The coronavirus outbreak has led to a number of motor shows and trade fairs being cancelled or postponed.

Shows in Detroit, Geneva, New York, Sao Paulo and Beijing have all fallen victim to the effects of the virus as organisers rightly seek to protect the health and safety of exhibitors and spectators.

These cancellations and postponements should remind exhibitors of the importance of planning for such eventualities when entering into future exhibitor agreements.

Here are five things exhibitors should think about:

1/ Costs - ensure your contract makes the organiser solely responsible for the costs and expenses of arranging the event, so that it cannot ask you for extra amounts for staging the event at a different time or venue, or for reprinting or reposting publicity materials.

2/ Cancellation - resist any clause which deems that the organiser will not be in breach of contract in the event of cancellation or postponement of the event.

3/ Refunds - insist on a clause which provides for a refund or a reduction of the exhibition fee if the event is cancelled or postponed for any reason.

4/ Venue veto - consider negotiating a right to withdraw from the contract or request a reduction of the exhibition fee if the organiser has to switch the event to a different, less suitable venue.

5/ Force Majeure - carefully consider the list of events that would allow the organiser to cancel or postpone the event due to an event of force majeure.  Consider making any list of events exhaustive and as specific as possible.  Exclude any foreseeable events and any events that would merely increases the costs of staging the show for the organiser.