Whenever you decide to entrust a UAE event planner with your events, you should strive to protect your interests. This means two things: learning how to avoid some important mistakes when hiring your event planner and learning about the intricacies of event contracts. Such vital information will also allow you to establish a set of standards against which you can assess any UAE event planner’s professionalism.
Here are some legal pitfalls you should avoid by reading your event planning contract carefully:
- Complicated language. Whenever you have doubts about the meaning of a certain clause, make sure to ask for clarification. Ask for plain language wherever possible to avoid misunderstanding and negative consequences, such as ending up without the services you require or paying too much for them.
- Unclear descriptions. Any UAE event planner with considerable experience will provide you very detailed descriptions of all the services you are to expect. For instance, if your event features floral design, your contract should get a description of each flower type and the precise quantities which will be used. This rule should apply to everything from venue-related issues to food and drinks. Publiseek is your gateway to hundreds of experienced UAE event planners in good standing.
- Incomplete services. If you have discussed about certain services or details which you can’t find in your contract, a proper UAE event planner will agree to promptly revise the document. Don’t assume that, in addition to planning your event, your planner will be present at your event just because you talked about it. Put it in writing, or else, you might be surprised to see that they don’t show up.
- Missing or damaged items. Make sure your contract includes a clause that protects you from the obligation of paying for any items that are missing or damaged during shipping and handling. Also, ask your UAE event planner to be very specific about the costs incurred if any items go missing or are damaged during your event. While you want to take your share of responsibility, you don’t want to pay a fortune in such cases. It is best to include a contract appendix listing all the goods that have been used for your event. Then, compare it against a document drafted at the end of your event, which should contain the number and the state of the items that the company takes back after the event. Make sure you or a designated representative also signs both lists.
- Invasion of privacy. If you don’t want your UAE event planner to use pictures or videos from your event for advertising purposes, make sure your contract includes the appropriate clause. If you are very strict about your privacy, make sure your privacy clause mentions any forms of media tools that are currently available, as well as any new technology that will be created in the future. The clause should prohibit your planner from using any material from your event in print or online (such as on Facebook). If, on the contrary, you are looking for exposure, ask about your provider’s UAE media coverage plan.
- Missing times and dates. Because this is basic event information, it often gets overlooked. Make sure your UAE event planner has included all relevant dates and times for your event. Examples include: the date of the event, the time the event is supposed to start, the time your event planner should be there, the time you require vendors, staff and other partners to show up, as well as the date and time the event is expected to end.
- No backup plans. To ensure that your investment is safe, ask your UAE event planner to come up in writing with any backup plans that may be necessary. For instance, there should be a backup list of vendors, in case something happens and your selected vendors are not able to deliver. Think of as many scenarios as you can, because no matter how well you organize your efforts, something will usually go wrong.
- Hidden costs. Discuss in detail every requirement and all the fees associated with the services you will get from your UAE event planner. Don’t expose yourself to unpleasant surprises and, instead, ask about the costs of each item, including any additional costs due to backup plans. All the financial details should be transparently listed in the contract or as an appendix to the contract.
- No refunds. Unless your contract specifically states the terms under which you can get a refund or cancel the agreement without penalties, it is your pocket that will suffer. In addition to asking for a very specific clause, also ask your UAE event planner to provide for the situation where they are forced to cancel the agreement. This will allow you to recover your investment in full and maybe get something on top, depending on what you and your planner are able to negotiate.
- No liability. Be wary of contracts which do not stipulate any form of liability in case your UAE event planner hasn’t done their job properly. An air-tight contract should indicate the expected results of the planner’s work, with clear, measurable indicators of their performance, to make it easier for the parties to speak the same language. Such indicators will come in handy should you need to prove in court that your provider has failed to complete their tasks. The contract should also include the financial penalties your planner owes you in such cases.