Congratulations on up-leveling to the point where you are hosting an event at hotel space. Or, perhaps you are a seasoned vet at this. Either way, I was just reviewing a contract with a coach for an event coming up and there were provisions that were missing so I asked the hotel to include them on her behalf.
Clauses Worth Knowing About
Provisions You May Want to Request
The following provisions won’t be in your contract unless you ask for them. And, if you have a large enough event to where the hotel is looking to earn substantial revenue, they may be willing to agree. You won’t know how much leverage you have until you ask.
Can you get the hotel to commit to a particular room or rooms for the event? Usually they don’t like to do that, but, if you know the hotel, and know that a particular ballroom or event space is particularly suited to what you want in terms of location, acoustics, etc., you might want to consider at least asking.
Additional Clauses to Ask For
What about noise and other disturbance from adjacent space? Can you negotiate a clause requiring them to police neighboring events for noise and other disruptions?
What about your own liquidated damages provision? For example, what if their mechanical or other systems disrupt your event? Last year I represented a coach against a hotel. Its mechanical systems caused the event space to become suddenly unusable, coincidentally right at the time of the offering. The hotel had no idea that this day/session was the critical one. They thought that just because the event had already been underway that this was not a critical time. Unfortunately all the guests were evacuated, and then moved to a different room.
Calamities and Damage Assessment
How would you go about assessing your damages if such a calamity happened to you and you could not re-group? How would you prove by a preponderance (more probable than not) of the evidence that you lost a quarter of a million dollars in sales? While the hotel is unlikely to agree to a liquidated damages clause, you should at least ask and then fall back on adding in language about the critical day of the event etc. This may assist in helping at least get back the cost of the event. Also, you may want to consider getting a rider on your insurance contract to cover your out of pocket expenses of the event should such a calamity occur.
Don’t you think it is worth having counsel review your document and draft these additional clauses for you? It makes no economic sense to invest money, time and effort in putting on an event and then not to hire experienced counsel to review the agreement to make sure you are covered. We are trained to look for and proactively solve problems. If you are getting ready to put on an event, before you sign the contract, have it looked at. You will be glad you did.
If you would like to discuss this or any other legal issues further, schedule some time on my calendar for a complimentary session by clicking here.