Event planner at a banquet hall reviewing details on their laptop.

Special Event Insurance in a Post-Pandemic EraAugust 24, 2022

In the spring of 2020, special events were quickly canceled as COVID-19 spread and quarantines became ubiquitous. The entertainment and hospitality industries were some of the hardest hit sectors in business.  

Nonetheless, where there is a will, there is a way, and companies continued to hold special events throughout the pandemic, whether hybrid events or virtual gatherings. Special event insurance remained important for virtual events just as it is for in-person events.  

As things have opened back up, businesses that provide special event services and the companies that hire them must consider the impact of the past and revisit the best ways to set up special events now and in the future. Special event insurance remains important in a post-pandemic world as it was pre-pandemic. 

The Impact of the Pandemic on Special Events and the Hospitality Industry 

Johnson and Wales University gives us a look back at just how hard hit the hospitality industry was during the worst days of the pandemic:  

  • Airline ticket sales dropped by 60% 
  • Hotel registrations declined 50% 
  • Sports and entertainment venues lost 75% of their ticket sales 
  • Restaurants lost over $240 billion in revenue 

While many event halls and other hospitality businesses went bankrupt, many made quick adaptations, weathered the storm, and survived to tell the tale.  

Using public health guidelines and local mandates as their guide, special event planners and venues did their best to sanitize facilities and set up hygiene and social distancing rules to keep everyone safe. Whenever possible event planners arranged for all or partial virtual participation to avoid canceling events altogether. Today, many people are now vaccinated. Event halls have opened up, and people have resumed purchasing tickets for in-person events.  

In-Person Special Events Make a Comeback 

The demand for entertainment and special events never went away, it was on the back burner for a while. Even while the pandemic was in full swing, it did not deter some from going where they wanted and doing what they wanted.  

New strains of COVID continue to emerge, yet the general public feels less hesitant about going out in public. For the most part, it is optional for people to wear a mask, so even that is not a deterrent to attending an event with crowds of people.  

Now that the worst is behind the event and hospitality industries, people are more ready than ever to celebrate and have a good time. According to the 2022 Global Meetings and Events Forecast, two-thirds of those surveyed indicated post-pandemic numbers to return to pre-pandemic numbers within two years. Moreover, consumers saved up plenty of cash during quarantines and are ready to lighten up their spending habits.  

Technomic report shows businesses in the special event, restaurant, and hotel industries have surpassed the survival, restart, and strengthening phases of the pandemic. Currently, they are in the surge phase of development, focusing on investment and growth.  

In some ways, the pandemic forced them to think outside of the box, leave their comfort zones, and envision their industries not as they were, but as they could or should be.  

Much of the decisions businesses make must center around the public’s expectations for how things should be in the future. These decisions will impact how many people attend future events and how deeply they are willing to dig into their pockets to spend at events.  

Post-Pandemic Special Event Assistance and Information in Canada 

Businesses that plan special events post-pandemic may find many of the resources they had used before the pandemic are no longer in business, or the services are not as robust. The Canadian government is doing its part to reinvigorate special event services.  

For major events, the Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative is offering time-limited funding to enable major events to resume. The goal of this initiative is to support post-pandemic economic recovery.  

For organizations that do not meet the guidelines of the Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative, the Recovery Fund for Arts, Culture, Heritage, and Sport Sectors is also offering time-limited funding.  

As new variants of COVID continue to emerge, check for updates at Destination Canada if attendees will be traveling to Canada from outside the country.  

Special Event Insurance: Post-Pandemic 

Any time your business or organization is hosting an event that differs from its daily operations, it is a good idea to consider acquiring special event insurance, a type of commercial insurance. Coverage generally starts at 1 million, with the availability of greater limits.  

Special event insurance covers weddings, fundraisers, company parties, family parties, reunions, sporting events, pageants, trade shows, and many other events.  

What does special event insurance cover?  

  • Single or multi-day events 
  • Third-party liability for bodily injury and medical payments 
  • Accidental loss to third-party property 
  • Hired/non-owned auto insurance 
  • Food and beverage product liability 
  • Tenant legal liability 
  • Additional insured coverage 
  • Host liquor liability (optional on most policies) 
  • Event cancellations 

As with any insurance policy, it is vital to understand not the coverages, but also the listed exclusions.  

Overall, special event insurance is very affordable, considering the many things that could go wrong and cause a major lawsuit at a special event.  

Final Thoughts 

While the pandemic has touched every facet of our personal and business lives, we can take lessons from the past and move forward in a better, more positive light. Special events of all kinds are starting to make a comeback. At Duliban Insurance, we want you to be as prepared for them as you can be, so give us a call at 855-DULIBAN as you begin planning for your next special event! 

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