Contracts are critical to event planning, and it goes without saying you should read every word of every contract before you sign and make sure you understand everything you are agreeing to. A contract is a meeting of the minds, and if you do not understand something – it should be clarified in writing. It also goes without saying that all your contracts should be reviewed by professional counsel. Not everyone can afford this, but it is always advised.
When beginning to finalize your details for your events always be sure to have a written contract of the agreements with all your Vendors so to protect you (and ensure the terms and details of your contracts are fulfilled on the event day). Your method of payment might depend upon the vendor, but regardless — it is imperative to clearly outline all your specific details on paper or via email. It is also highly advised to provide these written contract copies to your coordinator and event producer so that it she can ensure all the fine details are proper and can be fully executed.
When a contract is signed with most venues and vendors, they will usually require a non-refundable deposit to hold your date. If you are unsure, you can always issue a “Soft Hold” (see previous article about Soft Holds). If you have a preferred venue and/or vendor it’s essential you lock them down sooner than later. (View Blue Lotus Insights Top 5 Vendors to Book First)
Aside from needing a contract, it’s always great to review the details twice – especially the date, time and any particular specifics that can be costly, such as parking fees, or hidden charges for valet, etc. Lastly, it is always good to discuss the financial terms as well as the rigidity of the contract.
Financials are important so that you know how and when payments are due and rigidity so that you know what minimums you might be required to pay — and if you can change some of the details after the fact, without affecting price. Event producing is a fluid endeavor, so things may change. You don’t want to find that you are boxed into something that won’t work. Blue Lotus Insights Event Planners are happy to answer any question you may have about your contract, and recommend potential solutions.