A Top 10 List for Better Hotel Contracts


Has this ever happened to you? Your client’s event is cancelled by the supplier just a few months before the event. Suddenly they (and you, as the planner) must scramble to find a new venue. If that original contract had not had some built-in protections, the circumstances might have been much worse. Now, the following information is not intended as legal advice. You should check with your own legal team for the formalities. Instead, it is meant to shed light on a few items that are on my own checklist for contract reviews.

The list is much longer, of course, but the following are my ‘Top 10 Checklist Items’:

  1. Room Rates:
    A. Available pre- and post-convention dates
    B. Spread between single, double, triple and quad
    C. Reduced rate for staff
    D. No lower rate clause
  2. Concessions
    A. Complimentary items- i.e. rooms, amenities, transfers, etc.
    B. Upgrades
  3. Cutoff Date
    A. Number of days (14 is my preference)
    B. Name changes allowed after cutoff
    C. Group rates available after cutoff
  4. Wi-Fi
    A. Guest rooms
    B. Meeting space
  5. Attrition
    A. Audit – rooms captured are credited to block regardless of room rate or reservation method
    B. Resell rooms – credit for the rooms that are resold
  6. Cancellation – it is best to include examples.
    A. Liquidated damages–based on profit
    B. Rebook
    C. Resell rooms
    D. Change of owner, brand, and management company/hotel condition
    E. Renovation/Remodeling
  7. F&B Pricing
    A.Lock-in pricing (in order to establish a budget)
    B. Ability to customize menus to fit needs and budget
  8. F&B Minimums
    A.Fair and based on client program and history
  9. Deposits
    A.Due dates
    B. Amounts that are fair and reasonable
  10. Service Fees – Most are not negotiable, however, administrative and other added fees can be addressed:
    A. Miscellaneous fees – group not liable for any additional charges after contract execution
    B. Right to bring in own equipment at no extra charge

What hotel contract musts do you have? We would love to hear.


Happy Planning!!!

Danielle Childress

Danielle Childress

Danielle Childress (Dani) has planned everything from board meetings for 6 to product launches for 500 to the NFL Experience at the Super Bowl for 100,000.

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