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What is an event planner contract?

A professional promise in the form of an enforceable contract with your client is important for any freelancer. However, when it comes to an event planner contract, this step is essential.

As an event planner, it’s your job to ensure event success through your services, creativity, organization, and guidance. Before you jump right in, however, the expectations of you and your client must be clearly defined. This not only strengthens your professional relationship, but it also protects you from any unforeseen issues. 

No matter what event planning project you take on, a verbal agreement doesn’t cut it. A written event contract outlining the terms and conditions of your services is a must for each project. This contract will then become your go-to if any unfortunate situations may arise, creating a smooth, hassle-free project from beginning to end.

Event Planner Contract Template
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What should be included in an event planner contract template?

Here are eight must-have clauses for your event planner contract. 

1. Event date and description in the event planner contract template

Let’s start with the basics. Make sure your contract clearly outlines the event date and an agreed description of the event. This information can then be referred to throughout your contract. Make sure the description is as detailed as possible to ensure both parties are clear on what the event will entail. 

2. Scope of services in the event planner contract template

Any agreement that outlines a set of services must come with clear expectations around what those services exactly are. 

If the services are described in general terms without specific definitions, you create the risk of running into arguments – or even lawsuits – based on unmet expectations. 

So, when creating your scope of services, ask yourself a series of questions to jumpstart your detailed description. 

Through your services, do you:

  • Provide catering?
  • Research and book the event’s venue?
  • Provide the venue yourself?
  • Run your clients’ marketing channels?
  • Provide visual or audio equipment?
  • Offer on-site events for staff?

If your event planning client chooses to work with outside vendors for these services, the contract must clearly explain who the vendors are and what they’re responsible for. 

3. Use an event planner contract sample to schedule payments

This is an important clause for a lot of freelancers. First, decide when you prefer to get paid. Typically, event planners will be paid an upfront deposit and receive the rest of the payment upon event completion. 

If you decide on this payment plan, make sure your event planner contract and timeline provides a due date for the first deposit. Include in writing that you’ll only begin working once the amount has been paid. 

Clients can also pay in smaller increments for certain milestones you outline. If you choose this payment plan, make sure you break down the milestones and any line items they may include (equipment, venue rental, etc.) including fees and taxes. 

4. Terms for event cancellation in your event planner contract

What happens if the event is canceled after you’ve already planned part of the event? If your client pulls out halfway through, your contract can protect you. 

This is where milestone payments come in handy. Make sure your contract clearly outlines that all upfront payments received are non-refundable and that clients are 100% responsible for any event costs made since the last payment. This ensures compensation for the work you’ve completed since the initial deposit. 

Event Planner Contract Template Sample
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How to create an event planner contract?

This clause is for any cancellation that may occur due to unforeseeable events.

These events are out of both party’s hands, and may include:

  • Weather incidents
  • Personal disaster
  • Government shutdown
  • Serious outside disturbances (rallies)

This clause outlines all situations that could happen where neither party will be held liable. Clearly, the chances of these scenarios actually happening are fairly slim, however, contracts are all about protecting yourself in any case. 

Make sure to cover these points in the termination clause:

  • Which party member holds the authority to cancel certain services.
  • Detailed description of covered scenarios/cirumstances. 
  • What happens if certain events occur (payments, rescheduling, etc.)

6. Indemnification clause in the event planner contract

This clause protects you from any legal action caused by client negligence. Including this clause in your event planner contract makes it so that your client can’t hold you legally responsible for any damages, injuries or losses that happen based on actions they commit. 

As Forbes explains, “Often overlooked, indemnification creates important, business-ending responsibilities that only become clear once it’s too late.” and refers to compensating for any loss, liability or damage incurred by another. 

7. Photo release clause in your event planner contract example

This clause is more helpful than essential – especially for event planners looking to enhance their portfolio website. 

 If you would like to use event photos to promote your online business, you should consider adding a photo release clause as a professional and safe way of receiving permission to edit and use event photos. 

You’ll find this clause more often in photography and wedding planning contracts. Many clients shouldn’t have a problem with this as it creates free exposure for them as well. However, just in case, you should include it in your contract.

8. Client notes in the event planner contract template

This is another “helpful yet not necessary” clause in your event planner contract. While contracts are usually paired with verbal conversations about what’s required and desired during event planning, it’s always helpful to include a “comments” section in your contract in case your client wants to remind you of details or requests.

This will not only help your client feel more confident moving forward with the project but will also save yourself time from any last-minute client phone calls, reminding you of concerns of needs. 

Together with meetings, events are responsible for more than $325 billion that firms spend directly. With that bit of information, you should rush to learn everything you can about event design. More importantly, you need a legally binding and full-proof event design contract template to use in drafting the agreement with your clients to get a tiny share of the money.

A good template is a tool you can use to sharpen your skills. Freelancing is not all about the money, though. Remember, you are helping people. Your clients need solutions that you and a billion freelancers can provide. Clients are only more likely to trust you if you take the time to cultivate meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships with them, and the contract can help.

Event Design Contract Template
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1. An event design contract template promotes clear communication on both sides

One of the fastest ways of building and strengthening relationships with your clients is through clear communication. Fortunately, that is where the event design contract template can come in quite handy. Therefore, set the ball rolling by ensuring that the language used on the contract is easily understandable. However, it is worth mentioning that the contract is just a tool. You need more than the contract.

For example, you have to improve your communication skills to make sure that you are passing the right message across to clients. How you communicate is just as crucial as the tools you use. Remember, excellent communication provides clarity of explanations, which makes you most likely to do a superb job.

2. An event design contract template assure clients of quality and useful resources

Secondly, it is possible to earn the trust of your freelance clients by ensuring that your event design contract template lists all the quality and most useful resources needed for the job. Some clients already have a list of the types of tools and equipment they need at the event. Remember, the event is your project. Regardless of its size and budget, you need the right tools and resources to design it perfectly to the satisfaction of your clients.

Other clients care less about the technical details of the project. Nevertheless, you owe it to them to do a stunning job that they would be proud to share with or show their loved ones, friends, and colleagues. What’s more, you would be marketing yourself better by using excellent resources.

3. Provide room for flexibility with the event design contract sample

One of the major attractions of freelancing as an event designer is the flexibility that you have for doing your job and improving relationships with clients. Here, flexibility refers to your choice of clients and the workload. More than that, you have to prepare an event design contract template that screams the fact that you are a flexible freelancer.

All relationships, whether with your clients, fellow workers, or friends, and loved ones, require a measure of flexibility. Without it, you would struggle to improve your relationships with clients. To paraphrase the words of the legendary reggae artist Bob Marley in his song titled Stiff Necked Fools, only a stiff-necked fool thinks his point of view is the best.  Flexibility also boosts productivity!

Event Design Contract Template Sample
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Are you now ready to face the world by providing the best freelance event design services? Get your house in order first. The number one step to take is to ensure that you have a well-drafted contract template to help prepare a foolproof agreement with the clients. You need the contract to promote clear and effective communication with clients. It also helps to inform and reassure them that you would be using nothing than the best resources and tools.

Lastly, it also demonstrates your flexibility. Therefore, prepare the contract basing it on the best template you can find. That way, you would be enhancing relationships with your clients and pushing your name as one of the best freelancers. Get your event design contract template today!

Your event planner contract takeaway

When properly drafted, contracts solve problems and create freelance confidence. While many freelancers think clients may negatively react to receiving a contract, they’re more commonly used than you think. 

A proper event planner contract is the cornerstone for a healthy working relationship with clients, customers, partners, vendors or providers. As a budding or experienced event planner, adding to your professionalism and freelance protection is always a key way forward. 

Use this template

The simplest way to create a legally sound contract. Check out an example below

Event Planner Contract Template

This Contract is between Sample Client (the "Client") and John Doe (the "Event Planner").

The Contract is dated [the date both parties sign].


1.1 Project. The Client is hiring the Event Planner to do the following: The Event Planner will assist the Client with event planing services.

1.2 Schedule. The Event Planner will begin work on August 21, 2020 and the work is ongoing. This Contract can be ended by either Client or Event Planner at any time, pursuant to the terms of Section 6, Term and Termination.

1.3 Payment. The Client will pay the Event Planner a rate of $70.00 (USD) per hour. Of this, the Client will pay the Event Planner $800.00 (USD) before work begins.

1.4 Expenses. The Client will reimburse the Event Planner's expenses. Expenses do not need to be pre-approved by the Client.

1.5 Invoices. The Event Planner will invoice the Client weekly. The Client agrees to pay the amount owed within 15 days of receiving the invoice. Payment after that date will incur a late fee of 5.0% per month on the outstanding amount.

1.6 Support. The Event Planner will not provide support for any deliverable once the Client accepts it, unless otherwise agreed in writing.


2.1 Client Owns All Work Product. As part of this job, the Event Planner is creating “work product” for the Client. To avoid confusion, work product is the finished product, as well as drafts, notes, materials, mockups, hardware, designs, inventions, patents, code, and anything else that the Event Planner works on—that is, conceives, creates, designs, develops, invents, works on, or reduces to practice—as part of this project, whether before the date of this Contract or after. The Event Planner hereby gives the Client this work product once the Client pays for it in full. This means the Event Planner is giving the Client all of its rights, titles, and interests in and to the work product (including intellectual property rights), and the Client will be the sole owner of it. The Client can use the work product however it wants or it can decide not to use the work product at all. The Client, for example, can modify, destroy, or sell it, as it sees fit.

2.2 Event Planner's Use Of Work Product. Once the Event Planner gives the work product to the Client, the Event Planner does not have any rights to it, except those that the Client explicitly gives the Event Planner here. The Client gives the Event Planner permission to use the work product as part of the Event Planner's portfolio and websites, in galleries, and in other media, so long as it is to showcase the Event Planner's work and not for any other purpose. The Event Planner is not allowed to sell or otherwise use the work product to make money or for any other commercial use. The Client is not allowed to take back this license, even after the Contract ends.

2.3 Event Planner's Help Securing Ownership. In the future, the Client may need the Event Planner's help to show that the Client owns the work product or to complete the transfer. The Event Planner agrees to help with that. For example, the Event Planner may have to sign a patent application. The Client will pay any required expenses for this. If the Client can’t find the Event Planner, the Event Planner agrees that the Client can act on the Event Planner's behalf to accomplish the same thing. The following language gives the Client that right: if the Client can’t find the Event Planner after spending reasonable effort trying to do so, the Event Planner hereby irrevocably designates and appoints the Client as the Event Planner's agent and attorney-in-fact, which appointment is coupled with an interest, to act for the Event Planner and on the Event Planner's behalf to execute, verify, and file the required documents and to take any other legal action to accomplish the purposes of paragraph 2.1 (Client Owns All Work Product).

2.4 Event Planner's IP That Is Not Work Product. During the course of this project, the Event Planner might use intellectual property that the Event Planner owns or has licensed from a third party, but that does not qualify as “work product.” This is called “background IP.” Possible examples of background IP are pre-existing code, type fonts, properly-licensed stock photos, and web application tools. The Event Planner is not giving the Client this background IP. But, as part of the Contract, the Event Planner is giving the Client a right to use and license (with the right to sublicense) the background IP to develop, market, sell, and support the Client’s products and services. The Client may use this background IP worldwide and free of charge, but it cannot transfer its rights to the background IP (except as allowed in Section 11.1 (Assignment)). The Client cannot sell or license the background IP separately from its products or services. The Event Planner cannot take back this grant, and this grant does not end when the Contract is over.

2.5 Event Planner's Right To Use Client IP. The Event Planner may need to use the Client’s intellectual property to do its job. For example, if the Client is hiring the Event Planner to build a website, the Event Planner may have to use the Client’s logo. The Client agrees to let the Event Planner use the Client’s intellectual property and other intellectual property that the Client controls to the extent reasonably necessary to do the Event Planner's job. Beyond that, the Client is not giving the Event Planner any intellectual property rights, unless specifically stated otherwise in this Contract.

3. COMPETITIVE ENGAGEMENTS. The Event Planner won’t work for a competitor of the Client until this Contract ends. To avoid confusion, a competitor is any third party that develops, manufactures, promotes, sells, licenses, distributes, or provides products or services that are substantially similar to the Client’s products or services. A competitor is also a third party that plans to do any of those things. The one exception to this restriction is if the Event Planner asks for permission beforehand and the Client agrees to it in writing. If the Event Planner uses employees or subcontractors, the Event Planner must make sure they follow the obligations in this paragraph, as well.

4. NON-SOLICITATION. Until this Contract ends, the Event Planner won’t: (a) encourage Client employees or service providers to stop working for the Client; (b) encourage Client customers or clients to stop doing business with the Client; or (c) hire anyone who worked for the Client over the 12-month period before the Contract ended. The one exception is if the Event Planner puts out a general ad and someone who happened to work for the Client responds. In that case, the Event Planner may hire that candidate. The Event Planner promises that it won’t do anything in this paragraph on behalf of itself or a third party.


5.1 Overview. This section contains important promises between the parties.

5.2 Authority To Sign. Each party promises to the other party that it has the authority to enter into this Contract and to perform all of its obligations under this Contract.

5.3 Event Planner Has Right To Give Client Work Product. The Event Planner promises that it owns the work product, that the Event Planner is able to give the work product to the Client, and that no other party will claim that it owns the work product. If the Event Planner uses employees or subcontractors, the Event Planner also promises that these employees and subcontractors have signed contracts with the Event Planner giving the Event Planner any rights that the employees or subcontractors have related to the Event Planner's background IP and work product.

5.4 Event Planner Will Comply With Laws. The Event Planner promises that the manner it does this job, its work product, and any background IP it uses comply with applicable U.S. and foreign laws and regulations.

5.5 Work Product Does Not Infringe. The Event Planner promises that its work product does not and will not infringe on someone else’s intellectual property rights, that the Event Planner has the right to let the Client use the background IP, and that this Contract does not and will not violate any contract that the Event Planner has entered into or will enter into with someone else.

5.6 Client Will Review Work. The Client promises to review the work product, to be reasonably available to the Event Planner if the Event Planner has questions regarding this project, and to provide timely feedback and decisions.

5.7 Client-Supplied Material Does Not Infringe. If the Client provides the Event Planner with material to incorporate into the work product, the Client promises that this material does not infringe on someone else’s intellectual property rights.

6. TERM AND TERMINATION. This Contract is ongoing, until ended by the Client or the Event Planner. Either party may end this Contract for any reason by sending an email or letter to the other party, informing the recipient that the sender is ending the Contract and that the Contract will end in 7 days. The Contract officially ends once that time has passed. The party that is ending the Contract must provide notice by taking the steps explained in Section 11.4. The Event Planner must immediately stop working as soon as it receives this notice, unless the notice says otherwise. The Client will pay the Event Planner for the work done up until when the Contract ends and will reimburse the Event Planner for any agreed-upon, non-cancellable expenses. The following sections don’t end even after the Contract ends: 2 (Ownership and Licenses); 3 (Competitive Engagements); 4 (Non-Solicitation); 5 (Representations); 8 (Confidential Information); 9 (Limitation of Liability); 10 (Indemnity); and 11 (General).

7. INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR. The Client is hiring the Event Planner as an independent contractor. The following statements accurately reflect their relationship:

- The Event Planner will use its own equipment, tools, and material to do the work.- The Client will not control how the job is performed on a day-to-day basis. Rather, the Event Planner is responsible for determining when, where, and how it will carry out the work.- The Client will not provide the Event Planner with any training.- The Client and the Event Planner do not have a partnership or employer-employee relationship.- The Event Planner cannot enter into contracts, make promises, or act on behalf of the Client.- The Event Planner is not entitled to the Client’s benefits (e.g., group insurance, retirement benefits, retirement plans, vacation days).- The Event Planner is responsible for its own taxes.- The Client will not withhold social security and Medicare taxes or make payments for disability insurance, unemployment insurance, or workers compensation for the Event Planner or any of the Event Planner's employees or subcontractors.


8.1 Overview. This Contract imposes special restrictions on how the Client and the Event Planner must handle confidential information. These obligations are explained in this section.

8.2 The Client’s Confidential Information. While working for the Client, the Event Planner may come across, or be given, Client information that is confidential. This is information like customer lists, business strategies, research & development notes, statistics about a website, and other information that is private. The Event Planner promises to treat this information as if it is the Event Planner's own confidential information. The Event Planner may use this information to do its job under this Contract, but not for anything else. For example, if the Client lets the Event Planner use a customer list to send out a newsletter, the Event Planner cannot use those email addresses for any other purpose. The one exception to this is if the Client gives the Event Planner written permission to use the information for another purpose, the Event Planner may use the information for that purpose, as well. When this Contract ends, the Event Planner must give back or destroy all confidential information, and confirm that it has done so. The Event Planner promises that it will not share confidential information with a third party, unless the Client gives the Event Planner written permission first. The Event Planner must continue to follow these obligations, even after the Contract ends. The Event Planner's responsibilities only stop if the Event Planner can show any of the following: (i) that the information was already public when the Event Planner came across it; (ii) the information became public after the Event Planner came across it, but not because of anything the Event Planner did or didn’t do; (iii) the Event Planner already knew the information when the Event Planner came across it and the Event Planner didn’t have any obligation to keep it secret; (iv) a third party provided the Event Planner with the information without requiring that the Event Planner keep it a secret; or (v) the Event Planner created the information on its own, without using anything belonging to the Client.

8.3 Third-Party Confidential Information. It’s possible the Client and the Event Planner each have access to confidential information that belongs to third parties. The Client and the Event Planner each promise that it will not share with the other party confidential information that belongs to third parties, unless it is allowed to do so. If the Client or the Event Planner is allowed to share confidential information with the other party and does so, the sharing party promises to tell the other party in writing of any special restrictions regarding that information.

9. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY. Neither party is liable for breach-of-contract damages that the breaching party could not reasonably have foreseen when it entered this Contract.


10.1 Overview. This section transfers certain risks between the parties if a third party sues or goes after the Client or the Event Planner or both. For example, if the Client gets sued for something that the Event Planner did, then the Event Planner may promise to come to the Client’s defense or to reimburse the Client for any losses.

10.2 Client Indemnity. In this Contract, the Event Planner agrees to indemnify the Client (and its affiliates and its and their directors, officers, employees, and agents) from and against all liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) related to a third-party claim or proceeding arising out of: (i) the work the Event Planner has done under this Contract; (ii) a breach by the Event Planner of its obligations under this Contract; or (iii) a breach by the Event Planner of the promises it is making in Section 5 (Representations).

10.3 Event Planner Indemnity. In this Contract, the Client agrees to indemnify the Event Planner (and its affiliates and its and their directors, officers, employees, and agents) from and against liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) related to a third-party claim or proceeding arising out of a breach by the Client of its obligations under this Contract.


11.1 Assignment. This Contract applies only to the Client and the Event Planner. The Event Planner cannot assign its rights or delegate its obligations under this Contract to a third-party (other than by will or intestate), without first receiving the Client’s written permission. In contrast, the Client may assign its rights and delegate its obligations under this Contract without the Event Planner's permission. This is necessary in case, for example, another Client buys out the Client or if the Client decides to sell the work product that results from this Contract.

11.2 Arbitration. As the exclusive means of initiating adversarial proceedings to resolve any dispute arising under this Contract, a party may demand that the dispute be resolved by arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association in accordance with its commercial arbitration rules.

11.3 Modification; Waiver. To change anything in this Contract, the Client and the Event Planner must agree to that change in writing and sign a document showing their contract. Neither party can waive its rights under this Contract or release the other party from its obligations under this Contract, unless the waiving party acknowledges it is doing so in writing and signs a document that says so.

11.4 Notices.

(a) Over the course of this Contract, one party may need to send a notice to the other party. For the notice to be valid, it must be in writing and delivered in one of the following ways: personal delivery, email, or certified or registered mail (postage prepaid, return receipt requested). The notice must be delivered to the party’s address listed at the end of this Contract or to another address that the party has provided in writing as an appropriate address to receive notice.

(b) The timing of when a notice is received can be very important. To avoid confusion, a valid notice is considered received as follows: (i) if delivered personally, it is considered received immediately; (ii) if delivered by email, it is considered received upon acknowledgement of receipt; (iii) if delivered by registered or certified mail (postage prepaid, return receipt requested), it is considered received upon receipt as indicated by the date on the signed receipt. If a party refuses to accept notice or if notice cannot be delivered because of a change in address for which no notice was given, then it is considered received when the notice is rejected or unable to be delivered. If the notice is received after 5:00pm on a business day at the location specified in the address for that party, or on a day that is not a business day, then the notice is considered received at 9:00am on the next business day.

11.5 Severability. This section deals with what happens if a portion of the Contract is found to be unenforceable. If that’s the case, the unenforceable portion will be changed to the minimum extent necessary to make it enforceable, unless that change is not permitted by law, in which case the portion will be disregarded. If any portion of the Contract is changed or disregarded because it is unenforceable, the rest of the Contract is still enforceable.

11.6 Signatures. The Client and the Event Planner must sign this document using Bonsai’s e-signing system. These electronic signatures count as originals for all purposes.

11.7 Governing Law. The laws of the state of Maryland govern the rights and obligations of the Client and the Event Planner under this Contract, without regard to conflict of law principles of that state.

11.8 Entire Contract. This Contract represents the parties’ final and complete understanding of this job and the subject matter discussed in this Contract. This Contract supersedes all other contracts (both written and oral) between the parties.


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