Stop right there! Before you sign that contract, pause and make sure all is in order when it comes to your meeting. Contracts are a necessary part of the Meeting Planning business; they are meant to spell out all the details and protect both parties. That said, it is not a bad idea to consider some additions to your contract; therefore clauses should come into the mix. Here are some clauses to consider the next time you are negotiating a contract for you meeting.
Gratuities Clause: Meeting planners tend to be pro-tipping, and the inclusion of gratuities in the banquet price tag is certainly acceptable – most of the time. But in those instances when the banquet staff is not up to par, or extremely noisy or, un-timely or just plain rude, there is no reason to pay for bad service. In other words, the meeting planner should have the option to lower (or even raise) the gratuity rate if the service was less than satisfactory (or above and beyond).
Cancellation Clause: These are standard and are meant to protect the hotel if you were to cancel on them. But what if the hotel cancels on you? Yikes! Your meeting should be afforded the same protection. So make sure to include a Cancellation-By-Hotel clause in your contract.
New Management: This can mean a good thing in many instances. But what if it does not? Consider including a clause that allows for you to re-negotiate or even cancel your meeting if management changes.
Meeting Space Subject to Change: If you see this sentence in your contract, take note. This means that the property can up and change a meeting or break out room to a different space. If you have spent time and money creating a lovely meeting program, only to have the meeting rooms changed at the last minute, this could cause unusual amounts of on-site confusion, and therefore work. Make sure to include a clause that states that any changes to meeting space must be approved of, in writing, by the client (that would be you).
Big and Scary: Attrition stands shaky-kneed front and center of frightfulness when it comes to contracts. You can make it all far less scary by including language that has you owing for lost profit, not revenue, in the case that you fail to fulfill the agreement. Also, that you will not pay for any rooms the property resells before the meeting. And finally that a percentage of the loss, between 50 on up to 80 percent, will be credited toward another meeting your organization may bring in, as long as it is within 12 months.
Of course, you can always bring in an expert negotiator to help you with your contracts. And, just maybe this expert could also be amazingly helpful in finding the perfect property for your meeting as well. And this expert may just have a rather sparkling personality, not to mention, cute shoes, as well. Just follow this link to learn more.