McBride for Business Blog

It’s Your Big Day And The Hotel Isn’t Ready, What do You Do?

January 15, 2017 // R. Shawn McBride // No Comments »

I think a lot of people in the event planning business have had the experience of being ready for a big event and finding out that the hotel didn’t meet their obligations. Maybe they offered the space to somebody else. Maybe they booked somebody else on top of you. Maybe they just are under construction and not ready. A lot of these issues can happen. What do you do? How do you avoid being stuck holding the bag? A lot of this can be avoided with advance planning.  It starts when you are booking the venue to make sure you are in the right place to minimize risk.  And it goes on from there.

#1 Look at the financials. Look at who the event host is, who has the space. Make sure they are credible. Make sure you know who they are.

#2 Repeatedly confirm. You want to keep in touch with the venue. Make sure you are checking on them. Have a full discussion with somebody on times, date and spaces to be used.

#3 Low down payment. Put as little money up front as possible. Negotiate to minimize your expenditures over time so that you’re minimizing your risk, and you have some money and financial resources to make a pivot if you have to.

#4 Have a backup ready. You probably looked at other spaces in the same location. Keep in touch with those spaces. Keep a list. Be ready to make a quick change if necessary.

#5 Have insurance. Make sure that you or the venue has insurance that can pay you in the event one of these disruptions happens.

#6 Bonding. Bonding is another way to have financial security in the event things don’t go as planned.

#7 Have an emergency budget. Make sure that you have money set aside so that if something bad happens, you can pivot and hire a new vendor.

#8 Consider using a credit card for fees. There’s a chance, if you use a credit card, that you’ll be able to use your credit card company to get those fees back.


These are just some tips for what you should do if you get in a situation where your hotel or venue isn’t ready. It’s all about advance planning, and covering yourself, and being ready to pivot quickly. You can’t control the actions of others, but you can be ready to do something differently.


What has been your experience with hotels or venues not prepared? Tell us about it in the comment section. We would love to hear from you.


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This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein.  This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances.  This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. ibon san martin.


About the Author

Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment ( ), gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can reach R. Shawn McBride at or (214) 418-0258.


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