Wednesday Buzz: The Headaches of Moving an Event in Protest

Moving an event is a great way to raise political awareness and make a statement on an issue—though, obviously, it also means you need to adjust plans practically set in stone. Also: what to do when you're caught in the middle of your online community.

The recent controversy over the Beverly Hills Hotel’s ties to Brunei prompted more than a few organizations to relocate their events in protest.

If you’re an event planner, you know that’s easier said than done.

This week, The New York Times touched on the challenges conference organizers face when making such a decision, from whether they can leave their geographic location, to breaking signed contracts, to even how other parties such as vendors might need to adjust their plans. Such moves could lead to some big fines, and depending on how narrow the time frame is, alternatives might be tough to come by.

“The closer into a meeting you’re negotiating, the less negotiating power you’re going to have,” hospitality consultant Joan Eisenstodt told the newspaper. “It may mean you’re not getting the deal you had with the other facility. In a sense, you have to be more agreeable to the terms of what they’re proposing because you’re desperate.”

For more on this issue, check out this 2012 feature from Associations Now, which highlights how a number of associations handled a similar controversy around Arizona’s immigration law.

Caught in the Middle

It’s not easy dealing with drama in the community. And it can be even harder when such flare-ups are relatively uncommon.

“In the wider context of online communities, flame wars, trolling, and inappropriate posts are more common in comparison to association and nonprofit communities, where they’re the exception to the rule,” Online Community Results’ Ben Martin writes.

The result is that when drama or offensiveness arises, angry people tend to reach out to either the community manager or the organization’s higher-ups. That puts community managers right in the middle of someone else’s drama—and that’s not a fun place to be.

Martin has a few suggestions for how best to defuse such a situation—and, wouldn’t you know it, they rely on leveraging the strength of the community. Read more over this way. (ht @bkmcae)

Other good reads

Yesterday, we touched on the growing competition in the private online community space. In case competitors happen to get name-dropped in your community, here’s what you should do, according to Socious’ Joshua Paul.

It’s hard to find a rock star among your next batch of new hires, but there are plenty of signs that can help you spot great talent, according to contributor Curt Hanke.

Event Manager Blog knows how you’re feeling about your event—and put it in GIF form.

Hate dealing with customer service? Lifehacker understands.

The Beverly Hills Hotel, the site of a recent protest. (photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images Entertainment/Thinkstock)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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