Understanding contract terms is difficult enough, especially if you don’t review agreements on a daily basis.  Ironing out all the details when negotiating hotel contracts for meetings takes a keen eye and awareness by both parties to acknowledge what is finally agreed upon.  Always ask the hotel to retype the contract terms rather than accepting hand written changes.  It is vital to have a clean contract that is legible and properly worded before signing off on it.  Why?

  • Handwritten changes are often illegible
  • Difficult to determine when changes were made
  • Not sure if both parties accepted the changes

When one writes on a contract and copies are made it is often challenging to read what was written and determine who made the changes and on what date.  We are often asked “can’t I just write this next to that” to which I advise “no, do not write on the contract.”  

Although I have seen contracts with initials and dates next to changes it’s difficult to know what was discussed to determine the changes or if any discussion happened at all.  Sometime it’s the wish of the one party or another making the changes without consent by the other party.  When you see contracts with hand written notes it could be suggested that anyone initialed and dated the section without acceptance by both parties.

This is what typically happens when you choose to hand write in changes with your initials and dates next to the area you wish to be changed; by the time the meeting takes place either you or the hotel sales manager are no longer at your respected companies making it all the more difficult for those stepping into your former position to understand what was agreed upon by whom and when.

It is highly advisable to have all changes made and retyped in a clean hotel contract for meetings without any chicken scratches of initials, dates or hand written notes so that all parties at all times clearly understand the terms of the signed agreement.