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Signing a contract is always a hair-raising and nervous experience. But signing a hotel, convention center or other facility's standard contract for your company could damage your organization's financial well-being. A standard contract protects the facility, not your company.

To protect yourself, ask to review the standard contract, but consider that as only a starting point. Then, negotiate with someone who has authority to make decisions and the authority to sign the contract on behalf of the facility, says Bonnie Wallsh, a certified meeting professional.

Too often, administrative professionals don't realize how much negotiating power they have, adds Tyra Hilliard, a meeting industry attorney and professor of event and meeting management at George Washington University.

Plan for the unexpected

Hotels will overbook and "walk" guests to another facility, unforeseen events will force the cancellation of an e...(register to read more)

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