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What is an event planner contract?


An event planning contract is a written agreement between an event planning business or individual contractor and a paying client. This event planning agreement typically covers the event details, payment schedule, and more. Both parties sign the event contract before planning starts.

An event planning contract template can typically be used for any type of event planning: wedding planning, corporate events, personal parties. The event planning contract template found on this page covers them all.

Already know what you need from your free event planning contract template? Sign-up now for Bonsai and get instant access.

Why you need an event planner contract


Event planner contract templates are an absolute must for any event business. By having a ready-to-go event planning contract template, you're able to run your business more efficiently, as well as cover your event planning services under a legally binding agreement.

An event planning contract enables your business and your client to work together under a mutual agreement, leaving no room for misunderstanding or needing to pursue unnecessary legal action should things turn sour.

What should be included in an event planner agreement?


You should present an event planning contract after both parties have worked out an event brief and have a rough idea of the event planner service package they need to make the occasion meet expectations.

Below you'll find the ten clauses we deem necessary for every event planning contract, no matter what type of event that is.

Detailed descriptions of the work and parties involved

Kick your event planning contract off on the right foot by listing the event planner and their roles and responsibilities. You'll also want to list any other stakeholders involved and their relation to the event. Give a broad overview of the event here, including the event date, type of event, number of people, and venue.

Date of event

Here you'll want to include all important dates in the run-up to the event itself as well. For example, is there a certain date or time your client will have access to the venue before the event?

Scope of services

Maybe you're a seasoned event planner, or maybe you're new to event planning. Either way, you'll need to write up what's in scope for your event. This means all of the work that falls into the assigned budget. Couple this with what's out of scope and what the client will need to pay more for.

Payment details

It's so crucial to include all types of payments that will be happening in your event planning contract. This includes

  • The overall cost of the event for invoicing
  • Any legal fees due to make the event possible
  • The initial deposit
  • The fee if the client cancels
  • Any monies previously paid when you were making a verbal only agreement.

Rights and responsibilities of client and contractors

Every event planner has rights and responsibilities, as does their client—although the two look very different.

If you're building your own event planning contract template, you'll need to clearly state the responsibilities for all parties involved and get into writing any prior agreements made verbally in this area.

Indemnification clause

This clause can be the make or break of any event planner, especially if you tend to run private events.

Indemnification clauses prevent third parties from pursuing legal action against you should a guest get injured at one of your events. You essentially wave responsibility for what happens with guests when they are at the event venue.

By including this, you can avoid some hefty legal fees should something negative happen to a guest while on site of your event.

Client notes

Every event planner knows the importance of putting their client first, and that doesn't stop with your event planner contract.

This section allows your client to add anything they would like to see in the agreement. This could be their legal representation, dispute resolution actions, estimated budget for out-of-scope requests, and any event details they feel need to be included.

Cancellation clause

Events get canceled. The COVID-19 crisis shook the events world, and cancelation clauses changed forever. Although most event planner contract templates are more flexible with event cancelations these days, business is still business; you'll need to ensure your costs are covered if you want to stay afloat.

What happens if the client cancels for reasons beyond their control, or what happens if the planner cancels? How much notice does each party need to give, and what will the total fee look like for a replacement planner or to cover the spend so far? Get it all in here.

Termination of contract

Unfortunately, there are times when an agreement may need to be terminated. This could be for any number of reasons and can come from both parties.

For example, maybe the event planner has to terminate a contract because the client is not meeting the agreed payment schedule. Or, perhaps the client needs to terminate the contract because the event planner has not been following duties accordingly.

Whatever the reason, document them here in the termination clause and make sure all the parties agree.

Other factors

Last on the list for your event planner contract is anything you may have missed. Your free event planning contract on this page covers all of the above and more; however, you may still want to add specifics depending on your industry or the client you have.

Simple event planner contract template  


Looking to host a successful party? Need a legally binding contract for your client's approval? Look no further. The entire agreement you need is right here. Sign up to Bonsai and get your free contract template and event proposal template, so you can work on building that perfect event.

What's the benefit of using Bonsai instead of editing a template yourself?


Every legal document from Bonsai has been vetted by an expert, meaning you don't need to seek legal advice when building your contract. You can rest assured knowing your contract is tailored to your niche and is legally binding.

How to create an event planner contract template with Bonsai


You can create your contract in three steps within Bonsai. All you need to do is sign-up for the platform, select whether you want to build a contract from scratch or work from a pre-made template, then you'll be given the option to make any changes you like.

You'll have your contract in no time at all.

Event planner contract template FAQs


A few regular questions that come up for event planners are:

How much do event planners charge?

Event planners rarely charge by the hour. They typically charge between 15-20% of the total event cost. This is why it's a good idea to have a detailed event brief before quoting your cost.

What is the difference between an event planner and an event designer?

An event designer looks at the creative spark of an event. This could be in the layout, ambiance, games/entertainment, and themes.

The event planner is more operational and looks at bookings, headcounts, and event spaces. If you want your event to be top-notch, it's a good idea to hire both.


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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. WORK AND PAYMENT.

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. OWNERSHIP AND LICENSES.

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. REPRESENTATIONS.

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. CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.

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. INDEMNITY.

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. GENERAL.

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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