Event Planners: What to Look For When Working with a Contract

Contracts for events can be very complex. Most often they are supplied by the venue and tailored to the venue’s needs. Obviously, this isn’t a best-case scenario for you, the event planner. You want a contract that protects you and verifies the terms you negotiated through the venue already. Here are some basic things to look for when working with a contract.

Handsome businessman with magnifying glass study  contract


Mistakes and miscommunication happen. This is why it is important that you go through your contract very carefully. When you receive the written document, check for glaring errors that need to be corrected.

There are also subtle problems in a contract, which may not be that easy to spot. Vague terms or complex legal language sometimes make it hard to know what you are really getting. This can spell problems for you down the road. Event contract consultation is a good solution. Consultants like Heather Reid know what is needed in a good event-planning contract and understand the language.

Changes to a contract are not unusual. In fact, it is just a proposal until it is signed. Get your changes in writing and work with your salesperson to get the terms you want.

Substance and Clarity

Defining the terms of your contract is complicated. Not only do you need to confirm the dates, times and location(s) of your event, you also need to clarify the details on everything associated with it. Event planning services are a great tool to help you accomplish this. Consultants like Heather Reid understand the complexity of the task.

A good contract needs to include important information about the parties involved, the obligations of these parties, payment terms, and special issues, legal remedies if there are problems, and schedules if they are required. These details are best left to professionals as language is critical. Event planning services deal with these details regularly and know what is needed to protect you.

Ambiguity invites problems. Every contract must clearly define all relevant terms to reduce misunderstandings.

The “What Ifs”

We can’t predict what can happen at an event, but a contract can limit the effect on you if something does go wrong. A good contract includes remedies for situations that are outside of the scope of normal business. These can include breach of contract, damages and circumstances beyond the control of the parties involved.

A good contract spells out the steps that will be taken if a “what if” becomes a reality. This can be monetary compensation, new arrangements, or even arbitration if necessary. If these details are not included in your contract a “what if” could turn into a disaster for your business. Event contract consultation is an excellent way to make sure that your contract protects you, not just the venue.

The Scope of the Contract

Clarity in a contract includes whether a venue can, or cannot, pursue you for costs after the event. Damage caused by attendees, or natural events and “extras” for AV hookups, room attrition or even cancellation can mount quickly. Your contract needs all of these details and specifics on when and how the contract can be terminated.

It is true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Event contract consultation makes total sense for peace of mind and protection. A skilled event planning service will review your contract and provide a new document that you can present to your salesperson in writing. Contracts are negotiable, so use smart measures to avoid legal fees and complications, which can easily outweigh the fee for event contract consultation to protect you and your business.

Are you an event planner who dreads the daunting task of sifting through, what appears to be, endless amounts of paper of an event contract? Are you an event planner that is confused and uncertain about the meaning of contract clauses? Are you are an event planner that counts every minute and simply does not have the time to go through contracts to make sure all the T’s are crossed and all the I’s are dotted? Heather Reid Consulting specializes in educating event planners about the various parts of venue contracts as well as negotiation techniques. With over 20 years of industry experience, Heather Reid Consulting offers interactive on-site workshops, online webinars and advisory services to all event planners and for those interested in learning everything there is to know about venue contracts. Contact Heather for a free consultation today.


Comments (0)

Join the discussion, leave a reply!

Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 for Event planning venue Contracts by 220+ clients on over 800+ Contract reviews.