Meetings Canada


Planner Protect Aims to Negotiate Fair Contracts

LONDON, ONT. — Planner Protect has launched, with the business mandate of helping event planners, venues and event hosts negotiate fair contracts, it was announced Sept. 7.

“We want to help all Canadian event planners and venues understand every word of every contract they sign, and take their contract obligations seriously,” said Heather Reid, founder and CEO of Planner Protect. “So far, the Canadian event planning industry has gotten by on a wing and a prayer. We need to do better.”

Planner Protect emerged from a desire to mitigate the increased risks faced by event planners across Canada due to the changing economic and socio-political landscape during the past two decades. Those increase risks include natural disasters and extreme weather, along with civil unrest, threats of terrorism and health warnings. In addition, hotel mergers and centralized sales teams are increasing their emphasis on revenue while decreasing the value of local relationships.

Hotels and venues are increasingly more likely, in these kinds of circumstances, to enact punitive contract clauses such as Cancellation, Attrition and Indemnification. Reid has seen non-profit associations pay $50,000 in unnecessary cancellation fees simply because they failed to negotiate Lost Profit instead of Lost Revenue. She has caught copy-and-paste errors in payment terms that would have charged a company an extra $200,000.

With more than 20 years experience, Reid is a professional event planner whose full-service event management company manages $3 million in annual event budgets. She has been a board member of CanSPEP (Canadian Society of Professional Event Planners) and is an invited speaker at CanSPEP National Conferences, Incentive Works, PCMA Chapter meetings and MPI Chapter.

A self-described “contract geek,” Reid regularly hires contract lawyers, paralegals and accountants to improve her knowledge of Canadian common law and the events industry. Through her webinars, speaking engagements and contract reviews (all from a meeting planner’s perspective) she educates hundreds of event planners every year. To date, she has identified venue contract savings of more than $8 million for event hosts.