At Venues and Events International, we check our client’s contracts as standard. In this feature, Laura Law, Conference Director talks us through her top tips for contract checking to help you avoid the pitfalls in an area that can sometimes feel quite daunting.
Always read the small print
Check the terms and conditions thoroughly, make sure you take a note of the venue’s out-booking policies and who is liable in case of damage. It’s also worth finding out what happens under ‘Force Majeure’ in case of severe weather.
It’s a date
Venue contracts will usually include a release schedule detailing what you would be charged if you cancel the event at certain dates. Make a note of these dates in your diary and make sure you’re prepared to act should you need to reduce numbers. As part of our Project Management service, we’ll remind you of these dates.
Plan for the best, prepare for the worst
With venue contracts, it’s easier to add than it is to reduce – book your event based on your lowest likely number of delegates as your ‘minimum numbers’ will be what you are charged for no matter what. Lower minimum numbers is a great way that we can add value when contracting your event.
Back to basics
Check details such as dates, times and the space booked. Some venues will change meeting space dependant on your numbers so if you have your heart set on a certain space, make sure it is stated in the contract that this will not be changed.
If your event includes a lot of bedrooms, ensure you’ve considered how your guests will be checking in, especially if they’re arriving at the same time. Your contract should detail a dedicated check-in area.
What’s the damage?
Check pricing throughout. Ensure the costs are what you were expecting; paying particular attention to minimum spends. Check you are on the most cost effective package (we do this as standard) and pre-order catering where possible to achieve better discounts.