Venues, Speakers and Contracts
Are you currently in the early stages of planning your event and looking for the perfect facility? We are here to help you find the best location to hold your event. Click the link above to learn about the steps for successfully choosing a facility.
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Contracts are extremely important aspect of event planning. If not handled properly, contracts can become be a huge obstacle on your path to holding a successful event.
When you’re working on a contract, the most important thing is to make sure you sure you get everything in writing, whether you’re dealing with speakers, facilities, or caterers.This includes anything you and the facility/caterer have discussed, including fees, AV equipment, items included for free and any fees you might have to pay. It could also include any specific details you have discussed with the caterer about arrangements, what both parties will provide and items as specific as which beverages are included as part of the meal cost. If you have specific items you would like for your event and they aren’t included in the contract you receive, make a list and send them to be added into the contract before you sign it. You should always think of the contract you receive as a starting point in the negotiation process. You can always ask for specific things, reductions in costs/fees, increase in benefits, etc. A good tip is “If you do not ask for something, you definitely will not get it. If you ask for it, you might get it."
Ensure you get all cut-off dates and room guarantees or penalties clearly written within the contract. When working on contracts, do not forget that Michigan State University is tax exempt. To download Michigan State University’s tax exempt form, click here. Make sure you review any contracts to ensure they do not include taxes on the meals, facilities, etc. It’s always good to check since they are standard in contracts and sometimes they forget to remove the tax.
Once you receive the contract, make sure you read through every word. Once the contract is signed, you have agreed to everything it includes. Make sure you thoroughly review it before signing. Flag any areas that you have questions or concerns and make sure to have a discussion with your facility or caterer. If the facility/caterer has high penalties for canceling or not meeting your guaranteed numbers, you might want to ask for reduced penalties during the contract negotiations, in case something happens and you don’t get the turn out you’re expecting or in case you need to cancel the event entirely.
Finally, a good resource to look at when dealing with event contracts in the APEX Contracts Accepted Practices. This site provides definitions and resources to help give you a better understanding of contracts.