March 23, 2012 by Dave Lutz
You’ve found the perfect hotel for your meeting.
It’s a great location. You were able to negotiate a good room rate. The concession package and your meeting space flows well too.
The hotel sends you a contract to secure the deal. As you review the 14-page document, you realize that while the business issues are acceptable, the hotel’s terms and conditions (T&Cs) are giving you reason to hesitate.
Some organizations have created their own standardized contract template to counter a hotel’s T&Cs. Some attach an addendum that is intended to override the hotel’s T&Cs.
Unfortunately, the hotel staff often has to send these requests to corporate and legal counsel for review. When the contractual process escalates on either side, the transactional costs increase — and the likelihood of getting the deal done decreases.
Some of the most commonly contested T&Cs include:
While all of these areas could have little to no impact on the spend of the group or the hotel’s revenue, each carries a potential risk that must be evaluated and managed by both parties.
Hotels and groups are both gravitating towards their favorite clauses for each of the areas mentioned. All too often they find themselves in a stalemate because of their preference for their own verbiage or legalese. High-performing organizations will educate their “deal makers” on the components of these T&Cs instead of advising that they take a take-it-or-leave-it stance.
If you find yourself at a stalemate, try a negotiating position that is not focused on legalese but rather on business intent.
Tell the hotel that you will agree to a clause that properly protects your organization and that adequately addresses these issues. This approach will result in fewer stalled deals because of legal jargon. It also helps close the gap on business intent versus verbiage.
What are some other ways to negotiate from a position of business intent instead of legal jargon? How do you normally handle contested T&Cs?
Adapted from Dave’s People & Processes column in PCMA’s Convene. Reprinted with permission of Convene, the magazine of the Professional Convention Management Association. ©2012.
Filed Under: Event Planning
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