How a contract can cost you your job

Heather Reid

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Think submitting your event contract to legal review absolves you of risk? Think again.

Meetings and travel consultant Kevin Iwamoto recounts a horrifying story of an American corporate planner who lost her job because of her role in an event contract.

The woman passed the contract through her company's legal counsel, but that was insufficient for protecting the company's interest. As Iwamoto observes: "the company determined that she, as the subject-matter expert, should have been more proactive in guiding the lawyers to review specific areas of the agreement that were problematic."

When a company becomes embroiled in a contract dispute, lawsuit or any situation that represents a loss of money or reputation, it means someone made a mistake. A big mistake.

To prevent similar mistakes from happening again, business leaders are inclined to fire the person responsible. And as my husband wryly observed: "a corporate event planner is easier to replace than an in-house lawyer."

This story provides a valuable reminder for all planners... Sending a contract to legal review is NOT a guarantee  you covered your bases.

Why?

Lawyers are not event experts.

When it comes to events, WE are the subject matter experts. We know what's missing, what's negotiable and what's risky in event contracts.

Lawyers are busy.

Few in-house lawyers have time to review contracts in their entirety. They rely on event planners to flag key issues for their attention.

It's our responsibility to know what issues represent potential risk to our organization - and to flag them for counsel. Failing to do this... could cost us our jobs.

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