lies in contract clauses. As many contract clauses exist, we use several methods to compare and analyse all the clauses existing to help event planners to choose the best contract clause to be protected from cancellation impacts or avoid cancellation itself.

This analysis highlight that the best clauses are the cancellation clause, the termination clause and the achievement clause.

Key words: Valid Cancellation, Event Management, Payment Schedule, Responsibilities, Force Majeure, Indemnification, Termination clause


Event management has always been a big challenge for project managers on account of all the risks opposed to the good proceedings of an event. Indeed, events do not always go as project managers planned. This is the reason why sometimes, events have to be cancelled or rescheduled. Everybody has ever faced a cancellation of an event, meeting or even of an accommodation. This is a big issue to know who is responsible for any damage caused by it, who is going to pay for it and what could the victims do with it.

In order to avoid all those questions, project managers should use contracts properly. Indeed, with good contracts, project managers can define clearly the responsibilities in case of a cancellation from the event planner, but also from the client and guests.

To study the use of contracts in event planning, it is mandatory to analyse existing contracts and event planners’ testimonies, including points of view. But it is also very interesting to examine some research literatures done by professors in event management, because cancellation seems to be one of the biggest issues according to them.

The scope of this research paper is all the information related to event cancellation, contract clauses, cancellation indemnification, force majeure, and responsibilities in case of cancellation from the owner, but also from the contractor of the project.

Through this paper, the following subjects will be considered. First, the cancellation of an event is analysed. Indeed, the conditions of a valid cancellation and in which case an event planner or a client can cancel an event. Then, the indemnification in case of any cancellation. Who has to pay for any cancellation? Another subject of research is the contract clauses that exist about event cancellation. The way of cancelling an event is also a big part of the research, because to reduce negative impact, it is mandatory to respect steps required to cancel an event.

For event planners, the cancellation of an event can cause the loss of the whole due payment. This paper aims to collect and develop all the information about cancellation with a view to helping and advising all project managers who would like to cancel an event and protect themselves. The cancellation can be from the project manager’s suppliers (a renter of chairs or reception hall), from the client (the owner of the contract) or event from the project manager himself. To be well protected, contractors must use some specific clauses, which will be explained in the following paper.


To read entire paper, click here


Editor’s note: Student papers are authored by graduate or undergraduate students based on coursework at accredited universities or training programs.  This paper was prepared as a deliverable for the course “International Contract Management” facilitated by Dr Paul D. Giammalvo of PT Mitratata Citragraha, Jakarta, Indonesia as an Adjunct Professor under contract to SKEMA Business School for the program Master of Science in Project and Programme Management and Business Development.  http://www.skema.edu/programmes/masters-of-science. For more information on this global program (Lille and Paris in France; Belo Horizonte in Brazil), contact Dr Paul Gardiner, Global Programme Director [email protected].

How to cite this paper: Lefils, S. (2018). All the Contract Clauses Existing to Protect Owners and Contractors from Event Cancellations, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue VII – July.  Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/pmwj72-Jul2018-Lefils-contract-clauses-to-protect-owners-and-contactors.pdf

About the Author

Sacha Lefils

Lille, France




Sacha LEFILS is a student in SKEMA Business School.  Born in Lille in 1994, he studied in Lille and entered SKEMA Business School in 2013 to start the Grande École Program. During the beginning of his SKEMA life, he entered a humanitarian association called “Bout du Monde” as the Vice-President. And then, he created an association – with SKEMA friends – of more than 80 members called “Humanitarian Organization Promoting Equity”. In this association, he was responsible for fund-raising, and was managing a team of 30 students with the view to raising 30 000€ for the purpose of the association.

He is now a student in MSc Project & Programme Management and Business Development in this school in the campus of Lille. During this master, he is studying mainly project management and attending the following courses: portfolio management, leadership skills, sustainability, global project management and international contract management.

He has some accreditation such as: Green Project Management certification; Agile certification; Prince2 certification.

Sacha can be contacted at sac[email protected].