Successful negotiations begin by determining that the individual representing the service establishment has the authority to negotiate. Be aware of both your needs and desires and those of the service provider. Determine, in each specific set of negotiations, whether making concessions or taking a hard stand is the wiser strategy. Establish a deadline-90% of decisions take place in the last 10% of the time. Remember, almost everything is negotiable. You will not be offered anything unless you ask for it.
When negotiating with a vendor, consider nonfulfillment compensation clauses such as, but not limited to, the following:
- Meeting room will be ready on time or the account will be credited $XX.
- Refreshment break(s) will be served promptly or the refreshment break will be complimentary.
- Meal functions will be served as scheduled or the account will be credited 5% of the meal cost.
- Meeting rooms will be refreshed during refreshment and luncheon breaks (does not include exhibit halls) or the account will be credited $XX.
- Meeting and banquet rooms will be set up according to the written specifications or the account will be credited $XX.
- The convention service manager or management representative will respond to any problems that may occur within 15 minutes of notification or a complimentary room night will be provided.
- The hotel will honor all guaranteed payment reservations or it will place the guest in a room at the closest, comparable, available hotel and pay for transportation to those accommodations and back to the hotel the next morning, pay the first night's lodging at the alternative hotel, and pay for the first three minutes of a phone call home.
Appendix C may be used by the meeting planner and the service provider during the negotiation process to record appropriate requirements and cost information.
Check with the hotel at different times in advance of the event for a review of the agreement, i.e., six months, three months, two months, one month, two weeks, etc.