It's been a few years since the COVID pandemic swept the world, turning the events industry upside down. In 2023 we are finally seeing an end to many COVID-era concerns and everything that came with it. Now, event planners are faced with a new set of problems.
One, in particular, revolves around the level of service being provided across the industry. While many Suppliers in the world are feeling confident in the state of the industry, event organizers are struggling to get the level of service they expect at the prices they projected.
Since 2019, event costs have risen roughly 20% across the industry. However, event organizers are still struggling to find adequately staffed venues and suppliers, leading to delays in planning, onsite concerns, and unforeseen costs.
You may be wondering what you can do to ensure that you have a smooth planning process and even smoother event execution. And the answer is simple: Add a Service-Level Agreement (SLA) to your contracts!
An SLA is a contract between you and your supplier(s). It defines the level of service that will be provided. It outlines the specific services that the service provider will provide, the quality of service that will be delivered, and the metrics that will be used to measure performance.
An SLA is important for event contracts for several reasons:
Clarity: An SLA provides clarity about what services will be provided by the service provider and what level of service is expected. It helps to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings about the scope of services and responsibilities of each party.
Accountability: An SLA sets out the responsibilities of both the event organizer and service provider, ensuring that each party is held accountable for fulfilling their obligations and delivering on their promises.
Performance Measurement: An SLA establishes the metrics by which the success of the event will be measured. This allows both parties to objectively assess the level of service provided and determine whether any improvements need to be made.
Risk Management: An SLA can also be used to allocate risks and liabilities between the parties. This helps protect the event organizer and service provider in case of unforeseen circumstances or situations beyond their control.
Legal Protection: An SLA is a legally binding document that protects both parties in case of disputes or breach of contract. It outlines the rights and obligations of each party, including a path to escalation for problem resolution, as well as the consequences for any breaches.
As you can imagine, an SLA is particularly crucial for event contracts post-Covid as it helps to address uncertainties, outline protocols, incorporate improvements, allocate financial risk, and protect the reputation of both parties. They help to ensure that both parties have a clear understanding of the services to be provided, set expectations for performance, and provide a framework for managing risks and resolving disputes.
So, the next time you sign a contract with a supplier, be sure it includes a Service-Level Agreement that meets your needs.