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How the sun stole my thunder!

It is not often that good weather puts a spanner in the works! This weekend however it did. Humf. I had decided at short notice to take a stand at a big exhibition over 150 miles away which promised to have a big audience of entrepreneurs. Thousands possibly. Perfect. I worked away into the night getting my leaflets ready, all of the paraphernalia for the stand, hotel rooms for the night before, booked staff to help on the day, the works.Good weather and force majeure

Then came the dreaded weather forecast compounded by headline news in all the papers: “Heat wave this weekend!” and “Head for the beaches!” As soon as I saw them I knew we were doomed. Sure enough, people did head for the beaches rather than come to the exhibition and I don’t blame them. Sniff.

Putting my legal (sun!) hat on, it did lead me to think about the interesting topic of ‘force majeure’ –this is when someone can get out of their obligations under a contract because of something that is beyond their control. Examples of this would be the ash cloud which stopped all flights and interrupted business; another would be if a bolt of lightening hits your factory and you are unable to deliver. Usually we lawyers like to include as many examples as possible in the ‘force majeure’ clause just to be on the safe side. These are usually quite negative events like storms, terrorist attacks, strikes, lock-outs etc. However, I have never seen ‘exceptionally good weather’ included! Technically I was promised a crowd, but the crowd never showed up… maybe organisers of exhibitions and major events should cover themselves for rain or shine?

I would be interested to know of any other events you have come across beyond your control, especially good ones!

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3 Responses to “How the sun stole my thunder!”

  1. Does not being able to find my glasses count? I’m sure that’s down to pixies or something, sometimes… 😉

  2. Claire says:

    The World Cup before last, I seem to remember England did quite well to start off with. And that had a terrible effect on online sales at the company I was working for at the time! Everybody was watching the football instead of shopping, and nobody booked any flights or holidays until England got knocked out 🙂

  3. Jo Tall says:

    Great comment, thanks Claire. This an interesting one and I have not seen a force majeure clause covering the World Cup. It is a great reminder to all of us entrepreneurs however, that when we take part in an event or launch a new product we should check whats going on in the world of sport or even shows like the ‘X-factor’ or ‘ Britain’s Got Talent’. I know that millions of peole are hooked on these shows too and will stop everything to watch them!
    Keep the ideas coming everybody!

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