by Jonathan T. Howe, Esq. | January 01, 2004
Forget losing 10 pounds or becoming a “better person.” Here are some practical at-work resolutions to consider for the coming year as a member of the meetings industry. Stick with them, and your complicated supplier relationships should improve.
  1. I resolve to do everything I can to provide for the safety and security of my meeting attendees. I will get similar assurances from those who are working with me to recognize and share this responsibility. I will insist on full compliance with all health and safety laws, as well as the Americans With Disabilities Act, to assure access for all to my events.
   2. I resolve to obtain credit for all rooms occupied by my attendees, regardless of how the reservation was made. I will insist on credit for any deposits that are forfeited by attendees. 
   If I am a hotelier, I will acknowledge and recognize there are alternative ways for those attending the event to make their reservations. Therefore, I will agree to provide credit to the sponsoring organization for such room nights and deposits that my hotel allowed to be sold against the block, regardless of the rate the guest was charged.
   3. I resolve that at no time shall I allow someone to make a unilateral decision for me without my permission. In other words, if a supplier wants to relocate my meeting space or reduce my room block, my approval is needed first. In return, I recognize I might have to commit to a guarantee or agree to pay the supplier to maintain the status quo.
   4. I resolve to partner with those I do business with, sharing in risks and rewards, rather than creating an adversarial relationship.
   5. I resolve to negotiate in good faith, recognizing that parties to the contract need to make a profit on my event in order to stay in business.
  6. I resolve to follow my contract in an effort to make sure the event goes forward, knowing I need to depend on others to accomplish this. I will recognize that geopolitical events might well force
my organization to make changes. Regardless of such events, I resolve to share both good news and bad news with my suppliers. I recognize I might not responsible for the bad news, but I am responsible for sharing the information. 
   7. I resolve to obtain competent legal and business advice on matters I don’t understand, because it is easier for my lawyer to keep me out of trouble than to get me out of trouble.
   8. I resolve that my contracts will be straightforward, understandable and clear to anyone who succeeds me and to the person with whom I am doing business. I resolve to be sure everyone understands my contract language  the same way I do. When needed, I will include diagrams to make sure my meeting needs are fulfilled.
   Also, I will acknowledge that the contract is not only a legal document reflecting the obligations of each party, but the road map for a successful event.
   9. I resolve to read every word in each contract before signing, recognizing that each event is unique.
   10. I resolve to keep my clients’ expectations in line with those of the facility.  No “on site” surprises allowed.
   11. I resolve to upgrade my skills as a meeting professional with further education and to support the industry to the best of my ability.
   12. I resolve to honor those obligations I have made and to make no commitments or representations I am not able to fulfill.
   13. I resolve not to take it personally or to make it personal when a situation becomes tense or difficult.
   14. I resolve to treat people the way I want to be treated, without exception.