Booking an event is a big undertaking. Contracts for major conferences and events are often negotiated far in advance, and are always very detailed. No one wants to be hit with unforeseen expenses, so when it comes to money and a proper contract, you can never be too careful.
A good contract is mutually beneficial, but more importantly it protects you. Contracts outline the fees and responsibilities for common and unusual occurrences, and cut the likelihood of problems — the more detailed a contract is, the more likely things will run smoothly. Don’t delude yourself into believing you will be fine if something is not in a contract. This is a myth. Heather Reid Consulting can help with expert event contract interpretation, so you don’t miss any necessary details.
Myth # 1: If it is not written in the contract, I don’t need to worry about it.
You negotiate a contract so the terms are satisfactory to both you and the client, but items that are omitted are open to interpretation. Your interpretation will likely not be the same as the venue you are dealing with, and this causes problems. Problems usually mean a cut in your profits, more work, and sometimes, legal repercussions.
The language in contracts, particularly for venues, is complex. And once the contract is signed you are committed to the terms. Don’t take anything for granted. If you need help interpreting venue contracts, seek professional help from an expert like Heather Reid.
Vague contracts can leave you responsible, even if you do not realize it. Clauses that address cancellation by either party, the actions needed if there are significant changes to the event or the venue, and who is responsible for all costs will be written into a good contract. A bad contract can leave the event planner vulnerable and without recourse.
Good contracts also include clauses about what happens before, during and after an event. If a venue receives damage through negligence, an intentional act of mischief, or even an unanticipated disaster, you can be sure the venue will be looking to offset or avoid paying for the repairs. If there is a dispute, what is in the contract can be used in a court of law to find a solution. Verbal agreements do not stand up under scrutiny; so all good agreements are documented.
Getting the details in writing makes good business sense. Particulars about changes and cancellations by you or the venue must be clarified. Obligations, payments, warranties, services, earnings, and penalties for non-performance all need specifics in writing. Don’t settle for a standardized contract offered by the venue unless it is reviewed carefully. Venues protect their interests, but not necessarily yours. Get expert help interpreting venue contracts to avoid negative outcomes.
Myth # 2: I can negotiate after the contract is signed.
It is true that everything is negotiable, but once signed, a contract is a legally binding agreement. If you want to change something in the contract at this point, the other party must agree to it, and the contract must be revised and initialled. Clearly, this is a lot of trouble and it will make you look very unprofessional.
Even if you are dealing with a venue you have used many times before, new contracts can include new clauses and greater accountability. A trained eye with significant experience can spot this. If you want to build and strengthen good relationships with venues, vendors, and service providers, you need to be a professional. With expert event contract interpretation from Heather Reid Consulting, you will protect yourself in the negotiation stages to avoid these important contract misconceptions and myths.