Feel Good Friday – Event Contracts: Considerations for Moving Forward

Feel Good Fridays are back! In 2021, the Trillium Network PDX Committee decided to initiate the monthly virtual café to foster engagement and promote wellness through positivity. It was fitting to start 2022 with what’s happening in events. Event contract expert Heather Reid kicked off the conversation with some thoughts on how event contracts should look as the pandemic evolves.

  • Purpose of the event: It’s important to build a business case for the event and include success measurements as well as the ability to perform. Ask questions so that that the critical mass needed is included which will, in turn, make the event viable.
  • COVID Provision: Specific language around COVID must exist in all contracts. COVID is a now a known foreseeable factor. Establishing business benchmarks where performance can be measured if COVID is still a factor is a must.
  • Termination: Ensure there is language such as “for reason”, not “like, etc.” It’s important to look for language that always broadens the scope of what could apply versus narrowing it down. Additionally, ensure there is the impracticability that the event may not perform. For example, something that is making it happen that is less than what can happen.
  • Cancellation: Drill down on terms that work with the dates that line up with decision making times.  Is there language about reselling guest rooms, meeting and food and beverage minimums; is there an option to postpone? Consider how you can work together to lessen the harm for both parties.
  • Other key considerations: Concessions need to be thought about differently. Look at the nice-to-haves and the want-to-haves. Ask for opportunity to review. Don’t rule out convention centres as hotel room bookings can be unreliable with today’s every changing COVID restrictions. Strive for a balance between the venue and the contract. Lastly, maintain a proportionate relationship of the shared risk and reward when it comes to executing an event.

Stay tuned for the next Feel Good Friday.

 Jennifer Traer is a senior member of the team at BB&C Management Services Inc. She sits on CSAE Trillium Network Council and co-chairs the PDX committee.