Someone once told me that they view contracts like a divorce is to a marriage – you only need to review the contract if something is going wrong. And let’s face it we’ve all entered many contracts where, after we’ve signed and agreed to everything, we’ve never looked at it again. And that’s really the goal with event planner contracts as well. But before you get to the point where you don’t have to look at your event planner contract agreement anymore there are few things that you need to be aware of. Or, more specifically, there are a few things that you need to make sure are covered in your event planning contracts.
An Event and Party Planner Contract Sets the Tone of Your Relationship
If you’re like me you hate the contract stage. To me it takes the warm and fuzzy relationship that you’ve built and turns it in to a period of technical bullet points which often don’t sound very accommodating. It always baffled me that you can buy or sell a house, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, with a two or three page contract. But you may have an event that’s worth tens of thousands of dollars and find that you have a 5 to 10 page contract to cover all of the details. When did we become so technical? But if you look at an event and party planner contracts as documents that basically confirms how your business relationship will move forward then it’s a good idea to get everything covered and signed so that you can go back to servicing the event itself.
I also recommend that you look at various sample contracts for event planners as there are many free event planner contract templates available on the web for you to review.
There are key issues that you do need covered in contracts for event planners. I guess this is where that technical stuff comes into play. However whether you’re the event planner or the client of the event planner you do want to make sure the following items are covered in your contract;
Deposit and Payment Schedule – here you don’t want any surprises as this could have an adverse affect on your cash flow. You want to make sure both sides are on the same page when it comes to finances. A good event planner contract will have a clear outline of how much will be paid before the event. And these payments should also have a schedule of when they are due.,
Cancellation Policy – like the deposit and payment schedule it’s a very good idea to outline what happens if any aspect of the event is cancelled. A lot of times cancellation charges are related to how far in advance the cancellation was made. Therefore the cancellation policy along with any potential charges is a necessity for the event planner contract.,
Liability and Indemnification – this is where the wording get so technical that you could literally fall asleep. However, all jokes aside, this is a crucial part of an event planner contract. As the client, it’s imperative to you that you know what your liabilities are when it comes to your event. And as the event planner it’s just as crucial that you relate to your client what insurance their event requires. A tip on liability and indemnification is to include a cause regarding terrorism. Many groups were left with a fair amount of liability after 9/11 because their event planner contracts did not cover acts of terrorism clearly enough.
If Everything Goes Well You’ll Never Look at Your Event Planner Contract Again
The contract is the period in the relationship where you have to cover the “what if” scenarios. Nobody really likes to discuss legal issues or try to determine who will be at fault if certain situations arise. But these are crucial areas of an event planner contract that need to be covered. The Association for Destination Management Executives(ADME.org) deserves credit as they have been hard at work trying to streamline how and what contracts are used in the meetings and events industry. And they have made great strides in that area. It’s worth a visit to ADME as you’ll get many ideas for your event planner contract template there.
If you’re at the stage where it’s time to review your event planner contract hopefully you can be lucky enough that this will be the last time you have to look at the contract. Because if it is the last time it generally means that your event was a success.
- Ever Wonder What Professional Event Planning Is like? (plananevent.org)
- Challenges for Event Planning Companies Today (plananevent.org)
- How a Meeting and Event Planner Uses a CVB (plananevent.org)
- Event Planners Association – The Three W’s… (plananevent.org)
- Meeting and Event Planners Accomplish So Much! (plananevent.org)