Posted on 17/07/2013 by Chloe
Once you’ve decided upon the location, the next step is to confirm in writing. We’ll take care of this element as well as negotiating and proofing the contract to ensure all requirements have been incorporated before sending across to you for final checking and approval.
Note that when requesting the contract we stipulate that you as the client would like to confirm subject to the signing of the contract. This therefore means the event isn’t finalised until the contract is signed by the signatory and you’re in receipt of the counter-signed copy from the venue. In our experience this gives all parties clarification as to the status of the event and covers you if such a thing as changes at the last minute cause you to ultimately change venue. Very rarely does this happen, but I like to be prepared just in case to eliminate any crossed wires and financial ramifications.
Prior to contract generation we’ll ensure the following information is up to date and so included:
Date of Event
Number of Bedrooms, position & standard (if applicable): When accommodation is initially discussed cast a thought over your tentative rooming list (if you have it at this stage) to determine whether any upgrades or special touches need to be provided for VIP’s. If applicable, these agreements will be included in the contract. Equally, if it’s hard to home in on the number of bedrooms required, we’ll request minimum numbers noted on the contract perhaps with a gradual release date if the venue allows to give you an extra financial cushion.
Name of Function Rooms Utilised
Tentative Itinerary to Include Setup (if applicable)
Costs Agreed: As previously mentioned in the Creating Guideline Costs post, each venue provides costings differently. Some inclusive and some exclusive of VAT. When proposing locations to you we adjust the costs to fall in line with the way your organisation works and to make comparable costings easier. In this sense, the costings may look different on the contract as they are dictated by how each venue/organisation operates, so as always - keep in mind good old VAT.
Name & Address in which the contract should be made out to: Essentially who will be signing the contract within your organisation
Payment Details: Again, each venue has different policies when it comes to payment. Some allow credit facilities to be granted, which means you can pay after the event, with or without a deposit. Some allow payment on the day with a credit card authorisation prior to the event and some request payment to be made in full prior to the event. Payment will therefore be determined by the way they operate, however, they will endeavour to be as flexible as possible.
In conjunction with the request for contract we may also request for the contract to be with us by a particular date if for instance the signatory is in the office on a particular day or goes away on a business trip – let us know and we’ll ensure it’s with you by the date specified.
Upon receipt of the contract we’ll check all the above details are in order before sending to you for final checking and approval. Ensure all agreements are understood and included and highlight anything that’s been agreed but that’s not on the contract – we’ll request it to be revised.
Check the T&C’s on the contract – always remember with any legality if you’re in doubt seek legal advice, however, if you have a query that’s a matter of clarification don’t hesitate to request amendments.
Although many T&C’s are different, our tip is to look out for 4 main points:
Room Changes: Look out for references to the venue making room changes. In extenuating circumstances this should be acceptable as we all know things can happen that’s out of our control so naturally they will want to cover themselves. Nevertheless, room changes are not acceptable if such a thing as double booking etc. occurs, particularly if you have elements of the event that have been designed specifically to fit in particular rooms such as the set and theming. It should be made clear from the outset that you would not accept a move unless absolutely necessary.
Minimum Numbers: Depending on the event and venue, minimum numbers will be incorporated into the contract advising you of how many you’ll be charged for at the very minimum. If numbers have the potential to fluctuate we can negotiate with the venue minimum numbers you’re most comfortable with or put in place a bespoke agreement whereby numbers are either increased closer to the event or a gradual release date is put into place.
Cancellation Charges: Ensure you’re happy and fully understand the cancellation policy
Dates for Diary: Any date that requires action such as Payment Schedules/Final Numbers/Dietary Requirements/Rooming Lists/Release Dates should be diarised and passed on to the relevant people (such as your accounts department)
When you’re happy with everything and the venue has been confirmed we’ll take time out to release all other venues on provisional hold to give them the opportunity to resell the space. There may be instances when a venue has a client wishing to confirm as soon as possible prior to you having contracted but if this occurs we will always check with you first for release approval.
It’s also a good idea, once contracted, to determine how you’d like to move forward, whether you’d like to liaise with the venue directly or whether you’d like us to continue as the point of contact until all final details are in place so you can concentrate on content and logistics. In my experience it’s always best to have one port of call with a venue so whoever that may be can ensure all points that need to be are being actioned and nothing’s slipping through the net.
Now you can breathe a sigh of relief – the venue’s confirmed!