We Need You To Move……
1. Some people roll their eyes when see the contract I use, but I am a firm believer in “what if”….There is a clause for almost everything. It is not enough to have a “walk” / relocation clause for individual guests. You need a clause in the event that the entire program needs to be relocated. Who will find the replacement hotel? What if the room rate is higher? Who covers the differential? What if the F&B pricing is higher? If marketing materials have been produced, who will cover the cost to reproduce all the collateral and rebuild the website? What if a suitable replacement cannot be found in that same city? What are the liquidated damages the hotel needs to pay to the group?
2. Many hotels do not like to commit to meeting room names in their contracts and for good reason. They like to have the ability to change your space around in order to maximize the space and increase revenue (that almighty dollar again….). But, if you have a trade show component to your event, you have already had schematics done based on the space you were anticipating using. If they change it, how will that effect your revenue from booth sales? Will you lose vendors because now you are changing their space? How will you be compensated for the lost revenue? You know the hotel is about to make more money because they are bumping you, so it is only right that you get a portion of that to make up for your lost revenue, right? Will your organization incur additional expenses now because of the space change? Added security? Additional audio-visual? More staffing?
3. When any commodity is in limited supply, demand will be high. This is true for any business, including hotels. If a property has a limited inventory of a certain room product, a Presidential Suite, for example, it becomes a bargaining chip to win a piece of business. If it is clearly stated in the contract that your group will have this suite and the hotel does not provide it, what are the repercussions? Will there be compensation provided? Is the use of the suite tied to any other parts of your contract such as total room nights picked up or F&B minimum spend?
Bottom line is that it is all about the bottom line, and this is okay as long as it is reciprocal. You have a bottom line too. Make sure that the agreement you sign covers as many of the “what if” scenarios that you can think of but at the very least, cover the “what if” scenarios for those items that are most important to the success of your program.
** To learn more about the contract negotiation services offered by Lauralee Shapiro, CMP, visit her site at http://www.LauraleeShapiro.com