How well do you understand contracts?

In 1983, two years after I founded Eisenstodt Assocs., a client canceled a hotel contract to move a meeting to a different hotel in the same city.

I hadn't booked the meeting or hotel, was being paid a fee to produce the meeting (v. being paid commission for any part of it), and didn't influence them to move the meeting.

The client (an association) was sued, I was sued individually and my company was sued.

And I learned from Jeff King, Esq., then the attorney for the Convention Liaison Council (the forerunner of the Convention Industry Council) that it "doesn't matter if you are right or wrong, you can still be sued."

Since then, I've reviewed and negotiated many contracts and testified as an expert witness in industry contract disputes.  I've attended (and taught) classes and read articles about industry contracts and do my best to keep up on factors that could influence how a contract is performed and what influences a business relationship.

In posts on the Forum here and on listservs across the industry, I see language that makes me wonder how and why it was suggested or signed.

And still, to this day, I am convinced that most in the industry do not thoroughly read and understand what they are writing - or spitting out of a computer - and signing.

Do this today: go back and read proposals that are pending. If you call them contracts, go read more about the difference between a proposal and a contract. (You can start here at the APEX Contracts Panel Report.)

Think about the consequences of the contracts you are putting forth, signing, or recommending for signature.

Let's start today and make it better - make our industry smarter - write and sign contracts that work well and work among all the parties.

With me?

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