Negotiating Events Out Clauses

Time and again, I have witnessed numerous organizations lose substantial amounts of monies because they failed to pre- negotiate numerous clauses, that are often key to substantially protecting the organization’s interests. Over my career in event planning, negotiations, and organizing, which now spans over more than thirty years, I have continuously tweaked and adapted my contract demands, in order to assure these protections. Those areas that have often caused the greatest agony for organizations are: limiting/ amending attrition clauses; addressing audio- visual expenses; protections regarding food and beverage areas; protections because of economic downturns, wars, or acts of God (weather, etc.); negotiating in modification and give- back dates; and, specific language regarding the ever- expanding tendency of many resorts to add on mandatory fees and service charges.

1. The strict attrition clauses of the past must never be permitted in a negotiated contract. The best way to address this is in advance, via a tersely and properly written and crystal clear Request For Proposal (R.F.P.). It is essential that group’s negotiate out or down attrition (i.e. not meeting certain specific numbers) either outright, or by instituting a substantial compromise/ outright reduction, or by being given flexible give-back dates (where the group can return rooms and reduce other targets, without penalty).

2. Audio- visual costs are often the great eye- openers to non- professional event organizers. These costs often escalate dramatically, often to the disbelief of amateurs. Professional negotiator first reduce substantially the audio- visual fee schedule, negotiate certain comps and allowances, and get in writing, in detail, all specific costs in this area, written in plain English descriptives.

3. Organizations must put in a clause regarding economic downturns, and the possible implications. Good negotiators have clauses regarding stock markets substantial drops, energy/ transportation substantial increases, acts of God (weather, war, terrorism, etc). Again, these clauses must be specific, and permit substantial givebacks if these parameters occur.

4. Giveback clauses must be included. These clauses are capable of protecting both the vendor as well as the organization, because it permits givebacks (and thus eliminates penalties, etc.) at three specific times (I recommend at 90 days out, at 60 days out, and then the final revision permitted at 30 days out, by specific percentages).

5. Many hotels today, observing the airline model, have instituted certain resort fees and service charges, in an attempt to promote an attractive hotel room rate, while collecting additional revenues. This has varied substantially from property to property, and, it is not unusual for the room rate promoted and the amount paid per night (adding in taxes, fees and service charges) to differ by thirty percent, or even more. Negotiators should have any fees that will be charged spelled out in detail, and a clause stating that the only fees the group will pay are those stated. In addition, negotiators should look closely at what these fees are for, because often what is included are not things that a large percentage of the group will either utilize or find of value. One area today that many surveys indicate are most resented in terms of fees, are substantial charges for internet access. With many properties today including or, at least, substantially reducing the cost of internet access, attendees often feel ripped off by excessive fees in this area. When a hotel says their service charge includes domestic local and long distance service, most attendees today find that of little value because most calls are made by their own cell phones anyway, and they rarely use these phones. Hotels that promote their spas as a reason to come to that hotel should not be charging fees for basic services, such as locker room access, saunas and hot tubs, or exercise equipment. It is appropriate, however, for them to charge additional for more advanced services such as massages, salons, classes, etc. Again, negotiators must carefully negotiate appropriate language into the initial contract.

Beware that it always easier, less stressful, more efficient, and fairer to all, to pre- negotiate in all of the above areas, and more. Failure to do so often leads to negative financial ramifications.

Tips for Writing a Professional Debt Negotiation Letter

When it comes to the task of debt negotiation and settlement, you are faced with two options, both of which will require you to do some work. Some people choose to take care of business themselves and negotiate with their creditors one on one. Others take the easier route, which is to hire a debt negotiation service to help you straighten everything out and settle.

If you’re one of those brave souls choosing to negotiate your debt on your own, the first task you’ll need is to learn how to write a debt negotiation letter. Convincing creditors to settle at a lower amount of debt than you owe is quite the challenge, however done the right way, it can be done.

Before you start writing and sending out letters, carefully go over all of the pros and cons of self debt negotiation. If any of it seems like it may be a little too much for you, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer of a debt settlement company. They will be more than happy to help you with any questions you have. Here are a few pieces of advice on how to write a legally binding debt negotiation letter:

  • Get to know the terms and conditions of your debt. This includes all of the fees, surcharges, taxes, and interest rates that apply.
  • Put together some numbers of the total amount you owe, including all fees and taxes. Knowing what you owe and how much you have helps you have a better understanding of what you can ask for with your creditors. They will be asking for about three quarters of the balance, not the full amount so be sure to have at least that much. If you offer to pay too little or pay in low increments, most creditors will not take your letter as serious as you like.
  • You want your settlement request in writing. Make your settlement request in writing. If there is any way you can, hire a lawyer or debt negotiation counselor to check over your letter for any inconsistencies or unnecessary items.
  • The first one you write needs to be relatively low but also reasonable. If the creditor denies this first request, you can always raise your settlement request up enough without putting yourself in further financial duress.
  • As you are writing out your letter, don’t threaten anyone in it or suggest that you are going to simply file bankruptcy if they don’t work with you. These tactics will only make things more difficult for you and less likely any creditor will work with you.
  • Ok, the creditor has approved your request, now you need to show them that you are acting on good faith. Make all of your payments in full and on time. Be sure to get a written confirmation of the receipt of payment. Talk to a debt counselor to see what your other options are if the creditor denied your request or will only meet you halfway.
  • Keep a record of all the correspondence you have with your creditors. Promises and agreements made over the phone are difficult to verify if something falls through the cracks. A paper trail, in this case, is good thing since it provides documentation of all your work. It also helps you to find important information more quickly if a question or problem arises.
  • Any agreements which were made should be followed up on to ensure they all have been completed. An example of this would be if one of your creditors agrees to clear or partially clear your debt, check that the clearance appears on your credit report within the following few months.

Healing My Self-Hatred – The Journey To Being More Present And Alive

I’m in the thick of healing at the moment, presenting as adrenal fatigue but I’m working through the layers as to how I got to this state. It’s not all about being in an earthquake zone.

I’m also doing Rose Rosetree’s 30 day empath empowerment plan and I’m on day 4 and today I had a huge realisation. The exercise was about closing your eyes for a minute and just being aware where your consciousness is and bringing it back to being about yourself. Noticing yourself.

Well I’m aware of myself but usually in relation to other people or places or things or what I was feeling that usually was in overflow.

When I left my consciousness on myself SO much self hatred came to the surface. I sat with it and let it be there and not try to make it go away or avoid it by doing something or shifting my focus outside of myself.

What came to light then was that the feelings I have about myself were very much based on being a person in this world, a world which is all about image and beauty and here I was: scarred and flawed and damaged goods.

When I was 18 months old I was in hospital for nappy rash and it had turned into ulcers. I was probably lactose intolerant but in 1962 they probably didn’t know about those things. I was in quarantine because they didn’t know what it was.

When I was 8 I was hospitalised so they could cut skin off and have the affected areas not appear so burnt looking, well of course then it left a scar which I think looked worse than before. The trauma of being in hospital in the 60s and the way they treated kids in those days was long lingering. Not a lot of support.

I was then hospitalised at 10 to do a patch up job where a lump had formed.

You can imagine my childhood feeling scarred and feeling like nobody would like me. As if there was something wrong with me. Kids can be cruel when someone looks different. Not that it was obvious but I had already identified with being different really early on. I remember a girl in my class having a cleft palette and saw how cruelly she was treated, I felt I was lucky that I could hide my scars. But it was always something I was scared of people finding out.

I worked out so easily how to hide my upper legs but I was always having to encounter situations that made me turn myself into a pretzel. Like swimming at school and having to wear rompers at PE.

I recall being in kindergarten and wetting my pants on the mat everyday because I was too scared to line up and go to the open doored toilets. I must have already worked out at age 4 that something was wrong with me.

Of course as an adult I have no issues doing swimming and you can barely see the scars but all that damage and avoidance and beliefs about myself had already been cemented, especially through my teen years.

My best friend did modelling and I wanted to as well. Or I wanted to act. But that wasn’t going to be for me.

Bottom line core belief that I think has gotten in the way of healing myself in my current situation and affected my self esteem and so many areas of my life is “Whats the point of doing anything to my body/making my body better/ being well/ being in a body when I’m just damaged and I can never have the choices that everyone else has anyway.”

I had many hiding places so my consciousness could avoid myself. Many excuses, like oh that’s the past, my legs aren’t important now, but that teen is very much alive inside me and still using her old coping mechanisms.

I never made peace because I never wanted to go to the self hatred, I blamed, ate, disassociated, settled for less, got sick, got depressed, anxious, fearful, spiritualised, fantasised, intellectualised and minimised how important having a body was.

I think you have some sort of survival mode that you go into when you get close to your self hatred, afterall it feels like you may as well die because you are so not worth being here.

I think a lot of people feel the self hatred but act it out in various ways as to not feel it fully and move through it.

The idea is to move through it, not stay in it. That happens organically by just feeling the feelings. I could never turn around that the worlds standards are wrong instead of thinking I was wrong and knowing I wasn’t going to be able to fit in.