Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Event Contracts: Your Armor and Your Shield

Contracts—the event industry can’t survive without them! Every event planner, musician, caterer, and photographer knows without a contract, a dream event can turn into a horror story real quick. From unhappy lawsuits to a loss of profits, contracts can save you from it all. But since it’s Halloween, we are feeling extra ghoulish and have a scenario that will spook you into creating a business contract for your clients, immediately.

It all started on All Hallow’s Eve night, in a cabin down by the water. Just kidding! Here’s the real scenario!

Lights, please!

You met with your client, Victoria, several months ago to discuss the wedding photos she wanted taken. On the day of her wedding, you captured every cherishable moment for her and her new groom. And now after weeks of work, you’ve just handed the wedding album to the newlyweds. Victoria and her groom start flipping through the glossy pages, and she’s starting to look more unhappy the faster she flips. When she reaches the end, a fire-breathing bridezilla has replaced Victoria, and you’re left without a suit of armor to protect you. Victoria is demanding all of her money back along with the pictures you took—even the album you made. Without a defense, a contract, a shield, what do you do?

Alright, bring the lights back up!

Did we put a fright in you? Well, hopefully just enough for you to think twice before agreeing to lend your services without a contract. Here are some suggestions we have for you to create an air-tight contract that protects you from every fire-breathing ‘zilla you might encounter.

1. The Be Specific Clause

You’ve already described your services on your website, so what’s the big deal in including it in your contract? Well, as Donald Trump would say, “It’s huge!” Be sure to be specific and clear when writing about or discussing the services you offer. For example, do you help with selecting the venue, are you going to help them design a menu, or help them compose their invitation? Don’t just assume your clients will understand when you don’t show up for the cake tasting.

2. The Cooperation Clause

As the famous lyrics suggest, “Why can’t we be friends?”Well, unfortunately, not every event has a happy ending. That’s why a cooperation clause is an important element to have in your contract. A cooperation clause implies exactly what its name suggests—cooperation. Sometimes events, especially weddings, can end up as an emotional affair. To protect yourself and your staff, you need a clause that allows you to walk away (deposit and all) if your clients, their family, or their guests harass you or any member of your crew.

3. The Name, Media, and Likeness Clause

As a photographer, event planner, or any other event professional, you know the best way to sell your services is with pictures. Pictures capture our attention and make us want to click links to see more. And although you might know the rules of using pictures for advertisement purposes, we want to suggest adding a line in your contract to avoid invasion of privacy and misappropriation—just for safe keeping. We suggest keeping this clause broad so you have extended rights for using your client’s pictures, videos, and likeness. We’re sure most clients won’t mind, but it’s best to cover your bases before a lawsuit slides into home plate.

Phew! Now that we got all that over with, the Inspherio Crew is here to get you started. Log on to your Inspherio account, or sign-up for a free 30-day trial and check out our contract feature.

Start by clicking on the “Leads” button on the menu bar at the top of your screen in your Inspherio dashboard. Select the “Active Leads” tab.

Choose the client that you are writing the contract for from the list provided on your page. Under the Financial box, select the “Contract” icon and complete the steps to create a contract for your client. The last step of the process you’ll be able to compose your “Terms and Conditions” for your service.  

So make a contract, keep it concise and specific, always cooperate, and protect yourself. It’s the best way to do business, we promise! And if you hadn’t heard, Inspherio is always here to provide you the best tips and services for your business. You plan dream events, we plan dream businesses—it’s what we do. Join or renew your Inspherio membership with a free 30-day trial, today. Don’t wait a minute longer!

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