Dear <<First Name>>,
It is summer time and the retreat to the quiet begins. Many of us head into nature for some peace and solitute until we are surprised at the noises that we find. The crickets, frogs, mosquitoes, neighbour dogs, your dog, boats passing, lawnmowers, children playing and mystery 'creature' noises can certainly break the silence. It is the sounds of summer that I welcome anytime over the hum of snowplows, shovels scraping along asphalt or stomping snowy feet.
This year the Howes household has tried to lower their noise pollution with the purchase of a battery powered lawnmower. This marvellous garage sale purchase was scooped up in May and has become a valued family member. It was one of those impulse purchases that one only hopes was a good decision. Not a single person who comes to see us makes it out without seeing the new 'baby'. What I love is that it is so lightweight and most of all quiet! The neighbours hardly know we are mowing the lawn. Bonus!
Years ago when I was began exclusively focusing on site selection, I developed a template that helped me understand a new client. I designed it to ask goals and objectives, meeting room requirements, special features and it details AV requirements. The one missing question it didn't have was, 'Will you be using a bull horn?' Turns out this group failed to mention to me that the 'team building' component would require the use of a bull horn. It would not have been an issue if 'we' were the only group in house while the accountants next door who were writing the CA exam - we not too impressed. After a hastened request from the banquet manager - it all worked out while it is my understanding that the hotel did graciously compensate the other client for the disturbance. It was certainly a lesson, so please don't be surprised if I asked you if your program requires a bull horn!
Also, if someone can identify the 'creature' who lives in the woods by our place. All the neighbourhood would appreciate knowing what 'whooping crane, bear cub in pain, turkey vulture, rabid weasel' noise is coming from the back lot. We collectively represent probably 500 years of outdoor living and we don't know what the dickens it is! From the sounds of it - it's certainly telling us to keep it down.
The Right to Quiet
Pending the style and culture of your meeting, you may need to ensure that you have a quiet environment to conduct your meeting. This is not a standard contract clause but rather one that you need to know about and add as required. This clause is separate from a construction clause while they are certainly related.
If the noise to the group is substantial, a determination must then be made that it is unreasonable for the group to bear it, or to bear it without compensation. This is a balancing process weighing the respective interests of both parties in the event one group is being too loud beside another. These sorts of situations are certainly not something the hotel wishes to resolve, so they carefully book according to the type of meeting a group is having. There are instances, especially in larger hotels, that even more than two groups are in-house, and instances where one group is having a break while the other is in session.
The hotel and client need to consider:
Extent and duration of the disturbance;
Nature of the harm;
Social value of the client's use of his or her property or other interest;
Burden to the client for disturbance
Value of the hotel's conduct and response;
Motivation of the hotel to mitigate the issue;
Feasibility of the hotel's ability to have prevented the harm.
As always, fairness and logic prevail in these sorts of situations and often a simple request to 'keep it down' will suffice. Even having this clause in a contract makes both parties more aware of the need for a quiet environment and so the hotel will simply book the Scottish Highland Bagpipe Drum band for a different week.