Event Planner? Mitigate Your Risks and Reduce Legal Exposure

Event Planner? Mitigate Your Risks and Reduce Legal Exposure

It’s no secret that event planning is stressful. There are a million moving parts, and it can be easy to get overwhelmed.

The last thing you want on top of that is unclear expectations or a lawsuit. Even the best planners are not impervious to these risks, so the best way to protect yourself is to set up an event planner contract before agreeing to a job.

Here are a few essential parts to a contract:

Understanding of Expectations

Make sure you establish an agreement on what you’re required to do. With so many parts to event planning, you don’t want your client expecting something you don’t intend to do. You also don’t want to fall into a trap of guessing because you and the client have discussed a project in vague terms.

In this part of your contract, you can list exactly what services you intend to provide so both you and your client are on the same page.

Clearly defining expectations – for both you and your client – is crucial to a successful event, and it can be included in an event planner contract.

Payment Schedule

Often, you’ll request an initial deposit before a job, followed by future payments as work progresses. In this part of the contract, you can establish boundaries such as:

1. You will not start work until the initial deposit is received
2. A plan for future payments
3. The dates you are expecting money

Again, this part of the contract will avoid disagreements between you and your client because you’re setting clear expectations before work begins.

Terms of Event Cancellation

Life doesn’t always go according to plan. If, for whatever reason, your client needs to cancel the event, you should be prepared. You don’t want months of work to just slip away.

Terms of cancellation can protect you by establishing that payments to you up until the event cancellation are not refundable.

Indemnification Clause

You cannot control everything. Sometimes, things happen at an event and you could wind up being sued, even if it’s not your fault.

An indemnification clause attempts to protect you from such damages by providing protection from legal action stemming from negligence of a client. These clauses are mutual, with both parties in the contract agreeing not to hold each other responsible for negligence ­related damages or losses.

Termination Clause, or Force Majeure

You never want to put someone in harm’s way. So when things out of your control – like natural disasters – happen, you will want to cancel an event. But at the same time, this cancellation will mean the expectations set out in your contract will be unable to be fulfilled.

A termination clause, or force majeure, helps absolve you of liability if you must cancel an event due to circumstances out of your control.

This clause should establish what circumstances warrant cancellation, who has authority to decide on cancellation, and what both parties will do if that happens.

Photo Release

When you’ve worked hard on an event you want to show it off. Whether for your website or social media, you’ll want to take pictures of your work. While not always necessary, a photo release can allow you to document the event and include it in your portfolio.

Do you need assistance with your contract or other legal issues? Please contact us at amy@legalinabox.com.

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