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Do You Really Want To Sign That Event Contract?

Event planning is a lot of fun, but there’s a serious side to it too – like having an event contract in place. After all, events business and many people are involved in your event’s success.

It’s advisable that whatever you negotiate with your vendor should be put to paper and signed, but before you sign an event contract be sure that it’s mutually agreeable and signed by authorized parties. It’s been my experience that vendors typically deliver what is expected of them, but on occasion you will need to refer to the contract to solve any disputes.

I don’t advise that you have a verbal contract even if you are friends with the vendor, and if the other party won’t sign a contract don’t do business with them. Period.

Before You Sign That Event Contract

5 points to remember before you sign the event contract, making sure each point is in writing:

A) Discuss the compensation or cancellation policy in case of forced cancellation. This can happen for a number of reasons and protects both parties if there’s a change in management or on-site staff, etc.

B) Make sure that the contract guarantees your event dates, times, venue space, set up and tear down times, payment schedule, an itemized list of services that will be provided, the exact fees, and any other promises discussed in your negotiation.

C) Don’t sign the contract right away. Take the contract with you, review it and discuss it with your team members and/or attorney, if applicable. This will also allow you time to compare your contract with other venues you’re considering and negotiate what’s in the best interest of your event.

D) I highly recommend writing this into the contract as a clause (since I’m not a lawyer, please check with your lawyer for exact wording): No construction or repair work will occur during your event without your prior written and authorized approval. Include the compensation or refund applicable if this does occur. I would write these into my hotel contracts when I had large, corporate companies staying overnight because it ruins the 5-star experience.

E) Other events will not take place the same day as your event. If that’s not possible, then make sure the events don’t interfere with one another and top service is provided. You have one chance to make an impression so you don’t want to jeopardize your opportunity. A few services that can be affected by multi-event venues are: shortage of staff or parking space, music or announcements that can cause excess noise.

The fine print (aka my disclaimer): These are suggestions and you can choose to ignore them or add your own. Check with a lawyer before signing any event contracts.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

How did you create your first event contract and what did you learn from the experience?

Thanks for joining me,

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