You’ve gone through your first steps; developed goals and objectives, made a site selection, and created a preliminary costing. So, now what? You move into the contracting steps:
1. RFP/Space Inquiry
Before you contact the venue you will need to construct an RFP (Request for Proposal). An RFP should include specific details about your event such as:
• Contact information; contact name, phone, email, organization, etc.
• Basic event information; event day, date, time, etc.
• About your organization; brief description
• About the event; brief description
• Group Profile; Majority gender, age range of guests, guest professions, expected attendance
• Event History; year of event, location, total cost
• Concessions wish list; what you would like to receive complimentary from the venue e.g. meeting space
• Event Requirements; a grid lining out your entire event – Date/Time, Function, Location, Set-up, Menu, Notes
• Proposal Requirements; what you require is included in the proposal; floor plans, menus, etc.
2. Site Inspection
Once the RFP is submitted it’s always a good idea to see the available spaces in person. You want to make sure it will be acceptable to your guests and it will work for your program. It’s important to check the following items:
When doing a site visit you want to check the following:
• Condition/cleanliness of entire venue
• The lighting
• Furniture style and condition
• Handicap accessibility
• The attitude of the venue staff
• If a room block is involved check the condition/cleanliness of the different level rooms (standard queen, king, suites, etc.)
• Locate the kitchen area and its proximity to your event space
• Locate your staff office and if it is adequate in size, its proximity to the event space, and condition/cleanliness
• Locate the bathrooms and their proximity to your event space
• Bathroom condition/cleanliness
• Locate elevators and their proximity to your event space
• The ceiling height of your space (if applicable)
• Determine if there is a built in sound system
• If the venue has equipment such as tables and chairs in the room check condition/cleanliness
• Determine if heat/air conditioning is controllable within the space
Once you have received the proposal, you want to review it thoroughly. There is always room to negotiate for something you feel would be beneficial and cost effective for your group. Never be afraid to ask for something you want, the worst that could happen is they could say no. Be sure to keep record of any agreements made over email or an updated proposal documented of what was agreed upon.
You should receive the contract shortly after the proposal is finalized. Depending on your event will depend on the size of the contract. Basic clauses that you will want to have included or have reviewed are:
• INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR
• HOTEL I-9 COMPLIANCE
• FORCE MAJEURE
• CHANGES IN OWNERSHIP/MANAGEMENT
• DISPUTE RESOLUTION/ARBITRATION
• AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
• CHANGES, ADDITIONS, STIPULATIONS, OR LINING OUT
These are very important clauses but some are not always necessary depending on the event and event size. It’s always important to understand the clauses within your contract in case of any disagreement or negotiations that will need to take place with the differing party. It is crucial that any changes to the original contract are initialed and both parties sign once everything in the contract are agreed upon.
Now that your event/meeting is contracted, what’s next? Find out in part 3, coming soon!