Convention Center reserves the right to eject persons from the Center at its discretion.”
EFFECT: Ejection Upon Mutual Agreement?
Some planners find this language objectionable, as it sounds as if the convention center has carte blanche to decide who gets to stay in the facility and who doesn't. Well, it does. The purpose of the clause is to allow the center, as management for the building, to be able to remove people from the property who are disruptive, destructive, or otherwise undesirable. That being said, as written, there is nothing preventing the convention center from ejecting one of the group's attendees or exhibitors, which could have a long-term effect on the group.
One way to address this issue is for the group to ask to change the language to require the convention center to consult with the group before ejecting any person affiliated with the group's show. Although this simple change doesn't prevent the center from ultimately ejecting the person, the group can at least mediate and exercise damage control. A stronger change would be to change the language to allow such ejection only upon the mutual agreement of both the center and the group. The group is only licensing the space from the center and should remember that the protection of the facility and the health and welfare of other people in the facility falls on the center.
Likewise, because many convention centers are located in downtown and sometimes high-traffic areas, it is not uncommon for people to enter the building who have no business there, which can be not only an image problem but a safety and security issue. It is therefore within the center's rights (and probably its legal responsibility) to further modify the language to indicate that the convention center has the right to immediately eject anyone posing an imminent danger or threat to the facility or to people within the facility. This back and forth is whatnegotiations are all about.
Tyra W. Hilliard, Esq., CMP, is an attorney and speaker on legal, risk management, and ethical issues. Her law practice focuses on representing associations, nonprofits, and independent meeting and event professionals. Her Web site is www.tyrahilliard.com, and she can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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