Jon Howe: Emotions Matter Here

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Jon Howe

Speaking at “Meetings in the Age of Coronavirus,” an all-day virtual conference held on Monday, industry attorney Jon Howe, Esq., Howe & Hutton, Ltd., said it’s important to consider the best interests of everyone involved when deciding to rebook a meeting.

Jon Howe is known for his ability to translate the finer points of contract language into understandable terms for his meeting planner audiences. But during Monday’s “Meetings in the Age of Coronavirus” virtual conference, presented by Dianne Devitt, he spoke not only of force majeure and cancellation but of the more personal side of the crisis and how it will play a big role as people try to return to normal.

“We have not only the economic [fallout] from the standpoint of what COVID-19 has done to the markets, done to the economy overall, and how long it’ll take us to recover, but we also have the emotional,” he told the virtual audience. “People are concerned about their health. This is universal, it’s not located in one or two areas. It’s everywhere on the face of the planet.

“We have people concerned about, ‘Am I going to contact this? Will I suffer from this? Will my friends? Will my family, my loved ones, all be impacted by it?’ We are really into the depths of this pandemic, and it has not been localized. It is, as I said, universal.

“We have certain things we need to look at as we go forward,” he continued. “We need to evaluate our situation today relative to our personal lives, people who rely upon us whether they be employees, attendees, or our suppliers and vendors. Everybody has got a player in this particular situation.”

It’s important when rescheduling, Howe said, to consider the best interests of everyone involved—your attendees, the people servicing that meeting, vendors, etc. “I think we have to realize that we have to be fair to those who we’re working with, and more importantly we have to look out for the safety and health of the people who would be coming to our events, and we also have to realize the emotional aspect of this whole thing.”

“Meetings In the Age of Coronavirus” was presented by Speaker/Author/Producer/
Experiential Consultant Dianne Devitt, in conjunction with Map Digital.

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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.