Group travel arrangements for meetings, reunions or even weddings can be pretty complicated. Having to read, understand, and sign a hotel contract is also fairly challenging. Missing key points in the contract can cost your organization a lot of money so it’s best to research what to include in a group hotel contract.
Some of these things include; the correct meeting date, special concessions, method of reservation and payment. The following 15 items are things to make sure that you include or understand before you sign your contract.
Blocking Hotel Rooms
Before signing your contract, insure that you have booked enough rooms for your group (blocking rooms can save you over 24%). Double check that the room rates you were quoted are correct and establish a way to calculate room rates at a future date. This is especially necessary if you are signing a contract a year or more in advance.
It is important to establish the correct meeting date for your group. Make sure the group hotel booking portion of the contract includes the check-in and check-out dates. This information is very important to include so that there is no room for error or double booking problems closer to the actual event.
Make sure that you know if the group contract is in your name or the name of your organization. This will make a difference when making payment as well as establishing the formality of the contract.
If you have agreed to complimentary items, rooms or other details as part of your group contract make sure that they are included. Determine whether the earned value can be deducted from the master account of if they must be assigned. Also, make sure that you understand whether or not they are cumulative or calculated on a daily basis.
Arrangements for Special Concessions
When you have agreed to special concessions as part of the contract, make sure that you get them in writing and noted in the contract; not verbally by the other party. When you have this in writing it is binding and must be observed during the event.
When you are signing your contract, make sure that you understand when your hotel room block will be released. You also need to find out what will happen to participants who attempt to block once this date has passed.
Change in Hotel Management
In the event of the hotel changing brands or if there is a sale of the property, it is imperative that you leave yourself enough room to cancel the contract. It is important to leave a clause in your contract that will cover this should it happen.
Changes in union policy should be addressed in your contract. If any changes should happen, leave yourself room to cancel or renegotiate your contract. You may also want to include such cases in your contract as well.
Ample Space for Function
Determine if the hotel or venue is leaving you enough space for your function to be held. If there is any unused space, does it need to be released to the hotel? If so, when does this happen? You should also be aware of any charges that may be incurred if the room block is not filled.
When you are discussing payment, insure that it is outlined in your group contract. Find out if there are any deposits and when they are due and whether or not the balance can be paid in installments. A final thing that you should also include in your contract is when the ending balance is due.
Event of Attrition
In the event of attrition, outline what percentage of the hotel room block you are committing to sell. Discuss how the penalty is handled and calculated and whether the penalty is based on lost revenue or profit.
Type of Room
Allow room in your contract to renegotiate should any changes be made in the types of rooms you will be allotted. For instance, if you need 30 percent smoking rooms and 70 percent double occupancy and the hotel renovates or changes their policy, you should have room to amend your contract. In the event that this would happen, it would affect the potential for you to sell your room blocks in the case of attrition.
Fees for Early Departure
Establish whether or not there will be early departure fees. Should guests depart prior to their check-out date, determine if there will be fees assessed. Include exceptions for personal or professional emergencies when entering this information into your contract.
Include in writing the extra charges for items such as parking, resort fees, audio visual equipment, baggage handling and shipping and receiving. All of these should be addressed in the contract before you commit to signing.
Additional Items of Interest
Reexamine some of the following items to insure that they are included in your contract and discussed in detail.
- Clauses for impossibility
- Compliance with law clauses
- Additions, deletions and changes clauses
- Clauses for litigation
- ADA: American with Disabilities Act Compliance clause
Signing a contract with an establishment is important business. Make sure that you fully understand what is being written in the document. Do not sign the contract until you are completely comfortable with what has been included. Ultimately you hold the key to the finalized group contract so make sure that you are satisfied with the end result.
What should you do next?
Since you are planning to travel with a group, learn the golden rules of negotiating with a hotel. You’re guaranteed to save money!