Meeting MPI Toronto - May/June 2015 - (Page 11)

GETTING A GRASP ON CONTRACTS W 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. BREATHE 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 | MEETING * 11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meeting MPI Toronto - May/June 2015

President’s Message
Editor’s Word
Welcome, New Members!
Upcoming Events
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
Chapter Speaks
ECOS Highlights
Destination: Alberta
Advertisers’ Index &

Meeting MPI Toronto - May/June 2015