negotiate your way through 2012
At the beginning of every year, goals are set and resolutions are made. This year, consider how contract negotiations are often the key to successful meetings. Here are 10 suggestions for negotiation and contract practices, according to Jonathan Howe, Esq., and senior partner of the law firm Howe + Hutton.
  1. Avoid the phrase ?gee, I did not know it was in the contract,"?by reading the contract front to back. If it was in there when you signed, you're obligated to pay the price.
  2. An incomplete contract is a self-inflicted wound. Never assume an important aspect is included. 
  3. It's better to ask and not to assume. Do not be afraid to say, "I don't know." Beware of buzzwords. What does "rack rate" really mean?
  4. This is the hospitality industry, not the hostility industry. Too often there is a lack of politeness, respect and just basic civility. It's best for both parties to work towards a mutually rewarding agreement. 
  5. Recognize that one form does not fit all. Further recognize that a "standard" form provided to you is designed to favor the party who wrote it. Be thorough in making sure the written contract reflects what was verbally agreed upon.
  6. Changes happen often and fast in this industry. Stay up-to-date with your own organization and with those vendors you are relying on to fulfill any agreement.
  7. Make sure there is a good communication channel between you and your clients and vendors. Both parties benefit from solving problems quickly.
  8. Make it a point to have a separate meeting with those who are responsible for security to set expectations early. Take every opportunity to assure the safety and security of attendees as they travel to and attend events.
  9. Volunteer at and/or attend educational opportunities. You'll meet new friends, get new insights and support the health of the meetings industry.
  10. Enjoy 2012. Happy New Year to all. May it the best one yet. Now is the time for a fresh approach to negotiations.

With two new museums coming to town, creating new, fresh and unique meetings is easy and fun in Tacoma + Pierce County. Negotiate your way into a one-of-a-kind experience. Here's to new and successful beginnings!