Since joining Maritz Global Events in 2017, Jill Blood has tackled everything from international privacy laws to the legality of renting blimps. Blood's artful navigation of the legal middle ground is as thrilling as it is crucial.
Jill Joerling Blood joined Maritz in 2017 as the lead legal counsel for Maritz Global Events, serving as the privacy and compliance officer. Blood started her career at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. There, she focused her practice on mergers and acquisitions for public and private companies.
“It was a great firm and unbelievable training, but I wanted to be embedded with a company to help them grow and meet their strategic vision. When you do merger work, you often get through the big deal, and then you don’t see what happens after that,” Blood says. “I found my way to Maritz and never looked back. It’s such a great company and such a great industry. It’s a dream job for an in-house lawyer.”
Overcoming Legal Hurdles
“Trying to get both parties to a place that feels fair is a huge amount of what we do,” Blood says. “We are lucky as we very rarely see things end in legal action. And if you can get people on the phone, there’s almost always a middle ground. That’s part of the role Maritz plays is being that intermediary and helping get over those hurdles as they come, whatever they are,” Blood explains.
Expect the Unexpected
The requests that cross Blood’s desk can often be amusing. Recently, she was asked for a template for renting a blimp. Another colleague asked how many shark bites are too many to qualify as a Maritz supplier.
“This list is a constant source of entertainment because we have creative meeting planners who are always finding the latest and greatest cool thing that you’ve never heard of. And then you’re sitting in your office, researching whether it’s riskier to use a jet pack or to go bungee jumping. The search history on my office computer must make it look like I just spend all day dreaming up ways to sort of get injured,” says Blood.
Thinking about risk and creating a comprehensive emergency prep plan is vital. “It’s more than just hurricanes. Active shooters, data breaches, phishing exercises must all be considered,” she said. “We’re having harder conversations earlier, which makes us more prepared if something goes wrong.”
My Health, My Data
The state of Washington passed a law that’s designed to protect healthcare data. “I’m often asked by meeting professionals how this law impacts them,” says Blood. The challenge with the law is that health data is defined so broadly that it includes allergies and ADA information. These are both pieces of data that meeting professionals commonly collect. It’s not always so cut and dry. Let’s say helicopters are part of an incentive trip you are planning. You will collect each passenger’s height and weight, considered health data under this new law.
Force majeure is a contractual provision that generally excuses performance obligations when circumstances or events arise beyond the parties’ control that render the performance of such contract impracticable or impossible. Force majeure took on added importance after the pandemic. They must be clear and precise.
What Planners Need to Know About AI and Intellectual Property
Artificial Intelligence is revolutionizing the meeting planning industry. It may be one of the most significant technological leaps in history. Not only is it essential to understand the nuances of this fast-moving revolution, but the possible legal ramifications as well.
Industry experts say in a rush to get AI products out, tech companies have disregarded some intellectual property protections.
Help may be on the way. California introduced a bill that will create national standards for AI use. Connecticut lawmakers passed SB 1103, regulating the government’s procurement and use of artificial intelligence.
New York City has a plan to use AI to help residents access city services. It has also established an AI framework that acknowledges the risks and biases of AI.
“The world needs to understand what these technologies can do and how that fits into our understanding of ownership,” says Blood.