Avoiding event planning disasters

Katie Cook


by Katie Cook

How to manage contracts that are important for a large scale event or function


Contract management in event planning

What emotions and words do you most associate with a fundraising ball or large corporate gala?  Would they be words such as entertainment, excitement, glitz, glamour, sparkle and color?  Most probably you don’t think of the words contracts,  vendors and negotiation.  However, event management and event planning involves negotiating, delivering on and relying upon a multitude of contracts.  

Some of the contracts involved include those between the reception venue and the client, alcohol providers, catering companies, decorators and/or florists and insurers.  Liquor licences also need to be obtained, maintained and updated as do employment agreements between the venue and staff.

Movies are filled with stories of event catastrophes.  Some things that could go wrong include the wrong food being served or the venue asking your clients to leave earlier than was expected due to confusion over the period for the booking.  It could happen that not enough alcohol is served or alcohol could stop being served too soon.  Your party could also be held liable to pay for damage to the venue that was not covered in an appropriate insurance contract.

With so many things that could potentially go wrong, it is important to have all of the relevant contracts available at your fingertips.  It is also important to have a system for highlighting all essential terms and capturing everything which is negotiated and modified.  This is to make it less likely a problem will occur, and if one does happen, you are in the best position to resolve it.

Software can assist with this.  Some cloud-based contract management systems should enable you to:

  1. Keep all your contracts relating to the event in the one place, and dynamically linked.  This is important even if you don’t originate the contract;
  2. Allow you to collaborate directly through the system with any of your counterparties to communicate, complete and track agreements; and
  3. Keep a full record of all the important commitments and promises made during the agreement buildup so deadlines aren’t missed with your clients or vendors.

Some contract management software or collaborations software not only allows you to do all of the above, but also assists you in the task management of the event.  You can set the system up so that obligations under contracts automatically convert into tasks.  This means you have more control over all the details you need to be on top of to ensure the smooth running of the big day or night.

Further some collaboration software can even analyze past performance of your commercial contracts.  You can then leverage this for future use to decide which vendor provides a service at the best value, who is the most reliable in delivering on time, or who is the fastest or most flexible when negotiating.  This makes it more likely that future events run smoothly and delight all those involved and attending.

ContractRoom is one such software platform that provides all of the above.  You can sign up for a free demo by clicking here: Request Demo

ContractRoom, home of #HappyContracting – making the world more agreeable one happy contract at a time. “Negotiate less, Agree More”!

About the author

Katie Cook

Katie Cook

Katie Cook is Director of Marketing, Communications and Legal Standards at ContractRoom. Originally from the east coast of Australia, she has a background as an Attorney having practiced in both public and private practice in Brisbane and Melbourne. Katie completed studies in journalism and is now combining her legal and writing skill sets in her role.

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