Meeting MPI Toronto - May/June 2015 - (Page 11)
GETTING A GRASP
By Christine Andrew,
Strategic Site Selection
hen I started out in hotel sales, I did not
Cancellation and Re-Booking, Non-Compete, Relocation
know much about hotel contracts. The
and Construction are just a few of those that may need to be
clauses, the negotiations, the 19 pages
added or modified depending on the needs of your group.
of endless legal terminology that made
me wonder why the job description in the posting did not
have "law degree" as a requirement. I dreaded when a
READ, THEN RE-READ
Read the entire document line by line. Then read it again.
client would email me asking to "set up a call to discuss the
There is a lot of information in a contract. Make sure to take
contract." Now, with 13 years of contracting under my belt,
time to really go through everything and highlight any areas
those apprehensions have faded, and today I have prepared
of uncertainty or ambiguity. Then read it again just in case
a list of tips for those beginning their contracting journey to
you missed something, or have an experienced unbiased
keep in mind before signing.
associate read through it for you. Compare notes. Ask
questions. Get answers.
ASK FOR HELP
The meetings industry has a remarkable network of some
really smart, experienced people. Learn from them. Use
their skills, knowledge and expertise to help you through the
ONE OF THESE THINGS IS NOT
LIKE THE OTHER
Each supplier has its own contractual agreement which
process. A great resource is the MPI Toronto Chapter LinkedIn
can be VERY different from a contract you may have signed
Group. Post your question there to get opinions and feedback
with one of their competitors - different clauses, wording and
from some of the 2,000+ followers.
liabilities. Pay attention. Some clauses may be considered
standard for some suppliers and not for others. If your
GET IT IN WRITING
Make sure whatever you have agreed upon in addition to
company requires standard clauses to be incorporated into
each contract, make sure you communicate these to the
what has already been offered is in writing - all of it. If it's
supplier during the RFP process and see if these clauses are
not in writing it does not exist ... to you or to the supplier.
agreeable to both parties before booking. A supplier may
Time will pass, conversations may be forgotten and the sales
come back with some modifications to the clauses to best
manager you were working with may leave their position.
fit their needs, but don't be afraid to say no if you aren't
If the requirements have changed since the contract being
comfortable with the modifications.
signed, ensure that an addendum is created and signed off on
by both parties.
Don't get overwhelmed by all of this. Go through the
ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL
Modify, tailor, alter and revise. Don't feel pressured to sign
process and don't sign the contract until you are sure it meets
all of your requirements. It is a legally binding document
anything that does not "fit" with your particular program
made to protect both parties involved, and you want it to feel
needs. This could mean requesting that the guestroom cut-off
like a win-win once it is all over.
date be extended to coincide with your invitation's RSVP
After all this, remember a contract boils down to three
date, or maybe the attrition clause should be altered to better
things: I will do this, you will do this and, in case something
accommodate a large number of international delegates.
goes wrong, this will happen. Good luck and good contracting!
Let the supplier know the areas of the contract that need
some modifications. It all comes down to communicating
your organization's needs so the venue can work with
you on presenting the best contract possible. Clauses like
Christine Andrew is the Director of Global Accounts at
Strategic Site Selection and can be reached at
www.mpitoronto.org | MEETING * 11
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meeting MPI Toronto - May/June 2015
Welcome, New Members!
Food Trends for 2015
Getting a Grasp on Contracts
The New High-End Look of Toronto
We Trust What We See! – Improve Your Speaking and Your Speakers with Winning Body Language
The New Frontier of Event Design is Right Under Your Nose
Experience Design: Linking the Planner’s Sight to the Audience’s Mind
All Welcome: Meetings Made Accessible
I Spy MPI
Advertisers’ Index & Advertisers.com
Meeting MPI Toronto - May/June 2015