Every meeting planner must negotiate and sign multiple contracts when executing an event. While the process may seem difficult and tedious, it is important to try and deliver the best value within your budget parameters to the ultimate stakeholders, your attendees. Therefore, it is vital you spend the time upfront, getting what you want from this process.
Let’s take a closer look at negotiation and contract dos and don’ts.
Dos and Don’ts of a Contract Negotiation
DO prioritize what you want.
Before you get to the table, rank order the items you want to negotiate. For example, if you sit across the table with an equipment provider that can deliver 2,000 iPad rentals, and this is your largest technology cost, you want to start here and then, move down your list in descending order of importance.
DON’T assume complimentary and discounted items.
It is okay to ask for the moon, but it may not happen. There are certain revenue and profit standards every supplier must meet. If you are still not reaching your budget objectives, ask how this might be accomplished. Perhaps if you are willing to use older equipment or a different F&B setup or change the guest room setup, there can be more wiggle room for discounts and comps.
DO offer something in return.
The best negotiators want to deliver a “win-win”. Ask what the company wants in return for heavily discounted or comped items, and be sure to give them the dollar equivalent of that value. For example, if your top sponsorship is $5,000 and they give you $5,000 in discounts and comps, everyone wins. For all bartered services and products, be sure to have the value given and the value itemized for tax purposes.
DON’T engage in oral contracts.
Something changes last minute. You need to add 10 VIP guest rooms and the sales manager said you will receive the room block rate. Whatever you do, stop and get it in writing. Have both you and the person who has the authority to give that rate sign and date the contract addendum.
DO have your lawyer review the contract.
This is important, especially if you and the vendor have redlined a lot of the language. Your lawyer can deliver a fresh prospective, so you don’t miss any contract loopholes.
DON’T rush contract signature.
Now that negotiations are complete, take a breath and make sure everything is covered in it. Read through the contract twice yourself and have 2-3 others read it before signing. Remember, it is a lot easier to negotiate something before contract signature than after the ink has dried.
DO carry the contract with you at the meeting.
If there are any disputes about the products or services provided and timing of those services, pull out the contract and review with your vendor representative right on the spot.
Hartford Technology Rental Has Event Friendly Contracts
We are staffed with qualified and experienced technology sales representatives that are ready to help you in any way possible to obtain the right equipment, at the right price and with an easy-to-understand contract. Give us a call at 888.520.5667 today to learn more and get the process started!