Understanding the contract


Misunderstandings and poor communication can be detrimental to the success of your event.  A detailed contract manages expectations and eliminates confusion.  The Barry Agency creates the contract for you and the presenter.  You sign the contract when all parties agree to all of its details.

Key areas of the contract:

Who, When & Where

The contract states basic event information: name of the talent, date and time of the event, event contact name, the type of program (fundraiser, entertainment, education program, etc.) and audience information.

Job Description / Program Information

This includes the name of your program, start and stop times for the performance, expected arrival time and specific topics, programs and instructions for the presenter.  Also, are there any pre-event or post-event receptions that you want the talent to attend?  Be crystal clear.  Little assumptions or oversights can turn into big problems.

Directions to Event

Contains either driving directions to the event or an attached map.

Travel Time

An estimate of the time that it will take to drive from the talent’s starting location to the event.


Speakers and entertainers have established honorarium fees, which need to be clearly stated in the contract.  The total cost is made up of the honorarium (cost of the performance) plus mileage and expenses.

A deposit of 20% of the fee is due after the contract in finalized and signed. The balance of the fee is due immediately after the performance.

More about Expenses

If the talent lives close to your event, the only expense may be a reimbursement for mileage.  Out of town presenters typically require transportation (air and/or ground), hotel accommodations and possibly some meal expenses to be covered.  Additional travel companions (e.g., spouse, bodyguard) may also be requested.  Don’t assume anything – get all expenses defined.  Will you provide transportation?  Will the person flight be non-stop, stopover, 1st class or coach?  On the ground, will the person ride in a taxi, limousine, a person vehicle?  

And don’t forget about production costs.  Do you need to rent additional equipment to support the entertainer’s stage show?  Perhaps a specialist (A/V, a pianist) is needed.

Will the expenses be arranged and paid for by you directly or will the presenter be reimbursed?

This may all sound overwhelming.  It really isn't.  The point is that its beneficial to spend a few more minutes to identify the details.  The result is managed expectations, clear communication and an ease of mind.

Promotional Material

Specify if you would like us to provide any promotional material related to the selected presenter (i.e., a poster, photo, inserts, a bio or a press release).  Some of this information can be downloaded online.  Navigate to the selected artist or speaker and select the "Materials" Tab.

Production / Technical Requirements

This consists of items that you have agreed to supply for the presentation. This may include microphones, microphone stands, CD or cassette player, video projector and screen, lighting, a sound technician, a piano, floor monitor, product table, computer hook-up, etc.

Recording Rights

Designing and creating a winning presentation takes time and represents a talent’s livelihood.  Understandably, they usually prohibit any recording of their program.  However, you can always seek permission which may include an additional fee.  Same thing with photography, get permission first.  Otherwise, communicate to your audience that picture taking is not allowed.

Product Sales

Speaker and entertainers often have books, CDs, tapes, etc. that can be sold at the event.  If they are allowed to sell their wares at your event, you may want to establish the place and a time range.  If sales are allowed, will the talent need volunteers to run their operations?

Client Cancellations

When a contract is signed, the speaker / entertainer is reserved for your event for a specific date.  No one else can obviously book them for the same date and time.  That’s a good thing.  Understandably, client cancellations are then bad for the presenter.  They may have turned down other opportunities for the same time because they were “locked up” for your event.  Therefore, it is understood that they need to be compensated to some degree.

Cancellations less than 30 days from the event will result in the client’s forfeiture of the entire fee.  Don’t sign the contract until you are committed to the date and time.  But, waiting too long to finalize a date with your constituents may result in losing the talent for the desired date.

Talent Cancellations

On the rare occasion that a speaker or entertainer cancels their presentation with you, all your pre-paid funds will either be returned to you or applied to a replacement.  And all is not lost; TBA has a great track record for finding last-minute substitutes.

Be careful that the talent does not have a contract stipulation allowing him or her last minute cancellations without penalty.

Next - After the Ink is Dry >>>



©2005 - The Barry Agency
P.O. Box 1414
Maple Grove, MN