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5 Contract Essentials for Event Planning

5 Contract Essentials for Event Planning

You have been planning your meeting for months and now it is just days away. However, there is a hurricane looming out in the Atlantic Ocean and it looks like it is coming squarely toward your destination. Are you protected or not? What did your contract cancellation clause say?

Hmmm…now is not the time to be pulling out the contract. You need to know what your financial obligations are before signing your venue and technology rental contracts.

While I am not a lawyer, here are 5 common sense contract essentials to make certain your organization is protected in the worst case scenario.

1). Get Everything in Writing

Here are some of the key elements in a contract that need to be clearly defined in writing:

  1. What is the cost of all the equipment and services including event rental technology?
    Many times, it is the labor costs you are not predicting (or aware of) because you schedule audio visual rental set-ups after standard hours.
  2. Are there any discounts or late fees if you pay early or late?
  3. How much you will pay and when?
    Most event vendors want a deposit at contract signing and then, at various milestones throughout the contract with the biggest amount due when your event happens or shortly following its conclusion. Get those milestones identified and spelled out in writing.


2). Have a Force Majeure Clause

What is that you say?

Force majeure is a contract clause that frees both parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond their control – such as a war, strike, riot, crime, or an act of God (such as hurricane, flooding or earthquake.), prevents one or both parties from fulfilling their obligations under the contract.

Depending on how your contract is worded, if any of the above circumstances happen, you are under no further financial obligation and any monies you paid will be refunded to you.

However, some contracts spell out that your event will be rescheduled and if that is the case, your deposit is kept and you are obligated to meet at that venue and/or use the Audio Visual Rental Company originally selected.

3). Have a Weather Clause

Let’s say your event is going to be held outside – all or part of the event – and it starts to lightning and thunder for hours and hours. Then what?

A weather clause can grant an extension for any delays caused by unfavorable weather conditions.  The weather clause might deny extensions of time for delays caused by the weather.  It is usually up to the contracting parties to determine and agree upon the rights or limitations stated in a weather clause.

4). Read the Contract Twice Aloud and Let Others Read it too

Once everything is in the contract you want and need, read it aloud and highlight any questions you have for the supplier. If they are met to your satisfaction, draw up a new contract or “red-line” the contract you have.

Before you sign, have at least one other person read it through for clarification and understanding.

5). Consult Your Legal Department if Needed

Consulting an attorney can be time consuming and costly, especially if you are small event planning firm. Try and only go this route if you and your exhibitor rental firm are at loggerheads and can’t seem to reach a solution.

About Us

Do you need technology rental equipment delivered and set-up on-site? No problem. Hartford Technology Rentals local offices, combined with affiliate offices across the country, are located in every major metropolitan area. Call us today at 888-520-5667 and let us show you how we can make your next event stand out from the rest.